Starkle Dream Up. Stephens College

SC-Scene

 
Nov
17
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Bernstein earns championship win at American Royal

Senior Taylor Bernstein and Stephens-owned Peanut won the Missouri Kansas Park Championship this weekend at the UPHA American Royal National Horse Show at Kemper Arena in Kansas City.
The show attracted some 800 horses and participants competing from all over the country.
“Taylor was against some of the top professionals and World Champions,” Sara Linde, equestrian instructor said, adding appreciation for Bernstein’s coach, Assistant Professor Kelly Hulse.
Hulse took several Stephens students to the competition. Here are the results:
Berstein and Undulata’s Health Nut (Peanut) – 1st and 4th place in Missouri Kansas Park Championship
Senior Cara Wolf and A Silver Charm – 2nd place in Missouri Kansas Amateur/Jr. Exhibitor Three-Gaited; 2nd place in Missouri Kansas Amateur/Jr. Exhibitor Three-Gaited Championship
Junior Delynn Uttecht and Arrowhead’s Dreamcatcher – 2nd place in Missouri Kansas Amateur Five-Gaited and 2nd place in Missouri Kansas Amateur Five-Gaited Championship
Sophomore Erin Cummings and Cool Down Papa – 2nd place in Missouri/Kansas Five-Gaited Show Pleasure
Sophomore Juliana Himmel and Just Special – 2nd place in Missouri Kansas Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Adult and 4th in Missouri Kansas Show Pleasure Adult Championship
Freshman Rachel Cummings and Sir Steve – 8th place in Missouri Kansas Five-Gaited Show Pleasure

Freshman Gabrielle Zimmermann and Uptown New Yorker – 4th place in Missouri/Kansas Amateur/Jr. Exhibitor Three-Gaited
 
Nov
13
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Stephens choreographers, Mizzou composers join to create original works


Stephens College choreographers are once again teaming up with composers from the University of Missouri to create original works at the Senior Dance Concert this month.
This year, the concert will feature three original compositions. Erin Hoerchler, a sophomore pursuing his Bachelor of Music, is composing pieces for seniors Kyla Ranney and Jessie Burgess; and MU graduate student Kaylene Cypret is composing music for senior Alexis Collins’ piece.
This is the second year Stephens has worked with the Mizzou New Music Ensemble, part of the Mizzou New Music Initiative funded by Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation.
The New Music Ensemble, under the direction of faculty composer Stefan Freund, works with some of the world’s leading composers and interpreters of new music.
Having the opportunity to create original dance pieces to original, high-quality compositions is rare, even in the professional arena, said Carol Estey, director of the dance program at Stephens.
“Not only do choreographers rarely have the chance to choreograph to new music, they rarely get a chance to perform to live music,” she said. “So this is really an awesome opportunity for our dancers and choreographers.”
MU composers are also happy to have the real-world experience, said William Lackey, assistant teaching professor in the MU School of Music.
“The composers and performers of the Mizzou New Music Initiative are truly grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with Stephens' choreographers and dancers,” he said. “As a teacher, I always want to provide young composers opportunities that will push them artistically.”
Lackey and Estey began talking about collaborations in the summer of 2013. They arranged for students to meet during what turned out to be a sort of “speed date” paring event, allowing composers and choreographers to determine if they could work together.
"While some seniors have their heart set on choreographing to music they're familiar with, the option of working on an entirely original piece is something that is really going to set Stephens apart," Estey said.

The Senior Dance Concert is 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14-15 with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee on Nov. 16.  
 
Nov
12
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Stephens launches two new B.F.A. programs

Stephens College is launching two new B.F.A. programs that will allow performing arts students to get more intensive training in vocal arts and musical theatre.
Both the B.F.A. in Musical Theatre and the B.F.A. in Vocal Arts will build on successful Performing Arts programs at Stephens with the addition of exciting new courses and faculty. 
Stephens already enjoys success in musical theatre and vocal arts with a theatre program ranked 12th in the country by The Princeton Review and a music program that has produced award-winning singers for many years. Giving students the option to pursue a musical theatre or vocal arts degree will allow the program to recruit performers who want to pursue intense training in the given disciplines. 
“The two new degrees are wonderful additions to the B.F.A. degrees currently offered in the School of Performing Arts,” Dean Gail Humphries Mardirosian said. “The B.F.A. in vocal arts is unique in the tripartite focus of vocal training—classical, jazz and musical theatre—and will surely attract many new students. The musical theatre degree is designed in such a way with the acting focus as the foundation and then either a dance or vocal focus, ensuring students intense training for the field. We look forward to building upon the fine legacy of Stephens and the School of Performing Arts as we expand our degree offerings.”
Like existing performing arts programs, the new B.F.A. degrees will give students intensive, three-year, two-summer experiences that combine a liberal arts education with performance opportunities. 

Musical Theatre students will participate in either Summer Theatre Institute or Stephens Summer Dance, depending on their emphasis, and will spend their second summer at Okoboji Summer Theatre, the College’s stock theatre company in Spirit Lake, Iowa.
Students in the B.F.A. in Vocal Arts study in a newly designed Summer Music Institute with workshops and lessons and will complete an internship requirement the second summer.

Both programs are accepting students for the fall of 2015.
 
Nov
11
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Fashion Communication students present concepts

Fashion Communication students Monday morning had a chance to present ideas to guest experts in a pitch-style event that doubled as senior capstone projects.
Guest critics were Lindsey Naumann, a graphic designer and owner of LMN Workshop; Keith Politte, principal at Essential Spots; and Jay DeLong, vice president of New Ventures & Capital Formation for the St. Louis Regional Chamber. Each stopped by every student’s presentation to hear ideas and ask questions. The guest critiques gave students a chance to flesh out their ideas and get professional feedback.
Samantha Geary pitched her idea for a stylebook that helps women who aren’t into fashion determine what styles work best for their body types. The book would also include basics, such as how to tie a necktie. It’s an idea she’s been working on for four years and one she hopes to someday make reality.
Angie Westcott presented her idea for an interactive art experience she called Unsung Graphic Designs. She envisions publishing a book with photographs and drawings as well as an accompanying website where images can come to life. Her presentation included a portrait of a woman holding a flower, several drawings of the portrait that incorporated graphic elements and a computerized version of the image showing the woman blinking.
“It’s about making artwork more than just a picture,” she said. “It’s incorporating a bunch of different skills and bringing visual elements together.”
Haley Johnson’s concept for a magazine, “Manimalistic,” would give men a new type of publication sans fitness tips and scantly dressed women. The magazine would provide features on film, art and music.
“It’s for the man who’s more interested in fine arts than a fine sports car,” she said.

Although she would need to find revenue sources, Johnson said she is interested in making the magazine a reality.
Students were critiqued on their ability to communicate their goals, how realistic their ideas were and their ability to engage the critics.

Liz-explains-to-Jay-her-magazine
Liz Detzel explains to Jay DeLong her magazine, which would bring West Coast grunge style to the Midwest.
 
Nov
10
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Stephens recognizes two outstanding student-athletes


In conjunction with volleyball’s 3-1 win over Freed-Hardeman University Friday night, the Stephens College Athletics Department also had the opportunity to recognize standout student-athletes Jessica McConnell and Dana Heggemann for awards they received during the past year.
The Department honored Jessica McConnell ’13 B.S., ’14 M.B.A., who capped off her softball career with one of the most coveted honors at the collegiate level—McConnell became the first Academic All-American in any sport at Stephens and is easily one of the most decorated athletes in Stars history. During the spring, she was named first-team AMC All-Conference, another first for the Stephens softball program. She is a five-time Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete and an eight-time AMC Academic All-Conference honoree in volleyball, basketball and softball.
Also setting the bar high for current and future student-athletes is junior Dana Heggemann. In June, Heggemann was nominated for the Emil S. Liston Scholarship Award, which recognizes basketball student-athletes based on scholarship, character and playing ability. She was a unanimous choice to represent the American Midwest Conference and from there was chosen as the national recipient on the NAIA’s National Awards Day in September.
Heggemann is a two-time AMC Academic All-Conference honoree, serves as the president of the Tri Beta biological honor society and is a resident director following a year as resident assistant for Honors House Plan students.
Between the second and third sets of Friday’s volleyball match, McConnell and Heggemann were joined at center court by Stephens President Dianne Lynch and Athletics Director Deb Duren. The two student-athletes were each presented with a special plaque, flowers and banners that are now hung on the west wall of Silverthorne Arena.

“These two particular Stephens Women epitomize the term student-athlete,” Sports Information Director Adam Samson said. “If you take a look at the Stephens mission statement, we as an institution are committed to preparing students to become leaders, innovators and lifelong learners. Both Jessica and Dana have taken the mission statement to heart and have modeled how Stephens Stars should carry themselves in the classroom and on the field of play.”
 
Nov
10
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'House of Cards' casting director hosts workshop

It takes confidence, persistence and a lot of headshots to get cast in films and television shows, a longtime casting director told Stephens theatre students this weekend.

Kimberly Skyrme should know. Her portfolio includes work on Unsolved Mysteries, The Pelican Brief, Hearts in Atlantis and most recently, the Netflix original series House of Cards.

Skyrme conducted a casting workshop with students on Sunday, part of the new INTERSECTIONS initiative in the School of Performing Arts. Dean Gail Humphries Mardirosian created the initiative as a way to intersect the arts and bring new perspectives to campus.

Mardirosian brought Skyme to campus as part of the Citizen Jane Film Festival. The two met when Skyme was a student at American University, where Mardirosian was on faculty.

The workshop allowed future actors to get inside tips on how best to audition for roles. Skyme—who owns Kimberly Skyrme Casting—said confidence is key.

“Leave your nerves at the door and just showcase your talent,” she said.

She also stressed the importance of headshots. She suggested having one’s photo on everything—on the back of a resume, on business cards and in emails—to make sure casting directors remember you.

The most important tip, she said, should have been familiar to Stephens’ students—it’s one faculty members stress, as well. Always be nice to assistants, Skyrme said, noting that they’re often the people who will decide whether you get your foot in the door.

The hour-long workshop was held in a format similar to “Inside the Actors Studio” with senior Elyse Bertani moderating. Students also had a chance to ask questions at the end.

In addition to her casting company, Skyrme is involved in a number of professional organizations. She is currently chair of the board for Women in Film and Television International, a member of Women in Film and Video and is a founding member of Television, Internet and Video Association and the Peer Awards.

 
Nov
10
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Athletics department earns Five-Star Award

By Adam Samson/Sports Information Director
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - For the fifth consecutive year, Stephens College has been certified by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) as a Champions of Character Five-Star Institution.
This year, the NAIA implemented a new tiered system to honor its five-star institutions. Based off a school’s point total on the Champions of Character scorecard, the institution can earn gold (90+), silver (75-90) or bronze (60-74) status. On the scorecard, institutions are awarded points in character training, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition and character promotion.
The Stars accrued 72 of a possible 100 points on the scorecard, just three points shy of reaching the silver level. Stephens, along with Williams Baptist College, tied for most points among American Midwest Conference (AMC) institutions. In all, nine AMC schools received bronze distinction.
Throughout the 2013-14 school year, the Stars were involved in several different outreach experiences in which they volunteered or presented the Champions of Character message to youth, parents and coaches around the community. Some of the events included the volleyball team holding a youth camp at Lange Middle School, the tennis team volunteering at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, soccer reading character-driven books to students at Midway Heights Elementary School and softball beginning its Spring Break by painting and cleaning up campus.

The Champions of Character program continues to ensure that the NAIA is at the forefront of character promotion in the collegiate athletic setting. Each year, the program provides resources to member institutions to enhance administrators, staff and student-athletes in the areas of integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership.
 
Nov
7
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Filmmakers share ideas at Citizen Jane Summit

 

Emily-Best
Emily Best is co-founder of Seed & Spark.

When it comes to movies and movie-making, it’s no secret women get the shaft. They often can’t get funding, and it’s much more difficult to break into the Hollywood “boy’s club.”
The stats are dire—just 9 percent of the 250 highest-grossing films in 2012 were directed by women—and organizers of the Citizen Jane Film Festival are out to change that. The festival, in its seventh year, is a festival that showcases the work of female filmmakers. 
Last year, organizers hosted the first ever Citizen Jane Film Festival Summit, a workshop bringing together industry experts to shine a light on the problems. This year’s summit, however, was about solutions.
“Mark my words, this isn’t just a festival; it’s a movement” Director Paula Elias said. “We’re in this to change the world.”
There is some good news for female filmmakers, speakers at the Summit told audience members at Historic Senior Hall.
Technology has made not only filmmaking more accessible to the masses, it’s also providing an outlet for new funding sources. Emily Best co-founded Seed & Spark, an online platform that allows filmmakers to campaign for audience members and funding. 
“To be a filmmaker is to always be a crowd funder,” she said. “The crowd has to come first.”

Filmmaker Leah Meyerhoff also had some encouraging ideas. She started Film Fatales, a grassroots community of female filmmakers. It started as a networking event at her home and today has more than 100 chapters across the country.
“It’s a girl’s club in response to the boy’s club,” she said.
Meyerhoff encouraged Missouri to start a Film Fatales chapter, to which Kerri Yost, festival organizer, agreed, challenging audience members to form one by the end of the festival.
The movement to end the trend of gross underrepresentation in Hollywood isn’t just a female battle. Imran Siddiquee, a founding staff member of The Representation Project—which released Miss Representation in 2011—said the current trends hurt everyone.
Some say Hollywood simply reflects society—but Siddiquee challenged that. Women might be underrepresented in other industries, but they are not underrepresented in daily life.
He argued that cinema is an experience in empathy—and for years, movie-goers have been conditioned to not feel empathy for certain groups of people. It's up to future filmmakers to change that.
“Cinema is the greatest tool for building empathy,” he said.
The CJFF Summit kicked off the four-day film festival that continues through Sunday. Filmmakers will host forums and workshops on campus today, and Kat Candler’s “Hellion” will be screened at 7:30 p.m. at the Missouri Theatre as part of opening night. A complete schedule can be found at www.citizenjanefilm.org.
Read Stephens sophomore Shelly Romero’s interview with filmmaker and Columbia native Katie Mustard here.

 
Nov
6
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Stephens students snag top spots in NATS competition


Two first-year performing arts students snagged the top two spots in their division at a National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition recently held at Truman State University in Kirksville.
Abilene Olson placed first in the NATS College Women Musical Theatre Division, and Sydney Benton placed second.
The contest was held at the same time the Macklanburg Playhouse Company was performing the musical “The Light in the Piazza,” so several of Stephens’ talented musical theatre students could not compete, Assistant Professor Pam Ellsworth-Smith said.
For her first-place win, Olson had the opportunity to perform at a public performance at Truman. Winners were also recognized with certificates and cash awards.

Students will now participate in the NATS St. Louis Chapter auditions next weekend. Eleven students will participate at the event, which will be held at Webster University. Stephens founded the St. Louis Chapter Musical Theatre NATS auditions on campus nine years ago.
 
Nov
4
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Cechova, Snider mesmerize crowd during demonstration



International performer Mirenka Cechova and cellist Nancy Jo Snider mesmerized audience members at Stephens yesterday, performing snippets from “The Voice of Anne Frank,” an innovative piece that combines physical theatre with drama and music.

The lecture/demonstration was performed in Firestone Baars Chapel, a smaller venue than the full performance requires—but the performers transformed the space with light, shadows and video projection.

“I just love site specific work,” Cechova said afterwards. “It allows you to transform a performance.”

Roughly 100 people attended the demonstration, the first of what will become a new series Gail Humphries Mardirosian, dean of the School of Performing Arts, has created. “Intersections” will bring additional innovative performances and events to campus.

Cechova and Snider received a standing ovation for their hour-long demonstration. In between scaled-down scenes, the performers explained the scenario and symbolism of the minimal sets.

Cechova created the work because she wanted to present Anne Frank’s story in a way that would speak deeply to people through movement. In her native Czech Republic, people can be ironic when it comes to tragedy, she said, so she wanted to present the story in a new way.

“It’s a voice so the oppressed will not be forgotten,” she said after the event. “It’s important to hear the voice of those forced to be silent.”

Through dance and dialogue, Cechova portrays the characters in "The Diary of Anne Frank" through the 13-year-old girl’s lens. Much of the choreography mimics that of a songbird with broken wings, she said.

Audiences get a sense of the angst, anxiety and restlessness of Anne through spoken words, and are also introduced to her parents, sister and others hiding alongside them. Snider’s cello plays the role of “Kitty,” Anne’s imaginary friend, a companion and spiritual element. The cello breaks into other characters, as well, throughout the performance. Both Cechova and Snider also add improvisational aspects to every performance to make each truly one-of-a-kind.

Cechova originally set the dance to recorded music. Mardirosiansaw the performance when she was a Fulbright Scholar in Prague. Her home institution at the time was American University, where Snider is music director. Mardirosian introduced the two, and the piece came together as it’s presented today. Later this month, the duo will perform "The Voice of Anne Frank" at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Terrace Theatre.

Cechova spent Sunday on campus, as well, working with performing arts students.

“She’s a challenging teacher,” Snider said. “It was a beautiful way to expose students to something new, or at least hearing something in a new way.”

 

 
Oct
30
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Citizen Jane Film Festival passes and tickets on sale


The Citizen Jane Film Festival returns to downtown Columbia for its seventh year. 
One of the only film festivals in the nation that headlines the work of women filmmakers, CJFF partners with Stephens, the second-oldest women’s college in the country. Festival passes and individual tickets are on sale for the Nov. 7-9 film festival at citizenjanefilm.org
The festival kicks off on Nov. 6 with the second annual CJ Summit.The summit brings together national thought leaders from the film industry for presentations and a panel discussions followed by a collaboration workshop led by “Tiny Circus,” an artist collective that travels the country teaching the tools of collaboration. The summit is free and open to the public. CJ Summit guests this year include Seed&Spark CEO and founder, Emily Best; filmmaker and “Film Fatales” founder Leah Meyerhoff, who will also be screening her new film I Believe in Unicorns at the festival; writer and former communications director of the “Representation Project,” Imran Siddequee; and director and producer of LaDonna Harris: Indian 101 Julianna Brannum, whose film will also be showing at the festival.
The Opening Night film will be Hellion by CJFF 2013 filmmaker Kat Candler. Hellion will play at the Missouri Theatre and stars Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad and Juliette Lewis.
Closing Night will be held at The Blue Note and will be Meet the Patels, the laugh-out-loud documentary that has won audience awards around the country.
See a full line-up of the films of the festivals and festival events at citizenjanefilm.org.
Both “Insane Jane” and “Plain Jane” passes are now available. An Insane Jane Pass entitles the pass holder to reserve one ticket to all films, parties and special events within the festival, including the private filmmaker brunch at Historic Senior Hall on the Stephens campus. Pass cost: $100. A Plain Jane Pass entitles the pass holder to reserve one ticket to all films pending availability. Pass cost: $60.

“We fly filmmakers from around the world into Columbia for the weekend, and festival goers get the chance to connect with the filmmakers and with each other in a really intimate environment,” said Paula Elias, festival director. “We have grown by about 50 percent every year but are committed to holding on to the intimate feeling of Citizen Jane.”
 
Oct
30
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Stephens expands campus-wide sustainability efforts

Stephens College has expanded its campus-wide sustainability effort to include a cell phone recycling bin.
The new initiative is through Midwest Recycling Center (MRC), which collects broken, unwanted and outdated phones and pays the College for them.
The new effort comes on the heels of a $75,000 grant the Missouri Department of Natural Resources awarded the College in 2013 for recycling containers to be stationed all around campus. The College has recorded a significant increase in the tonnage of material collected, Project Manager Richard Perkins said.
“We have an evolving recycling program that is part of a fluid sustainability effort,” he said. “Whenever opportunities present themselves and funding is available, the College will start an initiative.”
The cell phone recycling program is simple. Students, faculty and staff can drop any cell phone or phone accessories into one of the secure containers located in Stamper Commons, by the Stamper Studio in Windsor Lounge or by the Stars Café in the Learning Center.
MRC will collect the bins and clear any existing data from the phones. Where appropriate, MRC will refurbish or strip phones of recyclable materials.

“We’re happy to participate in a program that lets us keep old unwanted phones from going into trash cans and ultimately landfills,” Perkins said.
 
Oct
29
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Warehouse Theatre Company presents play about language, love


The Warehouse Theatre Company presents “Precious Little,” a unique piece that deals with love, language and life choices in a way that challenges student performers and designers.
“'Precious Little' is a compelling, artistic piece of theatre, which shows off the power of language and love,” said Elyse Bertani, public relations director for the company. “The Warehouse Theatre Company is thrilled to be able to bring this captivating production to life.”
A play by Madeleine George, “Precious Little” is about Brodie, a linguist in her early 40s who discovers the baby she is carrying might have a genetic abnormality that will prevent him or her from ever speaking. She tries to determine whether she can handle a speechless child through interactions with a younger lover, a gorilla and an elderly woman who speaks a dying language.
The play was written for three females to portray all of the roles; however, Stephens is using four. 
Second-year student Maggie Niven will play Brodie and the other characters will be played by third-year student Xandra Prestia-Turner, second-year student Kate Thurn and first-year student Emmi Litner.
Under third-year student “Dona Walker’s direction, this production offers a little bit of everything,” Bertani said. “It is comedic, dramatic, heartwarming and at the end of the day will make the audience think. This is always something we strive for in the Warehouse Theatre—creating socially poignant pieces that challenge our company and our audiences.”
Conservatory student Scott Wilson designed the set, which will shift the play from location to location, each with a nature-like vibe.

The play starts at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 30-31 and Nov. 1, with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee on Nov. 2. It’s rated PG-13 for mature themes. Click here for ticket information.
 
Oct
28
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International performer Mirenka Cechova to give lecture on campus

The Stephens College School of Performing Arts is hosting a fall workshop and lecture demonstration with Dr. Mirenka Cechova, an internationally recognized performer and Fulbright Scholar, along with critically acclaimed musician Nancy Jo Snider. The two will provide technique classes for students on Nov. 2 and will host a lecture/demonstration, “The Voice of Anne Frank,” for the public at 7 p.m. on Nov. 3 in Firestone Baars Chapel.
Dean Gail Humphries Mardirosian met Cechova while she was a Fulbright Scholar in Prague, where Cechova was completing her doctoral studies.
“We immediately connected and collaborated with a performance of a play that had been written in the Nazi transit camp of Terezin, a place where many of the artists and intellectuals of Prague and from throughout Europe had been sent,” Mardirosian said. “Meeting Mirenka was fortuitous because she ran two theatres in Prague and facilitated my casting with actors she knew from her Spitfire Theatre ensemble.”  
Cechova became a Fulbright Scholar a year later.
“The Voice of Anne Frank” is a mono- dramatic retelling of Anne Frank’s story with live accompaniment.
The event will include a demonstration from the performance.
“I had seen ‘The Voice of Anne Frank’ in Prague and found the production astonishing, as did American and Czech audiences,” Mardirosian said. “Her expertise in physical theatre is magnificent, and her creativity is boundless. Adding the cello as another voicing in the production was truly a stroke of genius.”  
The Columbia stop is between tours in South Africa and Korea.

To attend the lecture/demonstration, RSVP by Oct. 31 to Jamie Andes at [email protected].
 
Oct
23
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Stephens presents 'The Light in the Piazza'

“The Light in the Piazza,” a musical based on the best-selling 1950s novel, opens this weekend at Macklanburg Playhouse.
The Stephens production stays true to the 1953 setting with beautiful period costume designs reflecting the era and an amazing set, said Associate Professor Lamby Hedge, who is directing and choreographing the show.
“The versatile setting is primarily the romantic city of Florence, Italy, of 1953 with a brief sojourn to Rome,” she said. “We inhabit piazzas, palazzos, small cafes and fashion boutiques, ancient ruins, churches and museums.”
“The Light in the Piazza” is the story of young love and a mother’s struggle to accept it. When an American woman, Margaret, and her daughter, Clara, travel to Italy, Clara has a chance meeting with Fabrizio, who falls in love at first sight. As the play unfolds, a secret is revealed: Clara is not quite who she appears, threatening everyone's future.
“The story examines love in many forms: Innocent love, romantic love, tempestuous and troubled love, safe, comfortable and settled love, a mother’s love and love lost through emotional neglect,” Hedge said.
Second-year B.F.A. acting student Mycah Westhoff will play the role of Margaret, and Clara will be played by third-year B.F.A. theatre student Emy Blake. Alex Herrera, a professional guest artist and Stephens alumnus, will play the role of Fabrizio.
“The Light in the Piazza” offers our students the opportunity to work with one of the most important, exciting, complex and downright ravishing new musical theatre scores composed in the last decade,” Hedge said. “The show premiered at Lincoln Center and was scored by Adam Guettel, who won the 2005 Tony Award for his efforts.”
It was also a good fit for Stephens this year, she said.
“We are currently blessed with a ‘bumper crop’ of fabulous singers/actors in our B.F.A. program and felt the need to offer them the opportunity to work with some of the finest material available in musical theatre. The score runs the gamut from classical to lush and romantic to jazzy, '50s  modern.”
In addition to musical talents, audience members can expect humor, romance, heartbreak and ultimately, joy.

“See the play for phenomenal performances, exquisite music, honest and human characters, smart and funny dialogue and lush settings.”

“The Light in the Piazza” starts at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 24, Oct. 25, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee on Oct. 26. Click here for ticket information.
 
Oct
21
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Equestrian students enjoy success at respective shows

Stephens Equestrian Studies students enjoyed successes and ribbons at their respective horse shows this weekend.

Alex-and-Mercy
Alex Hagelston and Mercy Me


At the American Royal in Kansas City, Alex Hagelston and Mercy Me placed 6th out of 33 riders in the 1.0 meter jumpers.
“The class was very competitive with some of the best riders in the country competing,” said Sara Linde, who oversees the Equestrian Studies program. “Alex and Mercy were also clear in the .95 blue ribbon round and received a blue ribbon.”
The pair also took 5th out of 34 in the Low Child/Adult Jumpers and 6th out of 18 in the Low Child/Adult Jumper Classic Championship
Megan Hasemann and Something to Talk About—also known as Stanley—were 3rd out of 18 in the American Royal Adult Hunter 2’6, and Hannah Dritt and Two of Diamonds, or Junior, took 7th in that class.
“The competition is deep at this national level and the students have represented Stephens beautifully,” Linde said, noting the show is an “A” Rated competition.
Western riders went to the National Equestrian Center in Lake St. Louis for the Mid-Rivers Fall Classic horse show this weekend. Shelby McCoy, Margaret Sheldon and Jessica Heinle represented Stephens. McCoy won both days in horsemanship, won showmanship Sunday and placed second on Saturday. Sheldon was 5th and 6th in Novice Showmanship, 3rd and 4th in Novice Western Pleasure and 3rd and 1st in Novice Horsemanship. Heinle took 3rd in Novice Horsemanship.

At the Boone County Horse Show, saddleseat riders made an impressive showing, Assistant Professor Kelly Hulse said.
“I heard from many trainers and exhibitors at the show how great our horses and riders looked,” she said. “I was extremely impressed with their showmanship and teamwork.”

Saddleseat riders are scheduled to compete at the America Royal Horse Show in a few weeks. 

 
Oct
20
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Breaking the Pattern pink dresses now on display



Display1
Karina Palencia works on a window display.

Dresses made of pink wine corks, tissue paper and other recyclable items are now on display throughout Columbia’s Downtown District as part of the annual Breaking the Pattern campaign in support of Breast Cancer Awareness.
The project challenges students to research breast cancer stories of hope and survival and create dresses with messages to reflect those stories. The dresses are made of recyclable materials in Tina Marks’ Creating Sustainable Communities course and are installed as window displays by students in Caroline Bartek’s Visual Merchandising class.
Seniors Rachel Ballew and Karina Palencia were charged with putting Emily Horner’s flower-themed dress on display at Makes Sense custom fragrance shop on 9th Street.
“We’ve never done a window display before,” Ballew said earlier this month during the installation process. “We met with the designer and talked about what she wanted to portray and then went to Pinterest for ideas. We decided to portray a garden.”
Butterfly cutouts and hung paper tissue decorations filled the backdrop of the window.
“It’s something to add to our portfolio,” Palencia said.
Makes Sense Owner Christina Kelley participates in the project every year, saying it’s a great experience for designers to have their work shown in actual stores. It’s also an eye-opening experience for those installing the window displays, she said.
“That’s incredibly important,” Kelley said. “That’s the first impression the public has of your business. It’s what draws people in.”
Display2Kyla Cherry and Elana Jones put Kara Henry’s “Beauty Beats the Beast” dress up in the window of Calhouns, where it’s now lit at night. The dress is made of table cloth, paper plates, ribbon and deer antlers to contrast the ugly disease with the beauty of hope.
Typically, faculty judges select the best of the dresses made in Marks’ class to be displayed downtown. This year, all 13 dresses were chosen and are now on display.

The public will have another chance to see them in the spring. Each of the dresses will be worn at The Collections student designer fashion show in April.

See more photos from the project here.

 
Oct
17
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Safe Trick-or-Treat, other campus events celebrate Halloween

The Stephens College campus is revving up for the Halloween season with a number of activities scheduled over the coming weeks.
Mortar Board will host its annual Safe Trick-or-Treat event for the Columbia community from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28. Children are invited to come in costume and trick-or-treat for candy at various stations in the Kimball Ballroom of Lela Raney Wood Hall. Stephens students are encouraged to participate, as well.
Other events are for the Stephens community, including Sigma Tau Delta’s annual Spook-a-thon. That event is slated for 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24, at Historic Senior Hall Recital Hall. The English Honor Society invites students, faculty and staff to wear costumes and enjoy readings and prizes.
Then, on Monday, Oct. 27, longtime faculty member Margaret Campbell will tell some tales about Stephens’ supposedly haunted past. She will begin her ghostly storytelling at 7 p.m. in the second floor lobby of Wood Hall.
On Thursday, Oct. 30, Alpha Lambda Delta is sponsoring a Scary Movie Night featuring the movie “Hocus Pocus” from 8 to 10:30 p.m. in the Student Union. Popcorn, snacks and drinks will be provided. Sophomore Jenna Westra is organizing the event as part of her advanced event planning course. The assignment challenged students to host their own event, and Westra recruited the honor society to help sponsor hers. The assignment required her to reserve the space, stick to a budget, work with a food vendor and market the event.

"There's a lot going on over the Halloween season at Stephens but hopefully we'll have a good turnout," she said. "It will be a nice way to relax, watch a good movie and enjoy some snacks."
 
Oct
16
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CFDA reps visit Stephens, critique student work

Neil Gilks sat in front of a dozen or so sketches of swimsuit and resort garments designed by Stephens senior Logan Blagg.

“This is a feast for the eyes,” said Gilks, director of Educational Initiatives at the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

It was high praise from a highly respected designer and consultant.

Gilks went on to help Blagg narrow down the best of her designs to be presented to a Jury of Selection this spring.

The critique of student work was part of Gilks’ two-day visit to campus along with Sara Kozlowski, senior manager of professional development at CFDA. The council representatives also toured the School of Fashion and Design and met with Stephens administrators during the trip.

The visit marked a pivotal moment in the College’s and school’s history—it recognized Stephens’ progress toward becoming a partner school of the CFDA.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America is a not-for-profit trade association whose membership consists of more than 400 U.S. designers, including Vera Wang, Tommy Hilfiger, Oscar de la Renta — essentially the who’s who of fashion. Stephens is one of few Midwestern colleges and the only women’s college to be associated with CFDA, a partnership that began last year.



On campus, Gilks and Kozlowski critiqued senior designs and helped students select the garments they will ultimately create and take to the Jury of Selection in hopes of seeing them on the runway at The Collections, Stephens’ annual student designer fashion show. Freshmen, sophomores and juniors were also invited to listen in.


Blagg’s designs were inspired by nature and the idea of transitions. She envisions her customer being a 20-something who’s in the process of finding herself. Her designs were soft with muted colors and strategic cutouts and knots.

After discovering that she also creates custom jewelry, Gilks encouraged Blagg to incorporate pieces into her garments.

Audrah Davidson’s collection was based on modern art and architecture. She also customized her own fabric by pulling threads and replacing them with gold foil before lamenting the fabric.

“I love fabric manipulation and what you can do it with,” she said prior to the critique.

The technique was a hit, with Gilks encouraging her to use it in her senior collection.

Tonya Pesch’s designs were based on her love of both fashion and the equestrian world. Her line featured stylish denims, leathers and prints that could be worn at professional rodeos. Her color base, blue and teal, was chosen to complement any color of horse, she said, and fringe was added because it looks “beautiful when you’re riding.”

While Gilks acknowledged he didn’t know much about the rodeo circuit, he encouraged her to find a signature look for each design to make the collection her own.

Designing with one’s career in mind was common advice throughout Gilks’ critiques. He asked several students where they see themselves in the professional world and challenged them to create pieces they could later use to launch their own lines. He also gave some personal opinions—exposed zippers, for instance, are definitely no-nos.

“We are so grateful for the expertise and honest, professional feedback,” said Monica McMurry, dean of the School of Fashion and Design. “They provided tips, expert opinions and advice that all of our students and faculty will benefit from hearing.”

In addition to providing critique and other educational support, CFDA hosts four scholarship competitions a year in conjunction with Geoffrey Beene, Liz Claiborne and Teen Vogue/Target. The organization also hosts a Fashion Education Summit and has a program for recent graduates from participating schools. Avenues to Industry is an advisory-based program that highlights varied career tracks and supports graduates transitioning into the industry.

 
Oct
14
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Students part of winning team at Startup Weekend

Two Stephens students are now part of a company formed after their team took third place at Columbia’s Startup Weekend event earlier this month.
Juniors Brianna Jackson and Hannah Bilau are working with The Wandering Turtle, an app that helps people discover new vacation destinations based on their personal interests.
Startup Weekend allows community members and college students to pitch business ideas. All participants then form teams to help develop the winning pitches. The Wandering Turtle was the brainchild of local entrepreneur Anna Swacker who chose Jackson and Bilau to be part of her marketing team. During the 54-hour event, Jackson helped with data collection and research, set deadlines for the business plan and wrote the final presentation. Bilau designed the green turtle that is now the company’s mascot.
The Stephens duo was recruited to participate in Startup Weekend by alumna Natalie Stezovsky, a vice president at Influence and Co. in Columbia.
“For me, it was nice to work with professionals and get a feel for working with different mindsets,” Bilau said.
It also gave her experience with collaborating as a part of a team and designing on a deadline, she said.
Both agreed Stephens and being part of Creative Ink, the student-run marketing firm, prepared them for the event.
“I’ve worked with clients before, so I was calm,” Bilau said. “I never felt overwhelmed. I knew I was capable of the work.”
Jackson, who is Student Government Association president, said she already had experience with business plans, creative briefs, event planning and other skills needed for the competition. She was also able to anticipate questions from the competition’s judges so the team would be prepared.
“Everything Stephens has taught me has made me able to think fast and critically,” she said.

The third-place win gives the company space at a local business complex, where The Wandering Turtle will continue to meet and work out details of the business. Jackson is assisting with social media, which now includes a Twitter and Facebook account.
 
Oct
9
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Freshmen take to Vine to explore self and society

Students taking First-Year Experience classes were challenged last month to create six-second videos articulating their sense of self in society.

Students used the social app Vine to express themselves through images, videos and text.
“The basic idea was that students were to make a Vine that represented their take on the FYE’s theme of self and society,” Associate Professor Mark Thompson said. “Individual classes gave further guidance. My students were required to make a Vine that articulated how the past has shaped their self of self in society. Students were also required to keep a journal that recorded their creative process and reflected upon the final product.”
Freshman Kyra Skinner used her Vine to show a historical photo of men working in the fields with the disclaimer “My grandfather’s education.” She contrasted the image using photos and videos of herself at Stephens. “Don’t take your education for granted,” the video concludes.


Hannah Dorey used her six seconds to piece together a puzzle, sans one missing piece.
“One of the worst parts about modern society in my eyes is that no matter what you have in life, how successful you are, how happy you are and how complete you feel your life is, it’s never ‘enough’ for everyone else,” she wrote in her accompanying reflection. “There is always something ‘missing,’ something you haven’t achieved yet, something you don’t have or something somebody else has better. There will always be someone who will find a flaw or an imperfection, and it’s something that I’ve always disliked.”


Janelle Sardis’s Vine shows her transformation from a fresh face to a fully made-up face.
“My video Vine symbolizes self and society because the world has this standard image of what beauty is and often we think we have to look like the girls in the magazines,” she wrote. “It’s important to understand you are beautiful no matter what you look like.”


That was a theme in several of the videos, Thompson said.
“A number of the Vines focused on the issue of burdensome social expectations for women,” he said. “A number explored the idea of what it means to be beautiful.”
Thompson held a showcase of the videos, and students were asked to talk about their Vines.“We were very pleased with the results,” he said. “Students were very enthusiastic about each other’s work.”


 
Oct
8
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TRYPS Institute at Stephens teams up with fire safety tour

Elementary-class
At Ridgeway Elementary.

Members of TRYPS Institute at Stephens College have teamed up with the Columbia Fire Department to make fire safety training fun for area schoolchildren.
Dressed as characters from the animated hit “Frozen,” the TRYPS kids and fire marshals are visiting 16 schools over two days as part of the National Fire Safety & Prevention Week tour. Yesterday, the cast performed at several schools, including the Stephens College Children's School. 
TRYPS has been part of the fire safety tour for 12 years, said Jill Womack, executive artistic director of TRYPS. Each year, she writes an original script and songs to teach a specific fire safety lesson. This year, the performance included several songs about the importance of working smoke alarms.
Dressed as Elsa, Rachel Doisy put the finishing touches on her hair and make-up prior to the tour yesterday in the newly renovated space that now houses TRYPS at Hickman Hall. The college freshman said it was the first time she’d been part of the fire safety tour, “and I’m really excited.”
Keegan Atkins, 12, is somewhat of a fire tour veteran, having been on two prior tours.
“When the kids laugh, it’s really awesome,” said Keegan, who portrayed the lovable snowman Olaf. “Students afterwards have come up to me and said I was their favorite and have given me hugs. It’s a lot of fun.”

TRYPS became a part of Stephens College this summer and now holds all programming and performances on the Stephens campus. Classrooms, prop and costume shops and offices occupy three floors of Hickman Hall. The young members agreed the new space is “really great.”

 
Oct
7
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Stephens launches new physician assistant, screenwriting programs

In keeping with its commitment to excellence in the creative arts and health sciences, Stephens College announces the launch of two new graduate degree programs: a Master of Physician Assistant degree to be offered in collaboration with local and regional healthcare facilities, and a new Master of Fine Arts in Television and Screenwriting, a low-residency program with 10 days of intensive on-site classes each semester at the Jim Henson Studios in Los Angeles.
“We have been working for more than a year with outstanding professionals in both health sciences and television and screenwriting to ensure these programs are cutting-edge and highly attuned to current market demands,” Stephens President Dianne Lynch said. “We’re committed to investing in facilities, partnerships and faculty to ensure that both programs are the best in their markets right from the start.”
Physician Assistant Program
The Master in Physician Assistant program will be designed to prepare physician assistants to work in primary care settings, to embrace the rapidly changing healthcare environment and to become adept at the use of interactive technologies to provide high quality healthcare in rural communities.
“Physician assistants are in high demand,” said Dr. Richard Oliver, former dean of the School of Health Professions at the University of Missouri, who is serving as a consultant in the sciences and for the program. “Stephens’ location in a city with a strong healthcare infrastructure, the college’s low faculty-to-student ratio and its historic commitment to the sciences make Stephens an ideal campus for this program.”
Stephens is partnering with local and regional healthcare facilities to provide clinical rotations. Confirmed to date are Boone Hospital Center, the University of Missouri Health System and Capitol Regional Medical Center.
“We look forward to working with our prestigious neighbor as they launch this program,”  said Jim Sinek, president of Boone Hospital Center. “Our hospital and medical staff have a history of clinical success at Boone Hospital, and we're happy to share our knowledge and expertise with students pursuing careers as physician assistants at Stephens.” 
“We’re thrilled to work with Stephens to provide facilities for clinical rotations,” said Stevan Whitt, chief medical officer for the University of Missouri Health System. “We need more highly qualified health professionals in Missouri and across the country, and we’re happy to support programs in our own community that will serve that need.”
Sampson Hall, located on Broadway at the western edge of the Stephens campus, will be the site of the college’s new Center for Health Sciences, which will house the PA program, among others. Extensive renovation will begin immediately to ensure the new facilities are completed in time for the program’s first class in 2016.
Like all of the College’s graduate programs, the PA program will be co-educational.
Low-Residency M.F.A. in TV and Screenwriting
While all other low-residency M.F.A. programs in the country require students to study multiple narrative formats, the Stephens College M.F.A. in writing will focus exclusively on writing for television and film.  Online courses and mentoring will be supplemented by 10 days each semester in Los Angeles, where students will engage in workshops with working television and screenwriters, visit studios, connect with agents and managers, and learn the business of Hollywood from executives and producers.
It’s a first-of-its-kind program aimed to boost the number of women working in the film industry.
“While the program is open to men, the lens is focused on women,” said Ken LaZebnik, an accomplished scriptwriter and founding director of the program. “We want to give women writers the inspiration and skills they need to successfully compete for screenwriting jobs in film, television and online media.”
LaZebnik has strong ties to Stephens. He grew up in Columbia, where his father, Jack, taught English and creative writing at the College.  In 2005, LaZebnik returned to Stephens for a brief period to serve as the dean of the School of Performing Arts. In L.A., he’s written for multiple television programs, including “When Calls the Heart,” “Touched by an Angel,” “Army Wives,” and “Star Trek: Enterprise.” LaZebnik comes from a family of screenwriters; his brother Rob is co-producer of "The Simpsons," and his brother Philip is best known for screenplays "Mulan" and "Pocahontas." 
The new degree programs are being launched on the heels of a historic $15 million gift to the college and the unveiling of a new brand this year.  Lynch says they won’t be the last of the exciting announcements from Stephens in the months ahead.

“It’s a great time to be a Stephens Woman,” Lynch said. “We are proof positive that there are women’s colleges in this country that are thriving.”
 
Oct
6
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Stephens alumna to be featured on PBS 'Makers'

A Stephens College alumna is scheduled to be featured on an upcoming episode of PBS’s “Makers: Women Who Make America” documentary series.

Wally Funk—a pilot, member of the Mercury 13 and future space traveler—will be interviewed on “Women in Space” airing on Oct. 14. The series began Sept. 30 and concludes Nov. 4 with an episode on “Women in War.”

“I’m really excited about that one,” Funk said. “Several women I trained are in Afghanistan now.”

Funk is also scheduled to be among a panel of speakers at The New Yorker Festival this month. She will join Bas Lansdorp, co-founder of an organization that aims to colonize Mars; Bill Stone; whose company is attempting to commercialize human space exploration; and Burkhard Bilger, a writer for The New Yorker. “Fly Me to the Moon: Personal Space Travel” will be held on Oct. 12.

Last month, Funk presented at the Acadia Night Sky Festival in Bay Harbor, taking a group flying over the Acadia Forest.

It’s a grueling schedule but nothing new for Funk who has given nearly 20 public speeches this year, including being part of Wally Funk Day at Lockheed Martin, which makes the F-35.

She’s also waiting to be among the first to take advantage of commercial space travel.

“It will happen,” Funk said. “If I don’t go with Richard (Branson, owner of Virgin Galactic), I’m trying to get somebody who will sponsor me for the SpaceX trip to the International Space Station in 2017.”

Funk was a member of the “Flying Susies” at Stephens, where she earned her pilot’s license. In 1961, she volunteered for the “Women in Space” program and became one of the Mercury 13, a group of women NASA initially pegged for space travel. Although Funk and her peers scored as well on the tests as their male counterparts (Funk even beat John Glenn’s scores), the program was grounded before they had a chance to fly.

Funk went on to become the first woman to successfully complete the FAA General Aviation Operations Inspector Academy course, the first woman promoted to specialist in the FAA Systems Worthiness Analysis Program, and the first female to serve as air safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board in Washington, D.C.
 
Oct
3
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Students share summer internship experiences

 

Carlota-the-gorgeous-wolf
Carolita, a wolf at the Endangered Wolf Center.

Senior Alexandra Hoffman thought she wanted to work in zoo management until completing internships at both the Dickerson Park Zoo and the Endangered Wolf Center in St. Louis this summer.

“I actually prefer working with endangered animals,” she said. “It was a smaller center and had a close-knit feel.”

Getting a better understanding of what they want to do after graduation is one of the main purposes of summer internships, said Debbie Brunner, interim director of the Center for Career and Professional Development at Stephens.

“Internships allow students to test drive a career,” she said. “They experience daily life within their chosen field and find out if that’s really what they want to do.”

Hoffman, a biology major, was a keeper at the center, making sure endangered wolves had food and water, and overseeing tours of the facility. The center manages and breeds Mexican gray wolves to reintroduce them into the wild.

“Stephens prepared me well for the work,” she said, adding that the College’s partnership with the University of Missouri allowed her to take a specialized course in animal management.

Senior Mallory Patton conducted her internship at Irish Fox Stables in St. Louis this summer. There, she was responsible for working the horses, namely a Thoroughbred that hadn’t been ridden in a while, helping out with shows and assisting during a summer camp.

“I pretty much knew what I was doing,” Patton said. “The equestrian program at Stephens definitely prepared me.”

Patton hopes to someday own and manage her own barn.

Senior Alayna Nieters spent her summer in London interning with the Josh & Nicol brand.

“I worked with the designers, cutting garments made in house that were going to be sold on a new e-store,” she said.

Nieters said her internship prompted her to consider continuing studying abroad after graduation.

“I’d like to get a little more experience internationally,” she said, adding that she’s considering graduate school at the London College of Fashion.

For senior Kala Jones, a summer internship at Columbia Home magazine solidified her desire to work at either a magazine or ad agency. The internship entailed designing materials promoting the magazine’s social media presence and a mini campaign for a swim team fundraiser.

“I was really fortunate to get an internship so close to what I want to do after graduation,” she said. “To work in the real world—creating real things for real people—was a lot of pressure. But I did it. And it was a great experience.”

 
Oct
1
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Thompson article to be published in French Historical Studies


Mark Thompson, an associate professor of liberal arts, has had an article accepted for publication in French Historical Studies, the leading journal on the history of France. The paper explores French decisions and motivations during the Indochina War following World War II.
“The French were concerned about their status,” Thompson said. “Britain and the U.S. were forming a strong alliance, and France was worried about being a member of that club.”
The article also looks at France’s failed troop surge and the political consequences of war.
“The big take-away has less to do with France and more to do with considerations elsewhere,” he said. “Think about American involvement in war and if it’s not going well, why are we still there? We have to think beyond the battleground. It’s hard to get out of war. So this is a cautionary tale.”
Thompson presented an abbreviated version of the article at a conference in Charleston two years ago. The chairman of the panel was the editor of the journal and suggested Thompson expand on his ideas and submit an article.
“I’m very excited about it; it’s a big achievement for me,” he said.

Thompson, who teaches history and the sophomore core courses (Government and Economics and Global Village), started at Stephens as a Sara Jane Johnson Scholar and expressed gratitude for her investment in faculty.
 
Sep
29
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Stephens Scholars Plan faculty induct 36 freshmen



pinning-ceremony1The Stephens Scholars Plan inducted 36 freshmen during a pinning ceremony Saturday that corresponded with Family Weekend.
The ceremony, held in Historic Senior Hall, gave inductees and family members a chance to celebrate high-achieving students and to meet honors faculty. Although it’s changed name and scope over the years, the honors plan dates back more than 50 years at Stephens. It allows academically talented students to take honors-level courses together in a challenging yet supportive environment.

Junior Khyneesha Edwards, a former scholar who has since received a Dorothy Martin Endowed Scholarship, urged inductees to share their successes and take leadership roles.
pinning-ceremony2“Kudos to you all for having recognizable talent and owning it,” she said. “As women, sometimes it is easy for us to downplay our talents and shrink in the background while someone else takes the light. … Keep recognizing your inner potential and bring it to the forefront in everything you do.”
After outlining a list of hilarious “What Others Think I Do at Stephens College,”—highlighting inaccurate stereotypes about women’s colleges—sophomore Juliana Hitchcock challenged first-year students to finish the meme.
“Avail yourself of the academic and social opportunities, reach out to make new friends, test your theories and ideas in a roundtable discussion one night and write your own segment of the ‘What I really do at Stephens College’ meme,” she said.
The hour-long ceremony was just one highlight of Family Weekend, which welcomed parents, siblings and other family members to campus. Visitors also enjoyed presentations from students about leadership opportunities on campus, Study Abroad and internship experiences and Stephens Stars Athletics.

The weekend concluded with a campus-wide barbecue at the President’s Home.

 
Sep
26
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Students help out with upcoming convention

 

Sandi-works-with-students
Sandi Strother works with students on convention materials.

Students studying event and convention management at Stephens this week had the opportunity to do hands-on work for a convention taking place in St. Louis next month.
Students were charged with assembling name tags for the Veterinary Cancer Society’s upcoming conference. That might sound simple, but it was critically important, said Sandi Strother, executive director of the society. Each tag had to include the correct information, tickets, labels and other identifying information for every one of the hundreds of attendees and speakers coming from around the globe.
Hands-on experience is a cornerstone of the Event and Convention Management program at Stephens. Throughout the year, students have a chance to tour area hotels, work with professional planners and help plan on-campus events.

But the work leading up to an event is as important as the actual event, and attention to detail is a necessary skill set, Assistant Professor Cindy Hazelrigg said. That’s why classroom experiences such as creating name tag packets are so important.
“One mismatched name, room location or time can ruin an entire conference,” she said. “Even if you catch the mistake in time, it can create large amounts of overtime. I pose these situations to students and ask them how they would handle those types of challenges, but avoiding problems in the first place is ideal. Event planning is all about paying attention to minuscule but vital details.”

Event, meeting and convention planning is growing much faster than the average career, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s because these are well-paying, fast-paced and rewarding careers with lots of opportunities and lots of demand. Stephens launched the three-year degree program last fall in response to that market demand. 

 
Sep
26
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Bach's Lunch event kicks off monthly series


Bach’s Lunch kicked off its fall semester series yesterday with performances by the Stephens Concert Choir and the Velvetones, as well as several solos.
Hosted by the School of Performing Arts, the monthly lunchtime series gives the Stephens community and public a chance to enjoy talented vocalists and students another opportunity to perform.  
Yesterday’s event featured Ally Cat Love Song by Paul Carey and Dana Gioia performed by the concert choir and “What’ll I Do” from “The Music Box Revue of 1924” performed by the Velvetones.
Soloists included Rebecca Munoz, who performed "Breathe" from "In the Heights;" Mycah Westhoff singing "Crossword Puzzle" from "Starting Here, Starting Now;" "Perfect" from "Edges" performed by Chelcie Abercrombie; "How Can I Win" from "The Goodbye Girl" sung by Elyse Bertani; and Emy Blake, who gave a wildly popular performance of "My Party Dress" from "Henry and Mudge."

The next Bach’s Lunch will be at 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 30 at Historic Senior Hall Recital Hall.
 
Sep
25
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Artist urges students to take fresh look at world of comics



A visual artist and writer from Salt Lake City urged English/Creative Writing students yesterday to take a fresh look at the world of comics.
Nick Francis Potter, currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Missouri, stressed the importance of imagery during the semester’s first Writers on the Edge lecture.
“Language is important and essentially—I love language—but it has improved properties when combined with images,” he said.
Potter, who has published comics and prose in a number of journals and reviews, became interested in comics at a young age. He discovered that he could easily follow a story line through a series of images better than in text-only books.
“When you’re looking at a series of images, you’re actually reading,” he said. “You read” comic strip panels "left to right, top to bottom the same way you read, and images are repeated in the same way names and pronouns are. I have small boys who understand this. It’s accessible at a lower-level but there’s something extremely intelligent about the way we can tell a story through a series of images. …Just because it’s available to a young child does not mean it’s not a powerful tool for all of us.”
Potter shared examples of how comic formats have been used to explain complicated subject matter, such as a comic-like version of the 9/11 Report and a visual guide to the economy. Images aren’t just easier to understand and process, he said, they’re also proven to help readers retain the information. 
He also pointed to a rise in infographs and other graphic designs that accompany text on websites, billboards, textbooks and other media.
Potter also encouraged the writers in the room to embrace images, even if they aren’t trained artists. He had several examples of remedial sketch work that ultimately turned in to published comics.
“I want you all to make comics, and I want to read them,” he said.

The Writers on the Edge series brings professional writers to campus throughout the school year. Past guests have included Toni Morrison, John Irving and Margaret Atwood. 
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