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Sep
5
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Professor to open sewing café in Columbia

Tina Marks, assistant professor of fashion and design, is opening a sewing café in Columbia inspired by a business model that began in Paris.
Straight Grains Studio opens Saturday at 1610 Paris Road. The café will offer sewing classes, including classes just for men, pattern-making and draping classes and private lessons. Clients will also be able to rent sewing machines and equipment to complete their own projects, as well.
“I love teaching,” she said, stressing that her duties at Stephens won’t change. “But I know there are non-students who want to take pattern-making, draping and other sewing classes in a shorter time frame, as well as those who just want to work on a single project. This will provide those classes and services.”
Straight Grains Studio will also have an espresso bar.
The business model was inspired by a sewing café in Paris that inspired the book “Sweat Shop Paris: Lessons in Couture from the Sewing Café.” Similar businesses have since been popping up throughout Europe and in metropolitan cities such as Austin, New York and San Francisco, Marks said.

Marks has owned other businesses, including an antique store, and said she wanted to get back into a business that would complement her academic career. She envisions Stephens fashion students having opportunities to visit and help out at the store.
 
Sep
5
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Creative Ink helps Columbia Regional Airport identify marketing needs

Thanks to the help of Creative Ink, the student-run marketing firm on campus, Columbia Regional Airport administrators say they have a better understanding of their marketing needs and how to proceed with future branding efforts.
“It certainly was a fantastic experience to work with Creative Ink,” said Steven Sapp, spokesman for Columbia Public Works. “They became the teacher—they taught us to think on a long term-basis. We would not have gotten to this point had we not started working with them.”
The airport board is now ready to proceed with hiring a professional firm to carry out marketing efforts. Creative Ink was originally tapped to rebrand the airport; however, Sapp said the process brought to light the need for ongoing services.
Creative Ink is managed by seniors who graduate and move on to careers.
“That’s what happened in this case,” Sapp said. “They were working for us for free, and we didn’t want to ask them to continue to do that as they were moving on in their professional lives.”
Kate Gray, faculty adviser for the firm, said the process was extremely beneficial to students who worked on the airport project.
“We pride ourselves in providing students real-world experiences,” Gray said. “In this case, our students were able to shed some light on branding and marketing procedures and really help the airport board and staff better understand their needs.”

Creative Ink has worked with the city in other capacities, including designing the new brand for the Columbia Transit bus system and a new branding logo for the Office of Cultural Affairs, as well as for Columbia Public Schools.
 
Sep
4
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Desserts and Discussion event helps English students get acquainted

More than 20 students joined English/Creative Writing faculty members Tuesday evening for the fourth annual Desserts and Discussion, a back-to-school activity that helps those in the program get acquainted.
Every year, incoming freshmen and returning students read the same book over the summer and get together to discuss it when the semester begins, Associate Professor Kate Berneking Kogut said.
“It is a great way for our new students to be introduced to returning students as well as faculty members,” she said.
This year, students read “The Invention of Wings,” by Sue Monk Kidd. The book gives a fictional account of the childhood of real-life sisters Sarah and Angelina Grimke, who were famous abolitionists in the 1830s. For many students, it was their first introduction to the Grimke sisters.
This is the first of several events English/Creative Writing faculty will be hosting for students. 
The annual “Write Like a Pirate Day”—a play off “Talk Like a Pirate Day”—is scheduled for noon on Friday, Sept. 19 in the Penthouse at Hugh Stephens Library. The event challenges students, many of whom dress as pirates, to work together to write original pirate tales.

“We like to have these types of fun events outside of class,” Kogut said. “The informal atmosphere really encourages students to participate.”
 
Sep
3
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Senior hired as policy assistant at Renew Missouri

After completing a successful internship there during the summer, senior Lesta Newberry has been hired as a policy assistant at Renew Missouri, a Columbia-based organization that promotes energy efficiency.

Newberry discovered the internship opportunity while working in the Center for Career and Professional Development on campus.

“I had never heard of the organization, but I’m interested in advancing renewable energy,” she said. “I started in May and I loved it.”

The group hosts candidate and educational forums and other events to spread awareness around energy issues.
Newberry previously interned for Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., in Washington, D.C., and for the Missouri House of Representatives.
“I’ve always been interested in politics,” she said. “As a child, I would watch politicians on TV or listen to them on the radio and take notes.”
In her new role, she’s excited about the opportunity to try her hand at lobbying legislators at the state capitol.

At Stephens, Newberry is president of the senior class, is involved in Stephens Life and is in the process of forming a Young Democrats chapter on campus. She is majoring in Integrated Marketing and hopes to someday run for office herself.
Stephens, she said, is helping her prepare for that.

“I feel like I have so much more confidence than I had three years ago,” she said. “I am so much more prepared for public speaking and critical thinking.”
 
Sep
1
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Film faculty to screen original works this week

Steph-Borklund-directing
Steph Borklund directs on the scene of her film, "I Am One"


Three digital filmmaking professors at Stephens College will screen their original works at the first-ever Faculty Film Showcase this week.
The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 5, in Charters Auditorium. It’s the first time such event has been held on campus, said Kerri Yost, associate professor of film.
“We’ve had our work screened at Ragtag together, more as a screening of local filmmakers that all happened to be our faculty,” she said. “But this year we decided to formalize it and hold it on our own campus, especially since so many of our students and colleagues worked on these films in one way or another.”
The films, each under 20 minutes, are: “I Am One” by Assistant Professor Steph Borklund; “Flat Black” by Assistant Professor Chase Thompson and Yost’s “Leaving Osage Lane."
Borklund has been working on her anti-bullying film for more than a year. It stars Annie Coleman—daughter of Stephens President Dianne Lynch—and revolves around high school friends who must decide whether to stand up against bullying. Borklund is developing curriculum that will accompany the film, which she hopes will be screened in middle and high schools starting next semester.
Thompson’s narrative film centers on a legend that began circulating in Central Missouri in the early 1990s. Two brothers he knows claim to have seen a 9-foot tall giant who drove though their field. When they confronted him, the giant spoke in a strange language and said he was from the future sent to look for something buried on their property.
“This work of fiction is based on a real rural legend that many locals recall to this day,” Thompson said.
Yost’s film was part of the Stephens Film Institute, a biannual program that allows film students to work together on a large-scale project.
“It was inspiring to see our more experienced students taking on leadership roles and to work side-by-side with them,” Yost said.
With input from students, Yost wrote the narrative, which revolves around three siblings who reunite at the lake home of their recently divorced parents.
All three films will debut at the showcase, although they also plan to submit the films to festivals. Screening them on campus just made sense, they agreed. It shows students and the community that filmmaking faculty at Stephens are working professional filmmakers, as well, Borklund said.
“It really is an honor to screen alongside my colleagues," Yost said.” I respect them as artists and value their opinions in so many ways. … We will do festivals after this, but I think we know we all wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for Stephens and our students—and their input. So it feels right to screen it to our Stephens community first.”

Students-and-faculty-during-Stephens-Film-Institute
Students and faculty during the Stephens Film Institute 

 

 
Aug
30
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Stars soccer, volleyball win respective contests

By Adam Samson/Sports Information Director

Senior captain Kenzie Andrade had a goal and an assist to lead the Stephens College soccer team to a season-opening 2-1 win over Faith Baptist Bible College at Cosmo Park on Friday afternoon.

It marks the first time in program history that the Stars have opened the season with a victory.

Not long after Friday’s 30-minute lightning delay, freshman Rachael Vilord broke open the scoreless tie in the 17th minute. On the receiving end of an Andrade pass, Vilord delivered a strong shot to the hands of FBBC keeper Laura Sturgis. What appeared to be a save, turned into the first goal of the 2014 season as Sturgis lost grip of the ball and watched it trickle in.

Vilord, who played defense in high school, made a statement at midfield as she registered three more shots on goal following her goal. Controlling much of the possession in the first half, the Stars had several opportunities to build a cushion.

After missing high on a few and hitting the crossbar on one, midfielder Kenzie Andrade finally found her shot in the 40th minute. From 30 yards out, the Columbia native locked in on the top left corner and put it in the back of the net. Freshman Morgan Daniels was credited with the assist.

Stephens took a 2-0 advantage into halftime and led the way in both shots (15 to 4) and shots on goal (6 to 3).

The Star defense continued to limit the Eagles offensive production; however, in the 57th minute, FBBC Kristen Passwaters got behind Stephens’ back line of defense. Drawing a foul in the box, Passwaters also took the penalty kick and snuck one past Stephens goalie Amanda Chapman to narrow the margin.

Following the PK goal, Stephens tightened up its defense and allowed just one shot during the remainder of the contest.

Chapman logged all 90 minutes at keeper and registered four saves along the way. On the offensive end, Rachael Vilord paced the Stars with eight shots and four on goal. Also recording multiple shots on the day were Andrade (5), Daniels (4) and freshman Gerica Curry (3).

Next up for Stephens is an away match at NCAA Division III MacMurray College on Wednesday (Sept. 3).

Paired with the soccer victory, the Stephens volleyball squad made it 3-for-3 for Stars' wins.

In exhibition match #1, Stephens defeated NJCAA Cottey College, 3-1 [25-9, 21-25, 25-14, 25-17]. In match #2, the Stars swept Wentworth Military Academy in the nightcap [25-12, 25-21, 25-15].
 
Aug
28
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Fashion students head to Chicago to visit fabric stores

Roughly 40 students majoring in fashion design and product development are on their way to Chicago today to visit upscale fabric stores and meet with industry professionals.
The “Fabricology Trip” is being piloted this year as a way to give students access to a wider range of quality fabrics.
“One of the challenges we have here is that we don't have extensive fabric offerings,” said Associate Professor Kirsteen Buchanan. “And nice fabric is the foundation of everything we do.”
In the past, Buchanan said students have taken similar trips to St. Louis and Kansas City. 
The group departed from campus early this morning. They plan to visit Vogue Fabrics this afternoon, and tomorrow, they will meet with a designer sales manager from Nordstrom before visiting Fishman’s Fabrics.
While Buchanan expects some students to purchase fabric there, the trip is more than a shopping spree. Students have also been tasked with researching street styles they might not see locally.
“People might be wearing the styles they want to make,” she said. “They’ll see wealthier, edgier looks and will get exposure to other styles they may not be used to seeing.”

The group will also observe customer behavior in the store, will pay attention to brands and labels and will study how merchandise is displayed. Students have also been asked to look at the architecture of the city for inspiration.
 
Aug
25
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Stephens announces 2014-15 Performing Arts season


The School of Performing Arts at Stephens College has a variety of entertainment lined up for the school year, including musicals, dramas, comedies and more.


“We have a very exciting and eclectic season ahead of us with something for everyone, ranging from the modern classic Anouilh’s Antigoneto the beautiful and loved Anne of Green Gables to Tom Andes’ original musical, Color Blind, to the much lauded musical, Gypsy,” Dean Gail Humphries Mardirosian said.


Students will also be showcasing their theatrical talents at the entirely student-run Warehouse Theatre, and dance students will choreograph and perform during the annual dance concerts. Bach’s Lunch, a student recital series, also promises to entertain, and the film department will host screenings and lectures throughout the year.


Season sponsors are Joe Machen’s Dealerships and KFRU News Talk 1400 AM. Tickets can be purchased at the Box Office, 100 Willis Ave., (573) 876-7199 or [email protected]. The Box Office opens on Sept. 2.


Playhouse Theatre Company

(All Playhouse performances are held in the Macklanburg Playhouse, 100 Willis Ave.)


She Kills Monsters

By Qui Nguyen 

[Adventure Comedy, PG-13 for Adult Situations]

7:30 p.m., Sept. 19-20, 26-27; 2 p.m. Sunday matinee, Sept. 21

Action, adventure and geek attitude abound in this 2013 American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE) Distinguished Play

“Deceptively breezy & rather ingenious.” That’s what The New York Times called this comedic romp through the world of fantasy role-playing begun when Agnes finds her deceased sister’s Dungeons & Dragons notebook. Acclaimed young playwright Qui Nguyen offers a touching look at adolescence framed by an action-packed homage to the geek and warrior within us all.


The Light in the Piazza

Book by Craig Lucas, Music and Lyrics by Adam Guettel

[Musical, PG]

7:30 p.m., Oct. 24-25, 31, Nov. 1; 2 p.m. Sunday matinee, Oct. 26

Of course, 1950s Italy leads to adventure and romance in this six-time Tony Award winner

This lovely musical inspires with romantic classical music and opera and sees Margaret, a wealthy Southern tourist, spending the summer in the Tuscan countryside with her daughter, Clara. When Clara falls in love with a beautiful young Italian, Margaret must reconsider her daughter’s future, and her own.


Anne of Green Gables

By R.N. Sandberg, adapted from L.M. Montgomery’s novel

[Comedy, All Ages]

7:30 p.m., Dec. 5-6, 10-11; 2 p.m. Sunday matinee, Dec. 7Experience again the literary classic that has touched hearts for generations

Known for its bright, charming, resourceful and highly imaginative heroine, as well as the beauty of its setting on Prince Edward Island, Anne of Green Gables has captivated audiences for generations. Experience this timeless tale for the first time, or share it with someone you find charming/and irrepressible, too.  


Antigone

By Jean Anouilh

[Classic, PG]

7:30 p.m., Feb. 6-7; 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday matinees, Feb. 7-8

A timeless story of rebellion, passion and power as seen through a modern lens

In a world fraught with moral compromise, how does one maintain personal integrity—and at what cost? That’s the dilemma faced by faithful sister Antigone as she mourns her two dead brothers in this thoughtful adaption of Sophocles’ classic Greek tragedy.


Bethany

By Laura Marks

[Thriller, PG-13]

7:30 p.m., March 6-7; 2 p.m. Sunday matinee, March 8

A new work about today’s struggles from a heralded new dramatist

First produced by the groundbreaking N.Y.C.-based Women’s Project Theatre, this darkly comic thriller is set at the height of the recent foreclosure crisis and explores just how far we’ll go to get back what’s ours. When single mother Crystal loses more than her house, her desperate quest to regain what she’s lost turns into the fight of her life.


Color Blind

By Tom Andes

[Musical, PG-13]

7:30 p.m., March 13-14; 2 p.m. Sunday matinee, March 15

Visual and performing arts collide in this original new production developed right here in Columbia, Mo.

What lies at the heart of the creative process? Local performing artist and Stephens College music faculty member Tom Andes explores this compelling question in his original new musical. When Michael Stevens, a struggling art professor, loses the ability to see color, a student and a hallucination (in the form of Pierre August Renoir) try to help him through it.


Gypsy

Book by Arthur Laurents, Music by Jule Styne and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

[Musical, PG-13]

7:30 p.m., May 1-2, 6-8; 2 p.m. Sunday matinee, May 3

Let us entertain you with some of the most memorable musical numbers from the American stage

Join Rose, June and Louise on their trip across the United States during the birth of burlesque. You’ll be tapping your toes to favorites like “Let Me Entertain You,” “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” and “Together (Wherever We Go)” as we end our season with one of America’s quintessential musicals.


Warehouse Theatre Company

(All Warehouse performances are held in the Warehouse Theatre, 104 Willis Ave.)


Ride

By Eric Lane

[Coming-of-age Comedy/Drama, PG-13 for Language]

7:30 p.m., Sept. 25-27; 2 p.m. Sunday matinee, Sept. 28

“Incredibly witty and heartfelt”

That’s what the Cape Code Times said of this coming-of-age tale that begins when two teenagers form a fragile bond during their job at a local farm stand. Together, along with one’s 11-year-old sister, they begin a road trip that leads to adventure, revealed secrets, and an honest look at love, loss, friendship and family.


Precious Little

By Madeleine George

[Dark Comedy, PG-13 for Mature Themes]

7:30 p.m., Oct. 30-31, Nov. 1; 2 p.m. Sunday matinee, Nov. 2

Explore both the beauty and limits of language in this irreverent dark comedy

When a gifted linguist learns unsettling news, she finds solace with two unlikely sources: the elderly speaker of a vanishing language and a gorilla at the zoo. “A crisp, fast-moving, tough-minded but often comic play about love, language, memory, culture and commitment.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


What Every Girl Should Know

By Monica Bryne

[Drama, PG-13 for Sexual References]

7:30 p.m., Feb. 19-21; 2 p.m. Sunday matinee, Feb. 22

In light of recent controversies, this look at young women and their reproductive rights resonates and provokes thought

Four young Catholic suffragettes in early 20th century New York City adopt birth control pioneer Margaret Sanger as their patron saint. “Top to bottom, start to finish, What Every Girl Should Know is an excellent piece of theatre … as long as the war over women’s reproductive rights rages on, [this is] a story people need to keep telling.” —NYTheatre.com


Hearts Like Fists

By Adam Szymkowicz

[Comedy, PG-13 for Violence]

7:30 p.m., April 9-11; 2 p.m. Sunday matinee, April 12

Comic book action will have you laughing in this superhero noir comedy about the dangers of love

Lisa’s heart beats with hope: Now that she’s joined the elite Crimefighters, maybe she can live a life with meaning. And while every beat of Peter’s wounded heart brings him closer to death, he’s designing an artificial replacement that will never break. Meanwhile Doctor X is sneaking into apartments and injecting lovers with a lethal poison. “Parody and punches fly … The combination is madcap. Pretty hysterical too.” —NY Times


Dance


Senior Dance Concert

7:30 p.m., Nov. 14-15; 2 p.m. Sunday matinee, Nov. 16

Macklanburg Playhouse

Original choreography and original compositions mark this artistic collaboration between Stephens and Mizzou

The culmination of personal dance experiences reflected in the choreography of graduating dance majors. The concert will include original compositions created for Stephens’ senior choreographers by composers from the Mizzou New Music Initiative and live music by the Mizzou New Music Ensemble.


Annual Spring Dance Company Spring Concert

7:30 p.m., Feb. 27-28 and March 6-7; 2 p.m. Sunday matinee, March 1

Macklanburg Playhouse

Celebrate the many styles of dance and the rare beauty of expression

An eagerly anticipated Stephens tradition, the Spring Dance Concert features a variety of dance forms such as classical ballet, modern and contemporary dance. The evening of dance is highlighted by world dance selections choreographed by visiting guest artists. For lovers of dance or anyone intrigued by the diverse beauty of the human experience.


New Works Dance Concert

7:30 p.m., April 24-25; 2 p.m. Sunday matinee, April 26

Warehouse Theatre

Presenting vibrant new works that hold up a mirror to the future

Join us again this season as we present our edgiest dance concert. Members of the Stephens Dance Company will take on adjudicated student choreography. You’ll never know which new work will inspire you most personally.


Music


Bach’s Lunch Recital Series

12:30 p.m., Sept. 25, Oct. 30, Nov. 20, 2014; Feb. 26, March 19, April 30, 2015

Historic Senior Hall Recital Hall

Free monthly recitals bring uplifting art to your lunch hour

Relax in the elegant surroundings of Historic Senior Hall and support Stephens students as they perform a variety of musical theatre, vocal jazz, classical and choral works. These monthly recitals are free and open to the public.


A Dickens Victorian Christmas

7:30 p.m., Dec. 7-9

Historic Senior Hall Parlors

Dickens is alive and well and greeting guests on Stephens’ campus in this annual Columbia holiday tradition

You won’t want to miss this authentic recreation of a 19th Century English Christmas celebration. Join Mr. and Mrs. Charles Dickens, along with the Stephens Concert Choir, for a spirited evening of holiday music, period dance, refreshments, games and frivolity. Appropriate for all ages.


“Stephens Sings” Spring Choral Concert

7:30 p.m., April 19

Historic Senior Hall Recital Hall

Show tunes and vocal jazz for lovers of song and spirit

Join us as the Stephens Musical Theatre Choir and The Velvetones, the College’s a cappella jazz ensemble, present a year-end performance in celebration of spring and the accomplishments of our senior class. This program of show tunes and vocal jazz works is appropriate for all ages and is free and open to the public.


Film


Faculty Film Showcase

7-9 p.m., Sept. 5

Charters Auditorium

Stephens filmmaking program faculty will screen three shorts films. Assistant Professor Steph Borklund will screen her film “I Am One,” associate professor Kerri Yost will screen the Summer Film Institute film “Leaving Osage Lane,” and assistant professor Chase Thompson will screen his latest short film “Flat Black.”


Citizen Jane Film Festival

Nov. 7-9

Stephens College campus

If you haven’t experienced Citizen Jane, you haven’t experienced what film can be. What are you missing? 

The Citizen Jane Film Festival is an intimate, three-day film festival celebrating and showcasing the work of female filmmakers from around the world and features some of the best in independent film making, filmmaker panels, and workshops as well as celebrations of film, art and expression.


Citizen Jane Lecture Series

Scheduled throughout the year

Free lecture series celebrating and learning from female filmmakers

The Citizen Jane Lecture Series brings nationally recognized female filmmakers to Stephens to screen and discuss their work all year long. Join us in this enlightening and thoughtful look at film, art, culture and life.

Visit www.citizenjanefilm.org for more information on the film festival and lecture series.


Best of Year 2014 Student Films

Scheduled for Spring 2015

What amazing new talent will you discover? What new stories will be told?

The Stephens College Digital Filmmaking program proudly gives aspiring filmmakers the tools and confidence to tell their stories. When Stephens film students screen their best work and capstone projects, you never know what will move you—and what will make you think. Free and open to the public.
 
Aug
25
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Children's school back in session today


Childrens_School_PhotoThe Stephens College Children's School today welcomed back preschool and elementary students.

“We're so excited to begin another great school year,” said Dr. Leslie Willey, director of the school and dean of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Stephens.

Ranked the No. 1 preschool by Columbia parents through Hulafrog last year, the Stephens College Children’s School is a popular option for parents who want their children to receive personalized attention where children are grouped by ability rather than age.

SCCS takes a holistic approach to education. Small classrooms ensure children get personalized attention. All lead teachers are professional teachers who have at least master’s degrees with
assistance from Stephens students studying education.

“We pride ourselves in a welcoming environment where parents are considered key members of their child’s educational experience,” Willey said.

 
Aug
22
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Film professor's photo to be included in Best of Photography book

Chase Thompson, assistant professor of film, has had a photograph he took while working in Haiti this spring selected for publication in a national photography book.


Photographer’s Forum, an award-winning quarterly magazine, will publish the photograph in its upcoming Best of Photography 2014 edition.


Thompson was in Haiti filming a documentary when he took the photograph.


“I was in a market in Les Cayes,” he said. “Some people were very interested in having their photograph taken and others were not. These ladies were on the fence.”


Thompson said he kept running into the women in the market. He’d bring the camera up to his eye, and one of the women would turn away.


It turned into “kind of a cat and mouse game between us,” he said. “I named it ‘Why Should I Trust You?’ because I can only guess that that is what she must have been thinking during our little game.”


Thompson, who used all manual settings, said it was the best among the photographs he took that day.


“I love the sharpness, the expressions and the triangle created by the eye lines.”



The book will be available in November on the Photographer’s Forum website. Thompson plans to purchase a copy for the Hugh Stephens Library on campus.

 
Aug
22
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Competitive dance team earns 'superior rating' at first spirit camp


By Adam Samson/Sports Information Director
Stephens College is beginning the school year with a new sport.
The competitive dance team kicked off its inaugural season with the University Dance Association College Spirit Camp at Missouri State University in late July. 
As part of the weekend training camp, the Star dancers joined 18 other college squads from around the region to learn new routines, work on technique and receive feedback from the UDA staff.
The first-time participants wasted no time getting their feet wet and brought home some hardware in the process. Stephens earned an overall “superior” rating and trophy after several student-athletes were awarded blue ribbons for their individual evaluations.
As a team, the Stars claimed another blue ribbon and second place overall in the fight song competition. Teams participating were taught a fight song and had 24 hours to prepare a routine. NCAA Division II William Jewell College took first in the category.
On the first night of camp, Stephens received a red ribbon for its home routine evaluation. Each school brought its own routine and was evaluated based on technique, performance quality and spirit. The Stars ranked fifth overall behind the likes of nine-time national champion Central Oklahoma, Missouri State, Arkansas State and William Jewell.
“Overall, it was a great experience and the ladies got a feel for what collegiate competition is going to be like,” first-year head coach Danyale Williams said. “We received a lot of positive feedback and represented Stephens College well.”
Williams will continue to build on last week’s performances as the Stars enter their first season of varsity competition.

“With this camp under our belts, it should be a little less intimidating heading into future competitions,” Williams added. “Right now, our technical abilities are all over the place and while the showmanship is there, we have to come together and bridge that gap as a team.”
 
Aug
20
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Australian native settling in at Stephens College

For the most part, freshman Hannah Dorey is settling into life at Stephens and in Columbia.
Of course, the Australian native misses the beach—she grew up in Hervey Bay along the eastern coast of Queensland. And she could use some Vegemite (a savory spread considered Australia’s most famous food) and some Tim Tams (chocolate biscuits made in Australia).
That said, she’s having a blast seeing new sites. Before arriving in Columbia, she and her family traveled around the U.S. for a few days. And on Sunday, she experienced her first American baseball game, traveling to St. Louis with a group of classmates to watch the Cardinals win over the Padres.
She said she’s still awed by the Stephens campus, too.
“One of the most interesting things about Stephens to me is the campus,” she said. “It’s so incredibly beautiful. The architecture of the buildings is amazing, and the greenery and wildlife are different. I even saw a squirrel!”
Dorey is studying digital filmmaking. She found Stephens after searching online for creative schools in America.
“My dad actually found Stephens College, and I wouldn’t be here without him,” she said. “When he showed me the college website, I fell in love! The cinematography course, the tennis team and, of course, the pet-friendly environment—it’s just the perfect school for me!”
Dorey took Film and Media Studies and Drama in high school and ended up ranking No. 1 in both classes. That’s when she decided to turn her love of film into a career.
“The classes that I am taking are going to have a lot of hands-on work, which is what I’m most looking forward to,” she said. “I’m ready to get behind the camera!”
While Dorey misses her family, she said she’s grateful for their support, as well as for the support she’s getting on campus.
“That makes being so far from home a lot better,” she said.
But Columbia, she said, already feels like home away from home.

“The town is lively and fun, and I feel like Stephens is one giant family,” Dorey said. “The people at Stephens College are the friendliest and most helpful people I have ever met. … I’m so glad that I found Stephens College. It’s the perfect place to call my new home.”
 
Aug
15
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Students share similar reasons they chose Stephens



Stephens-signThey came from across the state and country for different programs, but incoming freshmen and transfer students share a similar answer when asked why they chose Stephens College.
“I took a visit to campus, fell in love and that was it,” said Katherine Zgiet of the Lake of the Ozarks. “It felt so much like a family.”
Some 250 new students moved in to their residence halls this morning and will enjoy a four-day orientation before classes begin on Wednesday. Stephens facilities crews and staff members were on hand to greet them and move their belongings into their rooms for them—a Stephens tradition.
“I really like this place—with all of the help, the move went really fast,” Sierra Hughes, from Jackson, Mo., said.
Roommates Bailey McCormick and Rachael Long are both science majors. McCormick is pursuing Stephens’ pre-vet program, which she chose because of the ability to study at the Equestrian Center, and Long is a pre-med major.
“I love that it’s a small school and that I will get a lot of personalized attention,” Long said.

Several new students said they were referred to Stephens by high school counselors, college rating systems and alumnae.
Alumna Sara Crosby, a member of the Stephens Board of Trustees, told incoming freshman Clara Bentz about Stephens. Bentz, from Sioux Falls, is pursuing a theatre degree and was already feeling at home at Stephens this morning.
“It has a grand college feel,” she said.
Katherine Craig’s mom suggested years ago that she attend Stephens to pursue a career in fashion communication. Craig, though, initially was set on a fashion school in New York.
“And then I visited Stephens and loved it,” she said.
Christin Bailey transferred to Stephens from a state school in Maine.
“I wanted to go to a top school,” said Bailey, who is majoring in psychology. “I really liked that they had a master’s program in counseling, too.”
Although she didn’t bring a pet, the campus pet-friendly environment was also attractive, she said.
“I adore animals, so I will probably be fostering,” Bailey said, referring to Stephens’ partnership with Columbia Second Chance that allows students to foster pets for scholarship money.
Dejaa Gummels, a fashion major from Raymore, said she found Stephens while searching for highly ranked programs. This morning, she was eager to get started.
“It’s such a close environment,” she said. “I’m looking forward to experiencing college life.”

 
Aug
11
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TRYPS hosts Camp Hollywood at Stephens


Headshot
Twelve area students got a professional audition intensive experience with two professional actors during the TRYPS Institute at Stephens College’s Camp Hollywood workshop this past weekend.
“For the Love of the Craft: Loving the Artistry • Appreciating the Industry” connected students with David Del Rio, a Broadway actor best known for starring roles in Universal’s “Pitch Perfect” and on Nickelodeon’s “The Troop,” as well as Katie Wallace, a TRYPS alumna who is also working on an upcoming film.
Camp Hollywood is a professional bridge connecting students to the professional world of show business.
One of the 12 students, Phoenix Lawson, 11, attended the camp on the tails of appearing in two MUNY productions. Del Rio and Wallace were so impressed with his work, they are now mentoring him for the 2015 pilot season in L.A.
“Pilot season is really important for actors,” said TRYPS executive artistic director Jill Womack. “It’s when all of the networks and cable stations are casting and filming new shows and projects for the fall line-up. It’s a flurry of opportunity to be cast and hired in projects that will have multiple seasons.”
TRYPS has held Camp Hollywood since 2010. This is the second year it’s been held at Stephens, although this is the first year the camp has been held as part of the TRYPS Institute at Stephens College.
TRYPS became part of Stephens on Aug. 1, after hosting its first production on campus, “Willy Wonka Jr.” in April. The second production, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” was held earlier this month.

 

 

 

 


"The kids created a top-notch show,” Womack said. “Audience members said over and over that they couldn't believe that such young performers were so professional. There was so much joy and talent on the stage. The students loved performing in the Stephens College Macklanburg Playhouse!”

 
Aug
5
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Stephens named to Princeton Review's 'best colleges' guide

The Princeton Review has named Stephens College one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education.

The college is featured in “The Best 379 Colleges,” which was released on Aug. 5. Stephens is ranked No. 12 for its theatre program.

About 15 percent of America’s 2,500 four-year colleges are featured in the annual college guide. It includes detailed profiles of the colleges with rating scores for all schools in eight categories, plus lists of top 20 colleges in various categories.

The Princeton Review bases selections on data, campus visits and feedback, including student surveys.

According to the company, Stephens students enjoy an “amazing family atmosphere” at the college. They also say “Stephens empowers women to take on leadership roles in the workplace and the world.”

Faculty are well qualified in their fields, students say, and “they love teaching here and are excited to work with students.”

One student wrote, “We all have a plan for what we want to do in life, and we know that we will achieve it by being here.”

The Princeton Review is an education services company known for its test-prep courses, tutoring, books, and other student resources.

 
Jul
31
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Daniels teaches children in Africa to 'dream up'


When she’s not teaching, volunteering at community gardens or working at a lion rehabilitation center, Stephens sophomore Michaela Daniels is spending her time this summer in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, teaching young people to “dream up.”


Daniels is wrapping up at 12-week internship program through African Impact, a 10-year-old family-run organization that promotes volunteerism. While in Africa, she spent time teaching fourth graders, doing errands for senior citizens and also working at a lion rehabilitation center.

Daniels—a marketing major who plays soccer and softball and is active in Student Government Association, Residential Life and Sigma Sigma Sigma—started the program May 12, about a month after Stephens launched its “dream up” campaign. Daniels took the brand to heart and to Zimbabwe with her.


“I have been preaching the ‘dream up’ concept since I arrived,” Daniels said via email. “I told” some of the older children that “where I go to school, we strive to better ourselves through experiences and education. We use our strengths to follow our dreams. I asked them if they could do anything in the entire world, what would they do.”


One young man said he wanted to be an artist, so Daniels encouraged him to sell paintings and drawings to volunteers. In the first week, he and another boy sold $210 worth of artwork. Daniels helped them figure out how much they needed to purchase materials and encouraged them both to invest the remaining money wisely. Both decided to put their earnings toward fees to attend schools.


Daniels then contacted her high school, which agreed to donate supplies. She also arranged for sponsors to pay for a trip to a city in Zimbabwe to help them get passports.


“They may not use them in the next 10 years, but knowing the possibility is there if they have the chance to get out, that’s good enough for me.”


Daniels credits Stephens for preparing her for the overseas experience.


“I have learned responsibility,” she said. “I felt a sense of responsibility, and Stephens gave me the tools to follow it. Leadership: I quickly became a team leader here. I have organized and helped start many projects,” including  a classroom improvement campaign and a senior citizen project.



Daniels said she’d gone to Africa with “big visions” to make positive impacts on poverty, health concerns and other problems there. Although she realizes she couldn’t turn things around on her own in three months, “you can help shape it for a little better tomorrow. I thought I would change lives, but the life that’s been changed has been my own.” 

 
Jul
23
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New York students on campus for Leadership Academy


Ten girls from New York City are on campus this week learning about various areas of studies, life in the Midwest and what it means to be a leader regardless of where you live or what you do.

Girls-study-scienceIt’s part of a partnership between Stephens and Girls Prep Lower East Side Middle School, and this is the third year the Leadership Academy has been held at Stephens.
This year’s academy is more experiential than in previous years, said Alex Newfield, director of high school admissions and college completion at the middle school. The students flew into St. Louis over the weekend and on Monday visited the Boeing Company, where they explored the facilities and talked to women working in engineering and aeronautics and defense. On campus Tuesday, the middle school students had a chance to visit the Equestrian Center, and today, they got to conduct a science experiment at Pillsbury Science Center.
Senior Katie Sharp led that workshop, helping students figure out how to use microscopes and encouraging them when things didn’t go accordingly.
“That’s science,” she said at one point. “Things don’t always work out.”
Later Wednesday, the group was expected to tour an Amish community.
“They’ve been excited the entire time,” said Ada Gallup, who’s overseeing the academy. “They’ve asked educated questions, are engaged and interested.”
The primary goal of the academy is to show the girls how leadership can apply in a number of settings, Gallup said, be it women who oversee campus facilities or female corporate presidents.
“We’re showcasing women in leadership roles in so many industries,” she said.
And that doesn’t just apply to the grown-up world. One unlikely leader the middle school students had a chance to meet was an 11-year-old 4-H member showing her prized heifer at the Boone County Fair Tuesday night.
“They got to see a girl their age lead a 1,250-pound show heifer,” Gallup said, “and how through 4-H, these kids are using this as leadership experiences and to raise money for college.”
Although the New Yorkers had read a book regarding food production prior to the visit, Newfield said, “it’s something else to see it first hand in a farm setting.”
Tomorrow, the group will take a trip to the Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri—an annual volunteer trip that “hits home the closest,” Newfield said.
Not only does it show them that poverty and hunger is widespread and not just isolated in urban areas, it also gives them a chance to help in a way that’s measurable—in the past, participants have talked about how many pounds of food they handled and how many families that would feed, she said.

The academy concludes Saturday with a commencement ceremony after successful completion of individual presentations on Friday.

 
Jul
18
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Heggemann Recognized as AMC Emil S. Liston Award Winner

By Adam Samson/Sports Information Director

ST. LOUIS – Stephens College basketball player Dana Heggemann was selected as the recipient of the American Midwest Conference (AMC) Emil S. Liston Award, announced by the league office on Friday.

The prestigious Emil S. Liston Award annually recognizes junior student-athletes in men’s and women’s basketball based on athletic achievement, academic excellence and character. As a winner at the conference level, Heggemann will represent the AMC on the ballot for the Emil S. Liston National Award, which will be announced by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) in September.
Heading into her junior year, Heggemann has a cumulative 3.84 G.P.A., which is significant in a very demanding biology program at the College. She is a two-time AMC Academic All-Conference honoree and an active member of the Stephens community.
In 2013-14, she served as a resident assistant for a select group of Honors House Plan students. With her leadership and experience, she was selected to be head resident/resident director of an entire hall for 2014-15. As an officer in the Tri Beta biological honor society, she gained the respect of her peers and was elected to the role of president for the upcoming academic year.
This summer, the Warrenton, Mo., native was a key member of the basketball search committee that helped land new head basketball/golf coach Ray Fron.
On the court, she has proved her versatile skill set, constantly switching between guard and post play. Last season as a sophomore and co-captain, she started every game and led the Stars in free throws made, rebounds, blocks and assists. She earned AMC Player of the Week honors on Dec. 2 after scoring a career-high 21 points against Missouri Valley College. On two occasions, Heggemann was one assist shy of a rare triple-double performance.

What They’re Saying About Dana …“Dana actively participates in course lectures and activities and provides an excellent example of stewardship for others in the class. Dana consistently asked questions in lecture that led to the ‘next level’ of discussion of a topic. Dana is a remarkable young lady, having excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to relate to and communicate to her classmates in a way that is considerate and kind.” –Katrina Walker, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
“In the classroom, Dana is a joy. Her demeanor is polite and quiet, yet she never hesitates to participate in class. She is not the student who sits in the front of the room eager to impress, rather she leads with a quiet, respectful strength from the middle of the room. Students have great respect for her because of her abilities, but also because she never flaunts success nor complains about difficult situations.” –Tara Giblin, Ph.D., Dean of Humanities and Sciences
“Dana is the athlete who sets the bar high for athlete and scholastic achievement at Stephens College. Dana is a wonderful leader on and off the basketball court who is very deserving of the Emil S. Liston Scholarship Award.” –Deb Duren, Director of Athletics
“Dana’s value to the team is more than her defensive play and scoring ability. She is responsible and dependable, honest and hard working, a good decision maker and a great role model. As a sophomore, Dana was a captain and leader of the team. She was inspiring to those around her and pushed her teammates to be the best they could be, even through some very trying times.” –Jessica McConnell, Assistant Basketball Coach
“Her thoroughness and incredible work ethic never ceases to amaze me. She wears many hats on campus, but first and foremost, she puts her role as a student first. In my time working with her, she’s shown great leadership, initiative and intuition when dealing with matters in the residence halls. Her ability to be a high-achieving student, committed athlete and an involved Stephens woman has set Dana apart from most of her peers.” –Alissa Pei, Director of Residence Life
“As a resident assistant, she is a steadying influence on younger students and is known on campus for being a volunteer in the larger Columbia community. To her leadership on the basketball court and in the classroom, Dana adds a strength of character that deserves recognition.” –James Walter, Faculty Athletics Representative
 
Jul
17
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Musical camps underway

 

Elle-and-Cassie-singing
Elle Russell and Cassie Ralston sing "Let it Go."

Summer Musical Camps are underway at Stephens College this month, weeklong programs that allow children to experience musical theatre.
This week, students in the Spotlight camp for grades 3-5 are rehearsing for the “Music Man,” which they will perform for family and friends tomorrow at Historic Senior Hall. Participants not only perform in the play, they also learn about costumes and set designs. Additionally, they learn how to work in teams and to be respectful audience members.
This is the third year Elle Russell, 11, and Cassie Ralston, 11, have attended the camp. Their grandmothers are sisters who both attended Stephens.
“It’s cool to see the college,” Cassie said. “We love coming here.”
Both Cassie and Elle say they want to pursue performing arts as a career. Earlier this week, the duo got to experience the spotlight—and a hearty round of applause—after they sang a brilliant rendition of “Let it Go” during an afternoon talent show.
“Our participants are so talented,” said Pam Ellsworth-Smith, an assistant professor of music at Stephens who directs the camp. “The camps really let kids sample the world of musical theatre in a nurturing environment, and they also give young performers another opportunity to share their talents on stage.”
Last week, kindergarten through second grade participants performed songs from “The Lion King.”

“The show was a big hit,” Ellsworth-Smith said.

Middle school students will take on “13 the Musical” during the Stars on Stage camp next week.

 
Jul
17
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Pedestrian bridges to close Monday

The pedestrian bridges over Broadway and College Avenue on the Stephens College campus will close to all traffic starting Monday morning.

Crews will be resurfacing the bridge accesses, part of a multi-phased improvement project.

The bridges will remain closed at all times until early August, said project manager Richard Perkins.

Pedestrians are encouraged to use the intersection of College and Broadway for an accessible pathway and to exercise caution as this intersection does not yet have pedestrian signals to indicate when you should cross. For a safer signalized crossing, pedestrians can use the College and Walnut Street intersection or the pedestrian crossing of Broadway, west of Waugh Street.
 
Jul
14
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Yaeger named cross country coach

By Adam Samson/Sports Information Director

Stephens College Director of Athletics Deb Duren has announced the appointment of Nancy Yaeger as head coach of the cross country team. Yaeger becomes the fifth coach in program history and fourth in four seasons for the Stars.

Her training and coaching credentials will certainly bring a new flavor to the cross country program, which enters its ninth season in 2014.

“She has a very kind and motivated personality, a great background of training athletes of all ages and ability levels, and a clear passion for running,” said senior cross country athlete Emily Mendoza, who served on the search committee.

Currently, Yaeger is a coach and co-founder for the Tiger Endurance Company, a youth triathlon team in Columbia, Mo. She is involved with the day-to-day operations: writing training plans, coordinating race schedules, managing volunteer coaches, and maintaining the budget, marketing and sponsorships.

In addition to Tiger Endurance Company, Yaeger coaches various adults training for triathlons and marathons, including marquee events such as the Ironman.

As a runner and triathlete, Yaeger jumps at every opportunity to participate in community runs and triathlons. She was a finisher at the Ironman Florida in 2012, Ironman Racine 70.3 in 2013 and is currently training for Ironman Canada 2014.

In 2011, Yaeger was also a founding member of the Heart of Missouri chapter of Girls on the Run and served as executive director for two years. The non-profit organization focuses on inspiring girls to be joyful, healthy and confident by using a fun, experience-based curriculum, which creatively integrates running.

A native of Kansas City, Mo., Yaeger studied finance at the University of Missouri for three years before graduating from MidAmerica Nazarene University with a B.A. in Management and Human Relations.

Yaeger's hire completes the Stephens head coaching staff for the upcoming academic year.
 
Jul
8
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Gray to present at AIGA conference this fall

Assistant Professor Kate Gray has been selected to present a paper at the upcoming American Institute of Graphic Arts’ Design Educators Conference in Portland this fall.
The conference theme this year is “New Ventures: Intersections in Design Education,” and will highlight innovative ideas for interdisciplinary collaborations in the industry, which is constantly evolving.

“This particular conference explores new ideas for developing curricula in graphic design and new ways to look at what we do because the field is changing,” Gray said.
She will present information about a new interdisciplinary course the School of Organizational Leadership and Strategic Communication began offering this past spring. The upper-level course, “Contemporary Topics in Strategic Communication,” allowed SOLSC faculty to teach one two-week block about new trends and tools in marketing. This past year, faculty covered timely topics such as crowdsourcing, content marketing and social media. Throughout the semester, students selected an organization and company to follow and were tasked with determining how each concept applied to their respective organization.
“They went from memorizing content to implementing and applying the theories,” Gray said.
After the school year, faculty members reflected on the success of the course and will tweak the course as necessary based on their experiences.
In the meantime, Gray said she’s excited to represent Stephens and the course at the upcoming conference.
“I’m thrilled about presenting this,” she said. “I know some of the people attending, and it’s a nice circle. I’m honored to be a part of this class of presenters."
 
Jul
2
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Lowry to film senior project at state penitentiary


LeeAnne Lowry has begun work on her senior project, a short film about a prisoner who deals with the effects of being alone.
The film will be screened at a campus showcase in the spring and possibly at additional venues. 
Lowry is hopeful: The lead actor, Kansas City-based Santiago Hernan Vasquez, has appeared in other films that have been screened at the Sundance Film Festival and South by Southwest.
Lowry has also secured a location—she’s gotten permission to shoot for two nights next month at the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City.
The film centers on a prisoner in solitary confinement who is allowed a telephone in order to receive weekly calls from a psychiatrist. When an elderly woman calls him by mistake thinking she’s reached her grandson, the prisoner goes along with it. As he begins to create a new identity for himself, things around him begin to physically change.
“You begin to question what’s real and not real,” she said.
Lowry credits the story plot to watching lots of prison-themed movies with her roommate—the only genre they could agree on, she joked. She began wondering about the effects of solitary confinement and what might happen if a prisoner had one outlet to the outside world.
“On the surface, it’s about solitary confinement, but it’s more relatable than that,” she said. “It’s about solitude versus connectivity, letting someone in and caring about them and when that relationship is threatened.”
Lowry recently launched a fundraising campaign to offset some of the costs of the professional actor and location. She has 25 days to raise $2,000 through Indegogo.

The crew is mainly made up of student filmmakers. Haley Padilla, a senior, is serving as producer; junior Kirsten Izzett is art director; and junior Livvy Runyon is director of photography.
 
Jul
1
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Senior interning for designer in Denver

As an assistant design intern at the Fashion House of Rachel Marie Hurst LLC in Denver, senior Mary Eifert is getting experience in not only fashion but also in marketing and graphic design.
She’s currently helping owner and founder Rachel Hurst design party dresses for a new line that supports the “We Are Women” campaign. The campaign and designs aim to highlight the unique qualities and strengths of different women. Eifert is helping Hurst design, source fabrics and sew the garments.
On Saturdays, Eifert is also working in fashion, meeting wth clients and assisting in fittings for custom bridal gowns.
Right now, she’s also busy helping Hurst prepare for the fashion market day in Denver later this month. Eifert is making products for Hurst’s boutique at the event, as well as helping with inventory and advertising.

Her most significant project, however, is redesigning the company’s website, developing a new online shopping feature. One of three interns, Eifert was selected to take on the redesign project because of her skills in marketing and graphic design, as well as fashion. The work involves taking photographs of garments and redesigning the site’s layout. Her goal is to have the online shopping feature up and running by the end of the summer.
“Stephens has prepared me for this internship by providing me with a well-rounded education,” Eifert said. “I am aware of all aspects in industry from business and marketing, graphic design and, of course, fashion design. I have a leg up in pattern making and sewing skills. And the tight deadlines at school have taught time management, so I am able to balance all internship tasks, summer classes and working part time.”

Although still early in the internship, Eifert said the experience has been eye-opening.

“I have realized my strengths and weaknesses and that I am capable of more than I originally thought,” she said. “I have already gotten to work on so many different things, I’ve developed a better idea of what direction I want to move in as a designer and where I want to be after graduation.”
 
Jun
27
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Summer Dance Concert to feature both classic, modern choreography


DancingThe Stephens Summer Dance Concert is this weekend and audience members are in for a treat, Director Elizabeth Hartwell said.
“Columbians will enjoy this concert because it will thread eclectic topics into a lighthearted and at times substantive journey,” she said. “In fact, our last piece is titled ‘Journey’ and features old rock songs from the famous band of the same name.”
The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Macklanburg Playhouse.
Attendees can also expect dances involving large props, evoking a sense of freedom and fanciful fun, Hartwell added.
“Our students are a steadfast group,” she said. “Each dancer is ready to play many characters within one setting, and they accomplish their tasks with finesse and ease.”
Dancers have spent the past month working with an all-star cast of guest artists, including a ballet master who brings decades of knowledge and several who are at the peak of their professional careers.
Russell Sulzbach, director of the School of Performing Arts and of the Ballet South company, enjoyed fame in the 1970s as a lead dancer in the Joffrey Ballet. At Stephens, he’s challenged students to perfect classical ballet steps in new ways. His choreographed piece will combine traditional ballet with modern music.
Concert-goers can expect contemporary dances, as well, choreographed by professionals, including Stephens alumnus Francisco Graciano, a member of the prestigious Paul Taylor Dance Company in New York; and Morgan Hulen, a member of the world-renowned MOMIX. 
Brandi Coleman, associate artistic director of Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, choreographed her work around the company’s style, which celebrates the communal core of jazz performance: Dancing, singing and storytelling in rhythmically syncopated conversations.
And actor and dancer Hettie Barnhill choreographed her piece around movements inspired by some of her Broadway performances, including “Spider-Man.”

“Our students have enjoyed working with these incredible dancers,” Hartwell said. “We’re so excited to share the culmination of all of their work with the community this weekend.” 

 
Jun
27
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Stephens will be smoke-free campus starting July 1

Stephens College will become a smoke-free campus starting July 1, 2014.
That means all lit cigarettes, cigars, pipes, e-cigarettes and other smoking products will be prohibited on campus grounds, including parking lots, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“This policy is much like policies adopted at other colleges and universities,” said Lindi Overton, vice president for finance and administration. “Like them, we believe our employees, students and visitors have the right to breathe fresh, clean air.”
The University of Missouri adopted its smoke-free policy last year, and some 20 other Missouri campuses are also smoke or tobacco free. Across the country, more than 1,300 colleges and universities also prohibit smoking.

Stephens will provide employees with information about local smoking cessation programs and resources to help them adjust to the policy throughout the month of July. 
 
Jun
26
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Camp Citizen Jane lets girls explore filmmaking

When Paula Elias, executive director of Citizen Jane, instructed participants of the annual Camp Citizen Jane to come up with a storyline for a “Please Silence Your Cell Phones” public service announcement, she gave them just one rule.
No showing a crowded movie theater mobbing a person on the phone.
Instead, she challenged each group to create a “no cell phone” PSA based on a genre: Action, horror, comedy.
The result was some pretty creative story lines. One group assigned the “horror” genre showed just how not scary a scary situation can be when Mom calls your cell. Another involved a pirate.
“They are amazing,” Elias said. “The students are responsible for the entire process, from writing the script to filming to editing.”
Camp Citizen Jane lets middle-schoolers from Columbia Public Schools not only learn about filmmaking but also get experience using the equipment.
“We focus on hands-on training from lighting and camera to directing,” Elias said.
This year, 20 students participated in the first session, which included the basics of filmmaking. Eighteen are currently enrolled in the advanced camp, during which students are creating short films as well as the cell phone PSAs. They’ll screen their works at a public showcase at 2 p.m. Thursday, July 3, in Helis Communication Center.
Kylie Williams, a 13-year-old from Smithton Middle School, plans to enter her short documentary to the Citizen Jane Film Festival. The film documents her struggles with eating disorders, a story she hopes will help others.
Other students are finding different types of talents they didn’t realize they had. Ava Mace, 13, of West Middle School, is a “natural director,” Elias said.
Mace said she was surprised to learn how few females actually work in Hollywood.
“Women are super-underrepresented,” she sad. “I hope things change.”

Asked if she’ll help change those trends, Mace said: “I’ll try my best.”
 
Jun
25
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New head basketball, golf coach brings extensive experience


By Adam Samson/Sports Information Director
Stephens College Director of Athletics Deb Duren has announced the hiring of Ray Fron as the Stars’ new head basketball and golf coach. The 25-year coaching veteran arrives at Stephens after serving as assistant head basketball coach and recruiting coordinator at Aquinas College (NAIA DII) the past three seasons.
“I want to thank President Dianne Lynch, AD Deb Duren and the search committee for giving me this opportunity,” Fron said. “I am impressed with the quality people I met on my visit and believe the pieces are in place to make Stephens competitive athletically. Stephens has what I was looking for—a small college with a great track record academically, yet willing to support the student-athlete on the playing field.”
The bulk of Fron’s experience at the collegiate level comes from his time in Grand Rapids, Mich., at Aquinas College. Longtime head coach Linda Nash added Fron to her staff in 1996 and welcomed him back with open arms in 2011. Including his two stints (1996-2008, 2011-14), Fron has helped guide the Saints to four NAIA DII National Tournament appearances and a Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) title in 2007. During his time at Aquinas, the Saints compiled a record 267-190 (.584).
“I believe in setting high expectations and creating an atmosphere of players wanting to be engaged in whatever the basketball and/or golf programs are involved in,” Fron said. “We will work extremely hard both on the court/course and in the classroom. Coach Nash and I have always preached about having a balance in life. Our goal is to win every contest we are in, but we want to be able to enjoy the journey and have fun along the way.”
Between coaching stops at Aquinas, the Grand Rapids, Mich., native had the opportunity to become head coach at Spring Hill College (NAIA DI). He inherited a challenging situation as the fourth women’s basketball hire in a four-year span. In three seasons at the helm, Fron brought stability to the Badgers’ basketball program and improved areas such as academics and recruiting.
Prior to joining the collegiate ranks, Fron was the head girls’ basketball coach at Central Catholic High in Modesto, Calif., for four years, leading the program to its first-ever state playoff appearance. He also spent three years as head coach at Riverbank High School in Riverbank, Calif., from 1987-90.
In addition to basketball, Fron will also coach golf at Stephens. While hitting the links is a hobby for Fron, he also has competitive experience playing on the Michigan Amateur Golf Tour (MIAGT).
Classroom success and the development of young women off the court is nothing new to Fron, a big advocate of the small college academic and athletic mission of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
Aside from coaching, Fron has taught special education at both the middle and high school level. He received his B.S. in Psychology and Special Education from Grand Valley State University and also has a Master in the Art of Teaching from Aquinas College.
Athletically, Fron was a prep athlete at Catholic Central High School in Grand Rapids where he lettered in cross country and track, while also playing basketball and baseball.
“I also would like to thank my wife and family for allowing me to take on this responsibility as their support has never wavered,” Fron added. “Lastly, I want to thank my longtime colleague at Aquinas College and great friend, Coach Linda Nash, whose friendship has meant so much to me. It goes well beyond basketball.”

Fron and his wife, Kari, have been married for 35 years and are the proud parents of three: Lauren, Robert and Tarah. The Frons are also proud grandparents of Ainsley and Tatum, the daughters of Robert and his wife, Ronda.
 
Jun
23
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New York-based director, actor join OST production of 'Rich Girl'


A New York-based director is on the campus of the Okoboji Summer Theatre in Iowa this month directing the company’s second show of the season, “Rich Girl” by Victoria Stewart.
An adaptation of “Washington Square,” the modernized script and characters intrigued Director Rich Cole, he said.
“It’s a great women’s play that shows the different cross spectrums of society,” he said. “I love plays that are actable, and have people saying what they would actually say, and have people who have flaws. In part, it’s about what society has done to women and how they have had to turn around and react—and the price we’ve paid for that.”
Cole also said he liked the idea of producing a fairly new play: OST’s production is just the fourth production of “Rich Girl,” which debuted at the George Street Playhouse in association with the Cleveland Playhouse.
A comedy that ultimately turns dark, “Rich Girl” is the story of Claudine, played by Stephens student Lydia Miller, a young woman who falls for a struggling theater director played by guest artist Evan White. Claudine’s mother, Eve, played by guest actor Celeste Ciulla, fears Henry is only after her daughter’s inheritance.
The show begins Tuesday and runs through Sunday.
This is Cole’s second season at OST, Stephens’ summer stock theatre company near Spirit Lake, Iowa. Artistic Director Dan Schultz recruited Cole last summer to direct “Angel Street,” and Cole said it didn’t take much to convince him to come back.
“It’s a happy place,” he said. “The level of professionalism here is really extraordinary. You can tell the students like doing this.”
For “Rich Girl,” Cole recruited Ciulla, a New York-based actor whose credits include Lady Macbeth, Truvy from “Steel Magnolias” and the Ghost of Christmas Past in “A Christmas Carol.” 
Ciulla is also a former fellow in the Ten Chimneys Foundation Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program, a widely acclaimed national program designed to serve the future of American theater. That’s one reason she was eager to join OST this year.

“I love the idea of theater reaching into a community,” she said. “And I like the idea of spreading the craft.”
 
Jun
19
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Closing show to feature popular Broadway songs

 

 

 


By Emma Carter/STI Public Information Director
The Stephens College Summer Theatre Institute will finish this season with the ever-popular musical revue on Monday, June 23, at 7:30 p.m. in the Macklanburg Playhouse on Willis Avenue.
This year's show, titled "A Grand Night for Show Music," consists of a selection of songs from three popular Broadway musicals, two of which contain quite a few dance numbers, choreographed by guest artist Millie Garvey. She has graced Stephens with her choreographing talents many times, most recently with the musical “Respect: A Musical Journey of Women.”
The show also contains a jazz number and a tap number choreographed by local dance instructors and long-time STI teachers Maggie Dethrow and Marie Brannigan-Robertson. The students have been working on these numbers since day one in mid-May. All other numbers were choreographed and learned in the past two weeks.
Audience members can expect humor, charm and a powerful performance from the students. Director Rob Doyen, another long-time Stephens faculty member, has selected material that really allows the students to showcase their strengths.
Patrons are advised to arrive early to snag seats for this annual show, which typically nearly fills the house.
The show, which is free and open to the public, is suitable for all ages and will run approximately an hour.
The Summer Theatre Institute is an on-campus intensive theatre experience for students between their first and second years at Stephens.
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