Starkle Dream Up. Stephens College


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The Collections teaming up with MU's iBeacon

The 70th annual Stephens College Student Designer Fashion Show, The Collections, will be bringing new technology to the annual runway event today.
Students from the iPhone Application Development course at the University of Missouri reached out to The Collections crew to test the mockup of a newly developed mobile application, Runway Radar.
This application will be tested at the 4:30 p.m. show and uses iBeacon, a new technology that extends Location Services in Apple iOS 7. The iOS 7 device given to random test participants in this showing can alert the app when garments approach. In addition to monitoring the proximity, the app will allow the user to track favorite looks and receive designer biography and contact information.    "The garments will each be programmed into a beacon that will enable those with the iPhones that have the app to vote for favorites and read information about the designer of the garment," said Monica McMurry, dean of the School of Fashion and Design.
She said the idea is to give fashion show attendees a greater sense of participation.
"Stephens College is excited to be part of this partnership and hopes to continue advances in technology toward the fashion industry," McMurry said. "We look forward to continuing our great relationship with MU and other local partnerships. We are thankful for the sponsors, designers, students, press, and all of our fans who make our show possible."
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Columbia life coach touts benefits of being positive

Success doesn’t make you happy, rather being happy makes you successful.
That was the main take-away of Carolyn Sullivan’s keynote address during a leadership luncheon today at Celebrate Stephens Alumnae Reunion Weekend.
“Happiness doesn’t follow success,” Sullivan, a Columbia life coach, told a group of Alumnae Association Board members and other alumnae attendees. “Happiness leads to success.”
She pointed to research that has indicated the more positive someone is, the more productive and successful they are.

And contrary to popular belief, you can only control 50 percent of your happiness level—the other half is predetermined. That said, Sullivan offered some ways to best use the part you can control.
Practice gratitude, she said, and keep a journal. Those who exercise and meditate are also statistically happier, as well as those who take time to “play.”
And be kind, Sullivan said, not just to friends and family but also to strangers.
The AAB Leadership Luncheon also recognized outgoing AAB members, including Kathleen Brandt and retiring Board President Shatenita Horton, who turned the gavel over to the new president, Aimee Davenport.
Celebrate Stephens continues with a welcome party this afternoon, the annual Crossing the Bridge ceremony welcoming graduating seniors into the alumnae community and a happy hour event at the President’s Home.
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Juniors prepare, deliver lessons during 'clusters'

Stephens junior Dawnavyn James has spent the past week teaching elementary students about the Harlem Renaissance, an era of history often overlooked in social studies curriculum, she said.

But the children ended up teaching her a few things, too.
“I learned not to underestimate them,” she said. “They definitely guided me and my lesson plans, expanding on my ideas.”
James and fellow juniors studying education have spent the past two weeks teaching at the Stephens College Children’s School. The annual “clusters” event lets juniors take over classrooms, preparing and delivering lesson plans, as master-level teachers observe.
James made her lessons interactive, allowing students to rotate through roles. Students got to portray famous people from the Harlem Renaissance era while other students interviewed them with classmates filming “The Harlem Show” on tablets.
Last week, James taught weather at the preschool, letting children make tornados in bottles and fly kites to learn about wind patterns.
Fellow junior Katelyn Rush is teaching elementary students this week about architecture, a lesson that includes building a play house.

“They decided as a group on what they would consider a dream home and what would be included,” elementary teacher Lindsey Clifton said. “It’s been a collaborative effort.”

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The Collections; Expect 'stunning' designs, McMurry says

It’s a year of celebration for The Collections, Stephens’ student designer fashion show, which celebrates its 70th anniversary.
“The colors and feel of the show will have a luminescent quality,” said Monica McMurry, dean of the School of Fashion and Design, which hosts the show. “There is a sense of heritage and the artisanal.”
The Collections this year—inspired by illumination, elegance and celebration—will take place at 2, 4:30 and 7 p.m. in Windsor Auditorium, 1405 E. Broadway. Preferred seating can be purchased for $25 and general admission tickets can be purchased for $15. Student tickets are available with a valid school ID for $10. Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance at
The event corresponds with Stephens' alumnae weekend and shows often sell out, so advanced tickets are encouraged.
Junior and senior designers will present garments in the categories of swimwear, career sportswear, weekend wear and tailored design, as well as fair trade clothing and the “Breaking the Pattern of Breast Cancer” pink dresses created in the Crafting Sustainable Community course this past fall. The senior design students will present their individual collections they have been conceptualizing, designing and constructing throughout the entire year.
“If you love fashion or Project Runway, we do it everyday. The show is a culmination of that year-long experience. Most people do not have any idea of the skill that all of our fashion students have right here in Columbia. We are ‘What You Un-expect,'” McMurry said, referring to the Columbia Visitor’s Bureau tagline.
The garments being presented during The Collections were chosen by a jury of selection on March 15. Michelle Fifis, textile designer and founder of Pattern Observer and The Textile Design Lab; Sandra Nannini, worldwide sales and merchandising director of Nannini Firenze SRL; Gaia Polli, department coordinator of fashion and accessories studies and technology at Florence University of the Arts; and Kristy Whitehouse, senior technical designer at Abercrombie & Fitch, were among prominent industry experts who selected the student designs to be featured in the show.
“Several of the jurors said the collections and garments in general blew them away at how professional they looked,” McMurry said.





Attendees can expect lots of “stunning” engineered prints and garments with LED lights embedded for a “glowing” runway effect.

Designed by Hannah Bilau


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Designers discuss inspiration behind Collections

This is the final installment of the Scene's Collections video series.

Catch the designs on the runway at the 70th annual student designer fashion show, The Collections, Saturday. Showtimes are 2, 4:30 and 7 p.m. You can purchase tickets here.

In this video, senior Chelsay Russell talks about how Western movies—think Clint Eastwood—inspired her designs this year and will soon emerge as a national runway trend.

And in this video, senior Holly Hmielewski shares how deep sea creatures inspired her edgy, head-turning looks:

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'Hooked on Phonics' worked for her

It was a catchphrase that became a national sensation in the early 1990s, and sure enough, it worked for Stephens senior Emily Collette.
Collette was the voice of the national “Hooked on Phonics Worked for Me!” radio and television campaign when she was a tot.
In fact, at the time she recorded the phrase, it wasn’t exactly true—she was so young, she was barely reading. As part of her compensation, though, Collette received a full set of Hooked on Phonics cassette tapes and ultimately proved the company right.
Today, Collette is co-editor of the Stephens literary journal, Harbinger. This year’s edition, “Shadow box” debuted Friday during a standing-room only reception and reading at the Vault II.
Collette and co-editor Emily Marchant were pleasantly surprised by the large turnout and the event in general.
“I was really happy with the readers,” Marchant said. “They did a really good job.”
During the event, students read poetry and selections from non-fiction and fiction pieces. Collette, who is majoring in digital filmmaking, read part of her non-fiction piece about the Renz prison near Jefferson City. The prison is also the basis of her senior film, which debuts Saturday during the Film Showcase at 7:30 p.m. at Macklanburg Playhouse.
Earlier this year, she and Chase Thompson, assistant professor of film, created a video about her work in the national Hooked on Phonics campaign and entered it into Gimme Truth at the True/False Film Festival.
Collette got the gig through her father, who works in the voice-over industry in Minneapolis.

“They needed a kid’s voice and my dad suggested me,” she said. “I guess it really worked. I love reading, and I loved working on Harbinger.
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Film Showcase will feature variety of genres

Some of the best short films created by Stephens College students will be screened this weekend at the annual Film Showcase.
Films will begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday with doors opening at 7 p.m. at the Macklanburg Playhouse on the Stephens College campus. It is free and open to the public.
The event will showcase a variety of films produced over the past year, including a few that were finalists in the Gimme Truth competition at True/False Film Festival.
“There are a mix of genres, from documentary to animation to drama and comedy—a real mix of films that will appeal to all tastes,” said Kerri Yost, an associate professor of digital filmmaking. “It’s a fast-moving showcase and the film screenings will show off the various talents of student work at all levels.”
In addition to senior films, short films from younger students will also be shown, giving audience members a glimpse of “new voices and perspectives,” Yost said.
Senior films include a drama by Jordan Laguna titled “Muffin Top” about a hidden eating disorder that threatens to tear childhood friends apart just as they’re graduating from college. And a sci-fi film from Florian Clunie titled “Exodus” is about a young woman who must choose between two mothers and two very different ways of life.
A Q&A session with senior filmmakers will follow the screenings.
In addition to student films, the department will also screen a short, giving a behind-the-scenes look at this year’s Stephens Film Institute.
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The Collections: Yuhouse discusses NY-inspired designs

Living in New York inspired senior Jessica Yuhouse's designs, which will be showcased at the 70th annual Collections April 26.

Showtimes are 2, 4:30 and 7 p.m., and tickets can be purchased here.

In this series, designers talk about the inspirations behind their collections. Watch Yuhouse discuss her work here:

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Fashion students set up photo shoots at airport, other local landmarks

Stephens fashion students got a chance to experience a different type of runway this month when they arranged a photo shoot at the Columbia Regional Airport.
The early morning shoot was part of a series of off-campus photo shoots students in Art Direction and Photo Styling have set up across Columbia this month. They’ve also been to the Tiger Hotel and Helmi’s Gardens.
At each location, students had a chance to rotate between roles as art director, stylist and photographer, Assistant Professor Amy Parris said. Directors were responsible for creating mood boards to create a consistent story for the shoot, selecting the model and pulling garments from local retailers to tell the story through photography. 
At the airport, junior Colby Elliott was modeling as a celebrity going from her private jet to an evening event, senior Lyndsey Pliske said.“She’s going from a street style to a more glamorous Red Carpet look.”
The off-campus shoots provided a more authentic glimpse into the world of styling and direction, Parris said.
“One of the benefits of being on location is that you have to work together as a team,” she said. “External factors come into play and you can’t always control your environment. Sometimes the scene controls us.”
That was the case at the airport when photographers, art directors, stylists and Elliott had to drop what they were doing indoors to arrange to get photos in front of a plane taking off. Only four students were allowed on the runway, but the skeleton crew managed to get some shots before the plane disappeared.
“They had to drop everything and change looks quickly,” Parris said. “That plane was not going to wait for us.” 

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The Collections: Gobel discusses sunset-inspired collection

The sunset inspired senior Brittany Gobel's senior collections.

The designs will be showcased at the 70th annual student designer fashion show on April 26.

Watch Gobel discuss her designs here:

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The Collections: Williams describes inspiration behind her fashion designs

Edgy, bold and bright—that's how senior Breosha Williams describes the collection she will be presenting at the 70th annual student designer fashion show this weekend.

The Collections is Saturday, April 26, in Windsor Auditorium. Show times are 2, 4:30 and 7 p.m., with premiere seating available at each. Purchase tickets here.
In this video, Williams talks about the inspiration behind her collection. This is the fourth of The Collections video series, which has also featured seniors Effie FrankNikkole Crow and Melinda Thiedig.

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New Works to feature student-choreographed dances

Stephens College’s Dance Collaborations will present its annual New Works Dance Concert this weekend featuring original pieces choreographed by seven dance students.
The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 25-26, with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee on April 27. Ticket information can be found here.
New Works is produced entirely by students through Dance Collaborations. Two weeks ago, dances were presented to a panel of five adjudicators who selected the pieces that would go in the concert.

Audiences can expect a range from ballet to hip hop to musical theatre, said Stephens senior Kramer Pruitt, president of the company.

Selections include “Variations from the World of Walt Disney,” choreographed by LeeAnn Davis; “The Enlightened and The Messiah: A Story about Jesus in India Befriending Buddha,” choreographed by Hydee Champion; and a piece titled “3 Heads are Better than One,” by Carrie Collins-Whitfield, which personifies in dance a personality disorder.
“Community members won’t want to miss this,” said Elizabeth Hartwell, adviser of Dance Collaborations. “A lot of hard work goes into the New Works concert, and it really allows our dancers to showcase their talents.”
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McCoy studying beefalo DNA for senior project

For her senior research project, Davielle McCoy is comparing the DNA profile of beefalo—a cross between buffalo and domestic cattle—to determine whether certain regions are more like one species or the other. McCoy is hypothesizing that beefalo are more akin to bovine, although she’s run into some troubleshooting issues with the DNA analysis in the lab.
McCoy’s family raises the hybrid on a farm in rural Missouri, and she’s been showing both beefalo and cattle since she was a child. Farmers have been crossing bison and domestic beef breeds since the 1960s because the result produces a superior animal that has the meat quality of bison and the ease of handling bovine cattle. It takes three generations to fully cross the animals, McCoy said.  
McCoy began collecting samples last semester and is currently wrapping up her project. She’s not sure whether she’ll be able to draw a firm conclusion before the semester is up—not uncommon for research projects with time limits.
McCoy came to Stephens primarily to play basketball but fell in love with the academic program.
“Basketball brought me here, but the biology department kept me here,” she said. “The faculty here help you do whatever you want to do. They do the best they can to get you to where you want to go.”
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Public invited to Harbinger reception, reading tomorrow at the Vault II

Students who contributed to this year's Harbinger will host a reception and reading tomorrow to showcase their works.

The event starts at 6 p.m. at the Vault II in the Tiger Hotel, 23 South 8th St. The event is open to the public, and the Vault will be offering hors d'oeuvres and drink specials. Copies of the magazine will be available for $6.

Harbinger has been named Outstanding Literary Journal by Sigma Tau Delta, an international English honor society, a record four times. This year, the publication includes poetry, fiction, nonfiction and interviews. 
“We are excited to see two semester's worth of work come together in this magazine,” said Emily Merchant, a senior who co-edited the magazine with Emily Collette, also graduating in May. “We feel this is one of the strongest editions of Harbinger yet.”
For more information, contact Kris Somerville at [email protected]
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Before 'American Idol' debut, Malin awes solo recital attendees

Senior Annie Malin has been given the green light to appear before the judges on an upcoming season of "American Idol," and if the reaction to her solo recital on campus Saturday night was any indication, she can expect to move on to additional rounds.
Malin presented “Live Inspired” to a full house in the Recital Hall at Historic Senior Hall, and family members, faculty, staff and students gave her a standing ovation after the nearly two hour concert.
Malin performed a variety of pieces, including “Falling Slowly” from “Once,” featuring her brother, Patrick Malin, on guitar. She also performed “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” from "Phantom of the Opera," a musical she says solidified her dream of performing as a career. 
And there was barely a dry eye in the room when she dedicated “Someone to Watch Over Me” to her grandmother, whom she credited for inspiring her to sing. Her grandmother was in the audience and celebrating her 80th birthday.
In her program, Malin also praised her theatre and music faculty.
“I am convinced that Stephens has the all-time best professors in the world, and it is such a privilege to have been taught by such incredible people,” she wrote. “You have inspired me immensely and helped guide me into the world of performance with wisdom I now carry with me for the rest of my life.”
The solo recital is a requirement of Applied Music 402 under instructor Pam Ellsworth-Smith.
Senior Katie Pautler will perform her solo recital at 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 19, in the Recital Hall, and Emma Marston will give her senior recital at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 26, in the Parlors in Senior Hall. 
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Stephens forms new competitive dance team

Stephens College is forming a new competitive dance team that will begin competing in the 2014-15 school year.
The Stars Competitive Dance Team will allow those who have taken dance or participated on cheer squads to continue to compete on a collegiate level.
Stephens President Dianne Lynch and Athletic Director Deb Duren visited the NAIA Cheer & Dance Invitational competition in Oklahoma City last month to see “what it would take to make this happen,” Duren said.
It didn’t take long for them to decide to form a team on campus. “It is very Stephens,” said Duren, who is also vice president for student services.
Adding competitive dance to the roster of sanctioned sports benefits both dance majors and non-dance majors, Duren said.
“It gives those who have taken dance or participated on cheer squads a way to continue that even if they’re not pursuing a performance career,” she said. “For those who are in dance, it provides more performance experience to list on a resume.”
It also allows the College to provide athletic scholarships to dancers.
Stephens students have participated in pom and dance for years informally or through student clubs.
“I think it is absolutely wonderful that it is becoming a sanctioned sport,” said Michelle Niewald, a senior who has participated in the club.
With Stephens’ strong background in performing arts, it makes sense to have an official team, she said. “I think it can only get better from here.”
The NAIA considers competitive dance an emerging sport, and students will have the opportunity to compete regionally.
Tryouts for current students will be held on April 19 at Silverthorne Arena. Prospective students are being encouraged to submit an audition via video.
Once the program is up and running, Duren said she will begin the process of forming a companion competitive cheer program.
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Fundraiser to benefit film students' documentary

Seniors Meredith Jacob and Madeline Carl are hosting a “Fancy Fundraiser” Friday at Historic Senior Hall to raise money for their upcoming road trip, which will double as a documentary film project.
Jacob and Carl, who are graduating in December, are hitting “50 States in 50 Days” and will be filming their experiences, as well as documenting stories from people they meet along the way.
The fundraising event is 7 p.m. Friday and is free and open to the public with donations welcome. 
They’re offering more than $2,000 worth of prizes through raffles and silent auctions. Nevada Greene will provide live music.
Although the trip will provide all sorts of interesting film fodder, no doubt, the two say they have a larger agenda for the project.
“We want to inspire young women that they can do anything as long as they’re passionate about it,” Jacob said. “Plenty of people have told us we can’t do this. We want to inspire people and let them know they can do it.”
The two hope the stories they hear from others during the trip reinforce that message.
“This isn’t just our story,” Carl said. “Everyone has a story, and we hope to collect those stories of successes and failures along the way. And I’m sure we’ll have failures, but this is about not stopping. It’s about overcoming those obstacles.”

The duo will leave from Columbia on May 12, head west to Kansas, then north through Minnesota to North Dakota. From there, they’ll head east, following much of the New England coastline before heading to West Virginia, where they plan to stay in a haunted abandoned asylum. The route then veers south to Florida and Louisiana before heading west. The trip is scheduled to end July 4 “somewhere in Hawaii.” The complete route and other information can be found on their website.
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'Hard to summarize' Bartel's contributions

Dr. Susan Bartel, dean of the School of Organizational Leadership and Strategic Communication, is stepping down from her position to become an associate professor of higher education leadership in the doctorate program at Maryville University.
“It’s bittersweet,” Bartel said. “I’ll miss Stephens, the sense of community here and the relationships I’ve made and continue to have with students and graduates. But this position really is the culmination of my entire career. It really is a dream job.”
Working in the Maryville area, Bartel will also be closer to her daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren, who live in the area.
As dean of SOLSC, Bartel oversees undergraduate Integrated Marketing: Strategic Communications; Integrated Marketing: Graphic Design and Event and Convention Management programs, as well as the graduate-level Master of Strategic Leadership. Since her appointment as dean two years ago, she’s strategically repackaged marketing programming to best reflect industry trends and needs.
Bartel has been with Stephens for eight years during which time she created the Master in Strategic Leadership (now ranked 2nd best leadership program in the country by; began a social media emphasis within the graduate program; and started the three-year event planning degree.
“It’s hard to summarize Susan’s many contributions to Stephens,” said Dr. Annette Digby, vice president of academic affairs. “We’re sad to see her leave and will miss her leadership and expertise, but we wish her well in her new position.”
Bartel will begin her new position Aug. 1.

Prior to joining the Stephens faculty, Bartel was an assistant professor at Central Methodist University and a marketing consultant at Williams Keepers LLC.
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Senior shows off designs at House of DIFFA Masquerade

Senior Holly Hmielewski recently returned from Dallas where four of her designs were featured in the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS annual runway fundraiser.
House of DIFFA Masquerade 2014, held March 29, attracted roughly 2,000 patrons who wore theatrical masks, hats and other eccentricities. Garments on the runway were also paired with extreme accessories, including Hmielewski’s carousal-themed dress and galaxy-themed swimsuit. A fringe dress she designed for Night of the Stars Gala in Dallas last year was also in the show, as was a LED-lit gown that will be showcased in Hmielewski’s senior collection at The Collections student designer show on campus April 26.
You might recognize Hmielewski’s name. Her carousal dress and galaxy swimsuit earned her the Musselman Award at the Fashion Group International of Dallas Career Day last spring. That prize came with $10,000 and a chance to design a collection for the Night of the Stars event under the guidance of Brian Bolke, owner of Forty-Five Ten.
The dress also made an appearance at a Sunglass Hut fashion show in Los Angeles this semester. Hmielewski and Melinda Thiedig ’14 had pieces selected for the Sunglass Hut Runway Show at the Beverly Hilton.
Back in Dallas, Hmielewski said she visited with a lot of the same people who attended the Night of the Stars event. Although she said Dallas’s fashion community has embraced her as one of their own, she has a job waiting for her in Los Angeles when she graduates next month. Hmielewski will work under a senior designer at Clover Canyon, a clothing line that features vivid, hand-engineered prints. It’s a “dream job,” Hmielewski said.

Her long-term goal is to have her own fashion line.
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Volunteers create rain garden near Stephens Equestrian Center

Volunteers turned a sloped berm along Ann Street into a new rain garden in less than two hours on Saturday.
The rain garden—a collaboration between Stephens and the City of Columbia Stormwater Utility Outreach and Education program—will allow native plants to treat runoff before it runs into the Hinkson Creek. Native grasses, shrubs and flowering plants will absorb and benefit from some of the sediments, fertilizers and chemicals from the water, essentially cleaning the runoff before it reaches the creek.
The site will double as an educational station for both Stephens students and the public.
The Environmental Protection Agency in 2011 called on the city, county and University of Missouri to work together to reduce storwmater runoff into the Hinkson Creek by 39 percent. While Stephens was not cited in the report, “this is about being good neighbors,” said Richard Perkins, project manager at Stephens.
Volunteers on Saturday included employees from the City of Columbia and Stephens College, Caring for Columbia and students from Stephens and the University of Missouri. Women of the Earth, a student organization, partnered with Facilities and the City of Columbia to host the event and received SGA’s Best Green Week Event Award on Friday for organizing it.
A video of the project is provided through the city's Stormwater Education Program.

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Instructors taking original musical to Chicago Musical Theatre Festival

Two adjunct instructors at Stephens College are taking their original musical to the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival at the Underscore Theatre Company in June.

With music by Audra Sergel, who teaches voice and piano and provides accompaniment at Stephens, and book by Trent Rash, who gives private voice lessons at Stephens, teaches Performance Techniques and performs in theatre productions, “Starting With My Voice” was one of just eight musicals out of 40 submissions selected to be part of the event.

The Chicago Musical Theatre Festival is a new project from the Underscore Theatre Company created to showcase emerging creators of musical theatre, according to the company’s website.

Sergel’s music was originally composed for a revue, “Now is the Time,” which debuted at The Bridge in Columbia last fall. Hearing all of the pieces together at that event, Sergel said, made her realize she had something special—a collection of songs with a unifying theme.

“They are all about making a decision, a choice moment,” she said. “They’re individual stories about being who we are and how we decide to advocate for change.”

Sergel reached out to Rash to help write the book and direct the production, and professional actors have since joined the cast. They submitted it to the festival somewhat on a whim, unsure of what to expect. 

Although outside of the realm of their teaching duties, Sergel and Rash agreed having their work accepted to the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival will benefit students. The musical could be performed in the future using students in the cast, Rash said. On a broader level, it shows how making one decision—in this case submitting the music to the festival—can have significant results. 

“As an artist, when you feed yourself, you share,” Sergel said. “It shows students you have to stay open. Stephens women are courageous, they put themselves out there, and that’s contagious. This is about taking the next step and being bold.”
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Carter pitches business plan at #BOOM

Senior Samantha Carter today pitched her idea for a marketing agency that would cater to minority females at the annual #BOOM event hosted by Columbia’s Regional Economic Development Inc.
Carter, a student in the School of Organizational Leadership and Strategic Communication, envisions opening Elite Marketing in the St. Louis area and reaching out to those working in retail and not-for-profit sectors. She told judges she got the idea when talking to a not-for-profit business owner who wasn’t sure how to grow her business.
Carter is one of 36 contestants pitching ideas at #BOOM, which runs through 5:30 p.m. Participants are competing for cash prizes that range from $500 to $5,000.
Students from other colleges and universities, as well as Missouri high schools, are also competing and this morning pitched ideas such as a new type of cat carrier and a swim fin made of recycled rubber.
Carter developed her business plan as part of her senior capstone project and plans to make it a reality regardless of today’s results.  
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Stephens recognizes outstanding staff

Marissa Todd, Kim Schellenberger and Linda Patte. 
Killian Kramer, Ruth Ann Burke and Candy O'Block.
Gina Sanders, Kathy Doisy and Mallory Langston. Not pictured: Mandi Schroff.

Twelve outstanding employees at Stephens College were recognized by peers today for their outstanding commitment to the campus and the community.
At the annual Employee Recognition Ceremony, the Distinguished Service Award—the highest level of recognition bestowed on a staff member—went to Greg Mankey, director of facilities management and a 27-year employee at Stephens College.
The Reaching for the Stars Award was given to two recipients this year. Richard Perkins was recognized for his commitment to making Stephens a more environmentally friendly campus. Custodian Stephen Cox also received the award for saving the College money by offering to move the Stephens Costume Shop to a new location over the summer—a move that would have cost had the College had to secure an outside contractor.
The Community Service Award, given for service outside of campus, went to Marissa Todd, director of alumnae relations and philanthropy. Todd is active in the Chamber of Commerce, Sunrise Southwest Rotary and Columbia Entertainment Company.
The Customer Service Award is given to those on campus who display excellent service skills to their respective audiences. Candy O’Block, alumnae administrative assistant, was recognized for her positive attitude when greeting and helping alumnae and other visitors. Ruth Ann Burke, business manager for the School of Performing Arts, was honored for her commitment to students involved in theatre productions and to ensuring the successful operation of the Box Office. And Killian Kramer, admissions manager for undergraduate recruitment, was recognized for her dedication to recruiting students and remaining connected to them throughout their college years.
The Diversity Award this year went to two recipients: Linda Patte, who pulls double duty at Stephens by serving as administrative assistant to both the equestrian and digital filmmaking programs, and Kim Schellenberger, who ensures a diverse workforce through her role as director of human resources.
The Teamwork Award this year went to the staff of the Health and Wellness Center, including Dr. Kathy Doisy, director of health services, Gina Sanders, director of counseling, Mallory Langston, counseling fellow, and Mandi Schroff, administrative assistant of health services.
In a personalized message sent to everyone prior to the event, President Dianne Lynch expressed her appreciation for employees’ talent, dedication and service.
“Together, we are transforming this little college into one of the best in the nation,” she wrote.
Trustee Vicki Russell was the keynote speaker at the event.

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Carter among 36 to pitch business plan at #BOOM

Columbia’s Regional Economic Development Inc.’s annual #BOOM Pitch Competition will be held tomorrow in Windsor Auditorium, the first time the statewide competition has been held on campus.
The event will feature 36 contestants who will pitch their business ideas for cash prizes. A sister event—the #BOOM Entrepreneurial Summit—was held in February.
Among presenters will be Stephens senior Samantha Carter, who hopes to turn her idea for a marketing agency into a reality. The agency, Elite Marketing, doubles as Carter’s senior capstone project.
“It is intended to specialize in various forms of marketing, advertising and corporate event planning and marketing,” Carter said. “My purpose is to provide these services to small business owners wishing to expand their companies. The targeted audience is young minority women who simply need an extra push for their service or products.”
Carter envisions the marketing firm creating more jobs in the community and surrounding communities as it helps more young women reach their potential. Carter will pitch her business plan at 11:45 a.m.
Others pitching business plans include students from the University of Missouri, Missouri University of Science & Technology, Linn State, Drury University and other colleges and high schools from around the state. A full list of those competing can be found here
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The story behind the Stephens 'Happy' video

Students taking Art Direction and Photo Styling this semester put their skills to use by creating videos set to the catchy tune “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.
Associate Professor Lisa Lenoir and Instructor Amy Parris assigned the video to teach students how to apply lighting, art direction and other technical skills by using a class project relevant to them. Students were asked to create a unique story using people of various backgrounds, ages and ethnicities.
“We want to be forward-thinking in terms of storytelling and diversity in front of a camera,” Parris said.
Students created mood boards and had to navigate pre-production concepts such as location and time of day before actually filming, skills students will need when they're working on professional photo shoots or sets, Lenoir said.
To get a better feel for what students were up against, Lenoir and Parris created a video for the assignment, as well.
“When we give an assignment, we get in the trenches, too," Lenoir said.  
Dani Kelley ’14 and her team took their video camera to the University of Missouri campus to capture employees and students there before bringing her film crew back to Stephens to film faculty, staff and students dancing to the song. Just like Williams' video features cameo appearances from celebrities, Kelley's video includes some well-known Stephens women, including Margaret Campbell, director of the Student Success Center and Stephens President Dianne Lynch.
Asking strangers to appear on camera was the toughest part of the project, Kelley said, but the project ultimately paid off.
“Our goal was for 100 people to see the video” on You Tube, she said.
Kelley exceeded that goal. A Huffington Post College blogger Diane Propsner featured it on a blog post highlighting “Happy” videos from women’s colleges.
Kelley has now had close to 1,000 viewers on the two versions of the class project she posted on her You Tube site. Check it out: 

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Stephens honors faculty, students at Convocation


Assistant Professor Kate Gray receives the Dr. Michael Bowling Distinguished Advising Award.


Lita Pistono receives the Stephens Star Award.

Assistant Professors Kate Gray and Tina Marks were honored for distinguished service in their respective departments during the annual Honors Convocation ceremony on Monday in the Kimball Ballroom.
Gray received the Dr. Michael Bowling Distinguished Advising Award, and Marks received the Distinguished Teaching Award. Honors Convocation recognizes students, faculty and staff for outstanding contributions to campus and individual schools.
Gray is an assistant professor of graphic design in the School of Organizational Leadership and Strategic Communication. Prior to coming to Stephens, she enjoyed a lengthy career in design that included owning her own award-winning firm.
Marks is an assistant professor in the School of Fashion and Design. Prior to coming to Stephens, she ran her own jewelry design business and owned an antique clothing and jewelry store in Hermann.
Lita Pistono, administrative assistant to the Vice President of Academic Affairs, also was honored during the ceremony with the Stephens Star Award, bestowed by the student body on a staff member who contributes to student success.

Senior Michelle Niewald, an integrated marketing student, took the top student award, receiving the Stephens Student Leadership Award.
Following is a complete list of award recipients.
School of Fashion and Design Award for Academic Excellence (3.8 GPA or higher)FashionRachel BallewTaylor BarberOletha CrutcherNicole GagneKayla GibsonPaula GoldenbergCaley GustafsonHillary HenryZoe KorklanAllison LangleyAbreale LoveallKathryn McCarthyMonica NakamatsuJennifer NiewaldEmily ParkCourtney ParmenterMargaret ReasbeckKatherine RudderKathryn SingerVictoria VitaleEmily Wagner-DavisInterior DesignJessica Grenke
School of Humanities & SciencesEnglish/Creative WritingClark/Dillingham Critical Essay Award      Taylor WetzelOutstanding Seniors in English and Creative Writing      Alexi Scharbach, Chelsea Wherry First Year Essay Award        Gabrielle ZajacLegal StudiesAward of Excellence Jennifer Hrebar-IhlerNatural SciencesBiology Underclass Peer Award      Dana HeggemannBiology Upperclass Peer Award      Dina KaissiOutstanding Underclass Biology Student Award Dana HeggemannOutstanding Upperclass Biology Student Award  Rachel LightfootOutstanding Physical Science Student Award       Dina KaissiPsychologyOutstanding Contribution to Psychology   Jennifer Hrebar-IhlerOutstanding Junior Academic Achievement in Psychology          Emily MendozaOutstanding Senior Academic Achievement in Psychology          Erica Bonnot

SCHOOL OF INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIESDigital FilmmakingCitizen Jane Award   Emily ColletteEducationDistinguished Education Major       Dawnavyn James
Promising Education Major Stephanie TaylorOutstanding Contribution to the Laboratory School         Jennifer Griffin, Shelby HardtEquestrian Business Management/Equestrian ScienceEquestrian Outstanding Senior       Lauren FitzpatrickPromising Equestrian Major            Ashley Noltkamper, Margaret Sheldon

Outstanding Contributions to Equestrian Department    Shelby McCoyEquestrian Academic High Honors Award Hannah Dritt, Megan HasemannEquestrian Leadership Award        Erin Cummings, Rachel Cummings, Nicklette Ball
Outstanding Business Student        Michaela DanielsOutstanding Event & Convention Management Student Stephanie McHenryOutstanding Strategic Communication:
Integrated Marketing Student        Michelle NiewaldOutstanding Strategic Communication: Design Student  Gabrielle Martino
SCHOOL OF PERFORMING ARTSDanceOutstanding First Year Dance StudentShandrea-Charity  McNeal-WhiteOutstanding Second Year Dance Students                         Carrie Collins-Whitfield, Kyla RanneyThe Dance Leadership Award                                                  Hannah Massey, Kramer PruittThe Heart of a Dancer Award                                                    Tiara SaddlerOutstanding Artistic Achievement in Choreography
for Excellence in the 2014 Senior Project Concert                  Samantha BennettLeeAnn DavisJordan JacksonSamari Jackson-PrestonElizabeth LamontagneKramer PruittStephanie ReynoldsTheatreSara Ann Fay Award                                                                       Pauline “Polly” MytingerOutstanding Technical Student Award                                Halea CoulterSpirit Award                                                                                       Katie Pautler
Resident Life AwardsMary Omer AwardsOutstanding Resident Assistant                                          Maile Wortham          Outstanding Resident Director        Emily Wagner-Davis
Alumnae Association Scholarship AwardsFreshman Scholarship Award         Juliana HitchcockSophomore Scholarship Award       Khyneesa EdwardsJunior Scholarship Award    Sara BarnettSenior Scholarship Award    Patrika Brown
Other AwardsH.E. Wilkerson Award
For Outstanding Service to Stephens College AdmissionsKathy VogtDorothy Martin Endowed Scholarship       Kathy NguyenJames M. Shirky Endowed Scholarship      Emily MendozaCentury Candle Award         Courtney CothrenMortar Board Book Scholarship      Melanie Bosely
Mortar Board New Members 2014-15Rachel Ballew  Sara Barnett  Nicole Bartels  Melanie Bosley  Cordy Brannan  Michaela Daniels  Hannah Dritt  Jazmin Gac  Alexandria Hagelston  Andrea Jefferies  Fiona Kerr  Rachel Lightfoot  Hannah Massey  Shelby McCoy  Kristen McCurdy  Emily Mendoza  Karina Palencia  Rebecca Saunders  Amy Shank  Cheyenne Smith Carolyn Williams  Danielle Wilson 





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The Collections: Video series features student designers

The SC-Scene is highlighting student fashion designers in a series of videos leading up to the 70th annual student designer fashion show, The Collections.
The event is Saturday, April 26, in Windsor Auditorium. Show times are 2, 4:30 and 7 p.m., with premiere seating available at each. Purchase tickets here.
In this video, Effie Frank shares the inspiration behind her collection. This is the third of the video series, which has also featured seniors Nikkole Crow and Melinda Thiedig.

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The Ten reveal identities at Convocation

The identities of who embody the Ten Ideals became public yesterday at the annual Honors Convocation ceremony in Kimball Ballroom.
The Ten is a secret society dating back to 1921 made up of 10 seniors who recognize others throughout the year for demonstrating Stephens’ values. This year, the group rewarded recipients with crafts and gifts displayed on tables in Columbia Foyer.
Students representing The Ten this year are:·      Belief – Jordan Jackson·      Courage – Emma Marston·      Creativity – Bree Martino·      Independence – Mi’Kael Henderson·      Intelligence – Dina Kaissi·      Leadership – Michelle Niewald·      Respect – Kramer Pruitt·      Responsibility – Kaylyn Crane·      Sensitivity – Erica Bonnot·      Support – Emily Park
Niewald wrote about The Ten’s contributions to Stephens in an SC-Scene story published in February.
“The Ten serves our community in extraordinary ways,” President Dianne Lynch said at the time. “Every college and university has a mission statement, and most have a set of values they articulate and point to. At Stephens—thanks in large part to the Ten—we live those values, we recognize those among us who best represent those values, and we are reminded of them on a daily basis. We walk the talk, as they say—and we do that because every year, an exceptional group of very special students is willing to do the incredibly hard work to make that possible.”
Each year, The Ten also give a Four-Fold Girl Award and a Best Private Citizen Award, which also date back to 1921. This year, the Four-Fold Girl Award went to Student Government Association President Steffanie Frank, and Layne Wallace was named Best Private Citizen.
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Kirkpatrick talks to class about use of storytelling

She can dole out statistics about hunger if you want, but Peggy Kirkpatrick, executive director of the Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri, knows sharing stories of the people helped by her organization is more effective when trying to get others to understand the need.
“I can give you facts and figures about hunger and poverty,” she said. “But I don’t want you to see facts and figures. I want you to see faces.”
And that’s just what students in Contemporary Issues in Strategic Communications saw this morning when Kirkpatrick shared some stories from her work. She was among a series of guest speakers in the class this semester who have exposed students to new types of marketing techniques and strategies.
Kirkpatrick started by telling her own story. She worked at the University of Missouri before joining the food bank and recalled seeing homeless people in the alleyways between her building and where she parked.
“For 7 ½ years I looked at that, and looked away and kept walking,” she said. “I prayed God would do something or send someone.”
That’s when she heard a voice in her head telling her she could do something. Two months later, she got a job at the food bank.
That was 1992 and she’s been hearing—and retelling—stories of desperate families, out-of-work parents and hungry children since. Today, she told students several of those stories, including a story about a girl who didn’t want to go on spring break because she knew she’d be hungry; a boy who rationed food from his food-bank provided Buddy Pack; a dad who just needed to feed his family until he got his first paycheck after being laid off.
Telling those stories is vitally important to the food bank, Kirkpatrick said. One of them—a story about an 8-year-old boy who was sharing his Buddy Pack meals with his siblings after their mom deserted them—even went viral.
“We got donations from all over the country and a naval base in Japan,” she said.

Asked for her definition of storytelling, Kirkpatrick said one has to speak with conviction. “Take a true occasion,” she said, “and speak about it from the heart.
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'Desdemona' re-imagines women of Othello

The Warehouse Theatre is tackling Shakespeare this week in a play that re-imagines the women of “Othello.”
“Desdemona: A Play About a Handkerchief” starts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. on April 13. Purchase tickets here.
In the play, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel takes the Shakespearean tale and “turns it on its head,” director Taylor Wetzel said. “Shakespeare really didn’t pay a lot of attention to women, so this gives the women’s side of the story. And these aren’t the chaste women originally portrayed.”
The play centers on Desdemona, played by Calli Young, who has essentially slept with Othello’s entire encampment; her servant, the unhappily married Emilia, played by Allison Sword; and Bianca, played by Lydia Miller, a prostitute who intrigues Desdemona.
While the play might show how far women have come since Shakespeare penned Othello, it also “exposes what still needs to be done,” Wetzel said.
“It’s a really good play for Stephens, which is a liberal school with liberal ideas about women and empowering women,” she said. “We should never forget history and times when women were treated less human than men. So shows like these are very important.”
“Desdemona" also explores the idea that marriage is simply a different form of prostitution.

“Emilia actually is the one who brings up that point,” Wetzel said. “She’s been married for 14 years and is disillusioned.”
Although based on Shakespeare, don’t expect a period piece. The Warehouse—a student-run company—has blended modern props with pieces from other eras. Expect a “gorgeous” set with amazing performances, Wetzel said.
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