Starkle Dream Up. Stephens College


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'Farah Goes Bang' screening is Wednesday

The final installment of the Citizen Jane Film Series is tomorrow.
Meera Menon, a writer, director and editor, and Laura Goode, a screenwriter, novelist and poet, will screen their film “Farah Goes Bang” at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Charters Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.
“Farah Goes Bang” premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last year, during which Menon was also awarded the inaugural Nora Ephron Prize for groundbreaking women filmmakers by Tribeca and Vogue. A year earlier, Goode executed the successful $75,000 Kickstarter campaign to fund production of the film.
The road trip comedy follows three twenty-something women stumping for John Kerry during the 2004 presidential campaign.
The filmmakers on Thursday will host a workshop, “Stop Asking Permission: Promoting Your Film.” That presentation starts at 10 a.m. in Room 27 of Helis Communication Center. Anyone interested in attending should RSVP to [email protected].
The Citizen Jane Film Series is supported, in part, by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awarded the series a $10,000 grant to bring nationally recognized female filmmakers to campus.
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Jury of Selection includes two Florence University of the Arts instructors

Two instructors from Florence University of the Arts (FUA) gave fashion students an overview of the school’s programming and a look inside an Italian accessory line during a presentation today.
Gaia Polli is department coordinator for FUA's Fashion & Accessories Studies & Technology, and Sandra Nannini is also Worldwide Sales & Merchandising director of Nannini, which makes quality handbags, wallets, shoes and other leather goods. Nannini shared the company’s history with students and showed a short video showcasing the company’s Spring 2006 collection.
The visit was arranged by Lynda Baumgartner, coordinator of the Study Abroad program, who has helped several Stephens students study at FUA. 
Polli and Nannini are on campus primarily for Jury of Selection tomorrow. They will join other industry professionals to review student designs and select garments for The Collections, the annual student designer runway show.
Other jurors include:
  • Michelle Fifis '02, textile designer and founder, Pattern Observer, Portland, Ore. 
  • Carol Foley '81, designer/instructor, Fabrique Fabrics, Dallas
  • Wendy Manasse '81, designer/founder, Quenchwear, Long Beach, Calif.
  • Leon Morrison, consultant, Morrison Mercantile, Santa Fe, N.M.
  • Kristy Whitehouse, senior technical designer, Abercrombie & Fitch, New Albany, Ohio
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Stephens students gear up for 50-day, 50-state trip

Two Stephens College students are gearing up for a cross-country trip this summer.

Meredith Jacob and Madeline Carl, both of whom will be graduating in December, are planning to visit 50 states in 50 days. 
They’re filming the entire trip, hoping to capture compelling stories across the country that will eventually become a full-length documentary.

Although the adventure itself will no doubt provide all sorts of interesting story fodder, the two have a larger agenda for the film.

“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 50 States in 50 Days.
To get a more authentic experience, Jacob and Carl don’t expect to spend a single night in a hotel. They’re asking friends, relatives and alumnae for help finding places to stay in each destination city. They'll also be hosting a fundraising event on campus in April. Check back for more information. 

Jacob and Carl will keep friends and fans updated on their whereabouts and adventures through Facebook and other social media platforms. 

“We want this to be interactive,” Jacob said. “We appreciate any help and hope it’s interesting to people, even if they just want to live vicariously through us for 50 days.”

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Students study children's book authors, illustrators

Allison Langley shows off her watercolors. 

Students in Sara Fletchers’ Women as Children’s Book Illustrators and Authors today showcased artwork illustrating classic and modern fairy tales, as well as original works.

The eight-week course required students to study specific female illustrators then create original artwork of their own. Students displayed their works this afternoon during a showcase in the Penthouse at Hugh Stephens Library.
Although not the first time Fletcher has challenged students to combine art studies and literature, it is the first semester this specific class has been offered.
Freshman Allison Langley, a fashion communications major, took the course to fill a general education requirement but quickly realized what she was learning applies to her major, as well.
“There are tons of design elements to fashion communications,” she said. “So it helped learning elements such as color theory and placement.”
It was also the first time Langley has explored artwork. She used watercolor to create images for the Norwegian tale, “The Princess on the Glass Hill.” Preferring a stronger morale for children than in the original story—in which men compete for a princess’s love by trying to climb a glass hill—Langley rewrote the ending to emphasize the “prince charming’s” intelligence over strength.
Savannah Bell, a second-year theatre student, signed up for the course to get more art experience. Sketching is critical for set and costume design in her technical theatre program, she said.
“Theatre tells a story in a different way, but the idea is the same—you have to combine all of the elements together,” she said.
artPerhaps Bell’s most insightful take-away from the course? “Don’t be afraid of the blank page.”
That’s what Fletcher hopes all of her students learned from the class.
“I feel like they have more confidence in the process of brainstorming and learning to tell a story visually,” she said. 

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Stephens presents 'A Shayna Maidel'

Stephens College will present “A Shayna Maidel” this month, a poignant tale about two sisters who reunite in the aftermath of the Holocaust.

The play begins at 7:30 p.m. March 14-15 and March 19-20 at the Warehouse Theatre with a 2 p.m. matinee March 16.

"A Shayna Maidel" is a “great play with excellent roles for women,” Director Rob Doyen said. 

“Shannon Cox and Katie Pautler play the two sisters, Lusia and Rose, who are reunited after a separation of nearly 20 years. Lusia has survived the Holocaust and comes to America to be reunited with her father and sister.”

Doyen will play the role of the father.

The story follows the reconnection of the sisters who, judging by appearances, are complete opposites. Lusia is homely and marked with an ID number from Nazi concentration camps on her forearm. The younger sister, Rose, was able to escape to America at an early age and has grown into a fashionable New Yorker. Although the relationship is strained at first, gradually through stories and flashbacks, the two are able to transition into new relationships.
“It is a very moving play,” Doyen said.
"A Shayna Maidel" was first presented in 1985 and became a Hallmark Hall of Fame television movie in 1992.
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Guest artist, students demonstrate mimedance

Guest Artist Karen Montanaro—a renowned performer—and students in the Stephens College World Dance class today demonstrated mimedance for the campus community, including students from the Stephens College Children’s School.
Mimedance is a combination of mime movements and dance. Montanaro, an award-winning choreographer, created the art form with her husband Tony Montanaro, a 20th century American mime artist.
Montanaro has been at Stephens for seven weeks teaching both dance students and a class for non-majors. Some of her work is being featured in the Spring Dance Concert, which continues at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday at Macklanburg Playhouse. Because of a weather cancellation last week, there will also be a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee.
During Thursday’s program, Montanaro directed students as they demonstrated interpretative movements, mime and dance. Students portrayed eagles, an imaginary game of tug-of-war and spontaneous movement. 

But you don't have to be a dancer to explore that type of movement, Montanaro told the audience.
“Everybody is a dancer; it doesn’t matter if you call yourself a dancer or not,” she said, pointing to natural rhythmic movements everyone has, including regular heartbeats.
“And you dance to the beat of your own drummer, so you’re a dancer in my book,” she said.
For those who are dancers, Montanaro encourages them to let loose, overcome fear and experiment with positions they might not feel comfortable with. Several of Thursday's public demonstrations were impromptu.

In this video, senior dancers demonstrate movement based on interpretations of the music.

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Stephens launches Women's History Month site

Stephens College is celebrating Women's History Month by honoring some of the women affiliated with the College who have made history over the years.

A new website, Stephens Celebrates Women's History Month, debuted today.
“We wanted a way to honor and celebrate our alumnae, trustees, administrators and others who have made significant contributions in their respective fields and communities,” said Rebecca Kline, director of marketing and communications. “Some of the women will be familiar to most people; in other cases, we'll be introducing lesser-known women who have made history.”
The website also allows readers to participate by submitting suggestions for additional women to profile. The site will be updated with new honorees throughout the month of March.

“As the second-oldest women's college in the country, we have a responsibility to share the amazing accomplishments women have made throughout history ... women who have all been a part of Columbia through Stephens College in one way or another,” Kline said.
Inaugural honorees include alumna Wally Funk, an astronaut and one of the Mercury 13; Vicki Russell, current Stephens College Trustee and first female publisher of the Columbia Daily Tribune; and Lucy Wales, the first principal of Stephens College when it opened as Columbia Female Academy in 1833. 
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Stars soccer team volunteers at Midway Elementary









The Stephens Stars soccer team this morning headed to Midway Elementary to read to children as part of the school’s Literacy Week.
The service project ensures the team’s status as an NAIA Champion of Character, a program that promotes good sportsmanship on and off the field. The Stars soccer team is also a two-time recipient of the American Midwest Conference’s Fair Play & Sportsmanship Award.
While reading to children fulfilled a requirements, the Stars were happy to help out at Midway, said Head Coach Xander Kennedy, whose wife, Kristen, works as a school counselor at Midway.
“Our Stephens athletes really enjoyed it,” he said. “There was a nice buzz as we climbed back on the bus to return to campus. It is always satisfying to have others look up to you, and that’s how our Stephens women felt after working with the elementary children.”
Here are some photos from the event. 


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Stephens students take 2nd in Gimme Truth

Stephens students Kirsten Izzett and Livvy Runyon took second place at Gimme Truth, the documentary game show held during the True/False Film Festival this weekend.

The event challenges film professionals to decide whether one-minute short films are fact or fiction.

Izzett and Runyon’s film, “Rice, Rice Baby,” told the unbelievable story of Izzett’s real-life baby picture—a photo so epic, her family sent it to relatives in the Philippines who went to a print shop to have it blown up. The printmaker was also amused by the photo: He made a poster-sized copy of the photo and hung it in his shop.
Six years later, Izzett’s father visited the Philippines and saw the photo hanging in the print shop’s window.
Only one of the judges thought the story was true, earning them the second-place win. Prizes included passes to next year’s True/False Film Festival.
This is the second year in a row Izzett has claimed the No. 2 prize at Gimme Truth. Last year, she and LeeAnne Lowry took second for a true short about a Stephens student who carries her rib bone in her pocket.
Lowery also had a film accepted into Gimme Truth, along with Hannah Bilau. Associate Professor Chase Thompson also screened a short at the event, held Saturday at the Blue Note.
Watch Rice, Rice Baby:

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Senior designers showcase garments in Sunglass Hut Runway Show

Holly Hmielewski shows off her carousel dress.

By Michelle Niewald/Stephens College Senior

Two fashion design majors showcased garments in a prominent fashion show in Los Angeles last week.
Seniors Holly Hmielewski and Melinda Thiedig had pieces selected for the Sunglass Hut Runway Show at the Beverly Hilton. Among the garments was the carousel dress Hmielewski debuted at Fashion Group International of Dallas Career Day last year.
Monica McMurry, dean of the School of Fashion and Design, found out about the fashion show opportunity from Stephens alumna Erin Stegeman. McMurry then asked faculty members to solicit photos from seniors of garments for possible use in the Sunglass Hut show. McMurry then compiled and sent the photos to Stegeman for consideration.
Associate Professor Kirsty Buchanan “came to the seniors and told us there was an opportunity for our garments to be shown in a fashion show for Sunglass Hut out in L.A.,” said Hmielewski. “We did not know much at all about this, but it was an opportunity. When we got to L.A. we found out that the show was a secret, and that’s why there was no information about it.”
Once Hmielewski and Thiedig arrived in L.A., they met with Stegeman and her fiancé, a Stephens performing arts alumnus. They spent most of Tuesday assisting with preparation for the event, styling garments with celebrity stylist Jen Abrams, helping decide the garments models would wear and completing fittings when they arrived.
While they were preoccupied with helping backstage on Wednesday, the day of the show, both Hmielewski and Thiedig were ultimately able to watch their designs modeled onstage from the audience.
Hmielewski said she felt comfortable working alongside professionals, thanks to the coursework she’s had at Stephens.
“Stephens prepared me to be professional, hard-working, and to take chances and go for dreams and opportunities. I felt so knowledgeable the whole time I was there,” she said. “When trends were being explained, I already studied them months ago. When styling tips were being taught, I felt like I was one step ahead of them. Stephens is always the first credit I give because I have been presented with so many opportunities. These dreams of mine are coming true.”
Columbia residents will have a chance to view Hmielewski and Thiedig’s work, along with other Stephens College fashion designers, at The Collections, the student designer fashion show, on April 24.

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Dance concert to feature ballet, jazz, mimedance

UPDATE: The Sunday matinee is now scheduled for 2 p.m. March 9.

Audiences can expect a wide range of performances next week when the School of Performing Arts at Stephens College presents its annual Dance Company Spring Concert.
The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 28 through March 1 and March 7-8 with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee on March 2 at Macklanburg Playhouse. Ticket information.
The annual concert features works by faculty members and guest artists.
Works will include “Swimming with Sharks,” a piece by Karen Grundy, artistic/executive director of the Missouri Contemporary Ballet, set to the music of Tom Andes, who is on the Stephens music faculty. 
Guest artist Karen Montanaro, a world-renowned dancer and mime artist from Maine, will showcase “mimedance,” a fusion of the two classical art forms. 
Faculty member Debra Carr has choreographed a piece, “Pondering,” featuring a cappella southern ballads, and Carol Estey, artistic director for dance at Stephens, has created a jazzy piece, “Coded,” which features the music of Radiohead and jazz legend Wynton Marsalis.  
Rounding out the concert will be pieces from the classic ballet “The Firebird” featuring Kramer Pruitt ’14 and Michael Burke, a Mexico High School senior, in the male lead.
“It will be quite the show,” Estey said.
Montanaro will also be giving a mimedance lecture demonstration at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 6, at Macklanburg Playhouse. That event is free and open to the public.
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'The Ten' recognizes those who embody Ten Ideals

By Michelle Niewald/Stephens College Senior

The values of Stephens College are no secret to the student body.
Each year, a secret society of 10 senior women team up to recognize those students who embody the Ten Ideals—10 core values Stephens women live by. President Dianne Lynch and her husband, Philip Coleman, are the only two who know the identities of those representing the Ten Ideals…but their presence is known across campus thanks to posters with messages such as: “We’re watching you … and have been since 1921.”
The group’s mission? To recognize others who demonstrate values such as respect, courage, independence and support. And when they “catch” faculty, staff and fellow students demonstrating the Ideals, “The Ten” leave elaborate gifts and displays for them in a public spot on campus, typically in Columbia Foyer.
“The Ten serves our community in extraordinary ways,” Lynch said. “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.”

A poster recognizes those who demonstrate creativity

Being charged with nominating women who embody the Ten Ideals is no easy task. According to the student representing Responsibility, the group consistently works to nominate others outside of their familiar circle. “Responsibility” specifically nominates students who, in her opinion, are quiet, perhaps a student who does not hold a leadership position in an organization.
On the contrary, the student representing Leadership nominates those who take charge. “Being responsible or intelligent or creative is important, but being a leader and exemplifying these qualities inspires others to do the same,” she said.
Alumna Megan Tongue, a past member of “The Ten,” described the group as Stephens’ “private superhero club.”
“There was something heartwarming about seeing fellow students’ faces the morning of a reveal,” she said. “So many were so excited about being selected, and it made the late nights completely worth it.”
The confidence women gain from being recognized by “The Ten” is easily recognized when a display appears.





Essentially, “The Ten” hold themselves and others accountable for upholding the values and mission of Stephens College. As the role of women evolves and advances in the workplace, society and the world, “The Ten” agree it is important to empower others, especially when they may not realize anyone is watching.

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New musical theatre ensemble debuts at event

A new musical theatre ensemble debuted during the Bach’s Lunch Student Recital at Stephens College today.
The group performed “The Music of the Night” from The Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Audra Sergel accompanied on piano and Cheryl Nichols directed.
The ensemble includes residential students as well as members of the Stephens College Professional Conservatory Training Program.
Bach’s Lunch is a monthly event held throughout the school year that gives musical theatre and other students interested in vocal performance an opportunity to share their talents with their peers and members of the Stephens and local community. Today’s event also included several solos and a performance by The Velvetones, Stephens’ a cappella ensemble.
Bach’s Lunch is free and open to the public. The next recital is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. on March 20 in Senior Hall Recital Hall. The Spring Choral Concert, “Stephens Sings,” is set for 7:30 p.m. on April 13 in the Recital Hall and is also open to the public.
Watch a clip from the new ensemble’s performance below. 

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Stephens students, professor to screen films at Gimme Truth!

Stephens College film students and a faculty member have had their short films accepted into Gimme Truth!, a documentary game show held during Columbia’s True/False Film Festival.
The event, slated for 9:30 p.m. Saturday at The Blue Note, challenges local filmmakers to create shorts in an attempt to fool three seasoned film professionals who guess whether the one-minute documentaries are fact or fiction.
For their project, Kirsten Izzett and Livvy Runyon teamed up to create “Rice, Rice Baby,” about a supposed baby picture from the U.S. that caused such a buzz it’s now hanging in a printmaker’s shop in the Philippines. With supposedly factual interviews, old photos and clips from “South Pacific,” the story is made in documentary format. But is it for real?
LeeAnne Lowry and Hannah Bilau will also attempt to fool the judges when they screen their short film about a couple that supposedly ended up together following a prank involving a snake. And Associate Professor Chase Thompson’s film features an interview with a man who claims to have a pretty incredible story.
“It’s fun ‘competing’ against students,” Thompson said. “I’ve told them it would be awesome if we take first, second and third place with me being in third.”
Izzett and Lowry are Gimme Truth veterans. Last year, the two took second place for "Dem Bones," the unbelievable but true story about a Stephens student who carries her rib bone in her pocket.
Runyon is coming off a recent win, as well. She and her production team, under the direction of Stephens students Haley Padilla and Clara Canfield, won the Technical Achievement Award at the University of Missouri’s Valentine’s Day Film Fest. The prize? Rental of a Red Camera, a top of the line video camera.
Screening a film in public is nerve-wracking, Runyon said, but “also cool. It’s awesome to watch with an audience and see their reactions.”
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Somerville joins panel at AWP conference

Assistant Professor Kris Somerville is in Seattle this week presenting at the prestigious Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference. 
Somerville will present “Attack of the Beige Eaters” during a panel discussion, “Go Somewhere, Write Something: Teaching Influential Experience,” which focuses on giving students real-life experiences worth writing about. The conference is being held at the Washington State Convention Center through March 1.
The paper was inspired by a class project Somerville implemented two years ago in her advanced composition course. The class happened to be around the noon hour, and many of her students were bringing their lunches—think pizza, chicken, fries—with them to class. 
When Somerville, a guest food blogger for the Columbia Daily Tribune, mentioned that she was doing an article on sardines, students cringed. Of course they’d never actually tasted sardines, and that prompted an experiential learning activity.
Somerville decided to challenge her students to try new foods—including sardines. Every Friday, she would bring in an exotic fish, cheese or fruit and challenge them to describe what they tasted without using obvious details such as “salty.” Students could also write food-related memoirs if certain tastes brought up any particular memory. Not only did the exercise expose them to new foods, it also helped them develop writing skills.
The activity was so successful, she plans to implement it in her writing class again this semester.
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Stephens receives $15 million gift

An anonymous donor has given Stephens College a $15 million unrestricted gift—the largest in the school’s 180-year history.

“This is a historic contribution, and we are so honored and humbled,” Stephens President Dianne Lynch said. “We will use the funding strategically. We will use it wisely. We will use it to make Stephens even better than she is now.”

Stephens will invest the resources in strategic, creative ways that will help build on the college’s national prominence in both traditional academic programs and new areas of high marketplace demand.

“These are not replacement dollars,” Lynch said. “This is funding that will help shape Stephens College into its next century.”

The donor’s generosity is further confirmation that Stephens is an exceptional institution with a mission and tradition that merit exceptional support, said Nikki Krawitz, chair of the Board of Trustees.

“It will allow us to invest in our campus, in our people and in our students—and just as important it confirms for the world that Stephens is an investment worth making,” she said.

The donor wishes to remain anonymous but hopes the contribution inspires others to invest in Stephens’ future.

“The next several years are going to be exciting,” Lynch said. “We have an amazing network of generous and involved alumnae. We also have so many community members who support Stephens. That’s the incredible thing about this place—whether you’re coming to campus for a film or play, visiting our stables, sending your children to our children’s school—you’re part of our family. You’re going to see amazing things coming from the Stephens campus thanks, in part, to transformational gifts such as this one.”

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Stephens to offer new self defense courses

Stephens College this semester will begin offering students R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense) courses.
Two sections of the course—one in the morning and one in the evening—will be offered starting next month. Students can earn one credit for it or take it on a no-credit basis. Starting in the fall, the eight-week course will be offered twice during each semester.
“It makes perfect sense to offer such a course at a women’s college, and it goes hand-in-hand with our main goal here at Stephens—to empower our young women,” said Tony Coleman, director of security. “This is just one more thing for students to add to their life experience here and hopefully it will be something that will help them should they ever face a realistic situation during which they need to make decisions about their personal safety.”
The course educates women in basic confrontational principles such as understanding reaction time and knowing vulnerable target areas. It also teaches students about risk awareness and recognition and avoidance techniques.
Additionally, R.A.D. courses are designed to teach women to depend on themselves—not brothers, boyfriends or male friends—for protection, Coleman said. And it teaches women how to make decisions, such as when it’s best not to use force in self-defense.
Finally, the course creates opportunities for women to exert their physical strength through hands-on exercises.
Coleman and Security Officer Tasha Williams will be the instructors for the course. In December, they completed intensive training in Philadelphia to earn their nationally recognized R.A.D. Instructors Certification.  
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Artist talks crowdsourcing in contemporary issues course

Esteemed artist Paul Jackson gave Stephens students some tips on how to use crowdsourcing during a guest lecture this week in a new course being offered through the School of Organizational Leadership and Strategic Communication.

The class, Contemporary Issues in Strategic Communication, uses an innovative approach by having multiple faculty involved in teaching. 
Each faculty member is taking a two-week block to focus on a contemporary issue in his or her respective discipline. That allows students to be exposed to a variety of new ideas and topics, SOLSC Dean Susan Bartel said.

As part of her block, Assistant Professor Kim Stonecipher-Fisher is talking to students about crowdsourcing websites, which are used to solicit funding, information or insight from large groups.

Jackson—who designed the back of the Missouri state quarter—used Kickstarter to fund his coffee table book, “The Wandering Watercolorist.” The book is a collection of nearly 300 watercolor paintings from Jackson’s 30-year career as an artist. Jackson shared some of the advantages and disadvantages of using the site and introduced them to other crowdsourcing sites.

Students in the new course are also learning about corporate and responsible social media, women’s leadership, content marketing and the use of storytelling in nonprofit promotion.

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Video: Senior discusses Faux Real exhibit at Historic Costume Gallery

For her senior capstone project, Chloe Willett put together this semester's Faux Real collection at the Historic Costume Gallery. The gallery is now open and a special reception is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26.

Willett talks about the exhibit in this video:

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Blanding snags Silver at regional ADDY competition

Senior Moki Blanding is headed to the American Advertising Federation’s national conference in Florida this spring after snagging a Silver at the AAF-Kansas City regional ADDY award competition in Kansas City this weekend.
“This keeps me motivated,” she said of the win. “It’s a constant reminder that even though I’ve looked at my work and criticized it so many times, it’s still good and other people recognize that.”
In this case, Blanding is referring to the intricate owl she designed for a mock advertising campaign in her information and promotion design class last year. 
The owl was the main element on ads, labels and other materials promoting a fictitious brewery.owl “The feedback I’ve gotten about it has been amazing,” she said.
 The regional ADDY award competition, which has a student award component in addition to the professional awards, was held at The Midland. Blanding compared it to Red Carpet affairs.
“I felt like I was at the Grammys,” she said. “It was so awesome to look around and see what other people are coming up with and what was winning. Everybody’s work was amazing.”
Blanding will now submit her work to the national ADDY level during the AAF National Conference on Advertising May 28-31 at the Boca Raton Resort & Beach Spa in Boca Raton, Fla.

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Poets discuss merits of rhyme at Writers on the Edge event Monday

To rhyme or not to rhyme—that was the question posed yesterday during “Conventions of Rhyme in Contemporary Poetry,” a conversation with two area poets.
Melissa Range and Austin Segrest—both pursuing doctorate degrees at the University of Missouri—debated the merits of true rhyme during an hour-long forum at the Hugh Stephens Library.
Many writers dismiss traditional rhyming—the end-of-line true rhymes common in 19th century poetry—as being childish or too flowery. Range, however, encouraged students to be open to it. In-your-face rhymes, she said, aren’t merely decorative but rather add to the layers of meanings found in poetry. 
She also countered the notion that traditional rhyme is old-fashioned when she read Randall Mann’s “Queen Christina,” a contemporary sonnet about a dying man who unsuccessfully attempts to hide his declining state by dressing in drag.
Segrest said he favors more subtle, near rhymes—words that have a similar vowel sound or consonant ending—the sorts of rhymes one might find in popular music.
Both poets read selections that backed their preferences, as well as original works.
Range is the author of Horse and Rider, a 2010 poetry collection that won the Walt McDonald Prize in Poetry. She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, a “Discovery”/The Nation Prize, and fellowships from the American Antiquarian Society, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Her poems been published in 32 PoemsThe Georgia Review, The Hudson Review, Image, New England Review, The Paris Review and other journals.
Segrest’s poems have appeared in The Yale Review, New England Review, Shenandoah, Ploughshares and Threepenny Review, and are forthcoming in Harvard Review and Western Humanities.
The lecture was part of the Writers on the Edge Series at Stephens, which brings notable writers to campus. 
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Stephens students take home film honors

Stephens students took home two awards from this weekend’s University of Missouri Valentine’s Day Film Fest.

“There is a Light That Never Goes Out,” directed by Haley Padilla and Clara Canfield, received the Technical Achievement Award. The film was shot in the Hugh Stephens Library on campus last semester.

Madeline Carl’s “The Fox, the Crow and the Cookie” won the Special Effects Award.

The festival was held Sunday on the MU campus and also featured “Return of the Mimes” by LeeAnn Lowry.

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Writers on the Edge series presents two area poets today

Stephens College is hosting a conversation with two poets this afternoon.

Melissa Range, whose 2010 poetry collection Horse and Rider won the 2010 Walt McDonald Prize in Poetry, and Austin Segrest, who has been published in a number of literary journals and publications, will speak at 4:30 p.m. in the Penthouse at Hugh Stephens Library. The event, part of the Writers on the Edge series, is free and open to the public.

Range’s poems have appeared in 32 Poems, The Georgia Review, The Hudson Review, Image, New England Review, The Paris Review, and other journals. She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, a “Discovery”/The Nation Prize, and fellowships from the American Antiquarian Society, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Originally from East Tennessee, she is finishing up her Ph.D. in English at the University of Missouri.

Segrest is finishing his Ph.D. in poetry at Mizzou. His poems have been published in The Yale Review, New England Review, Shenandoah, Ploughshares and Threepenny Review, and are forthcoming in Harvard Review and Western Humanities.

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Warehouse Theatre presents coming-of-age play, 'Crooked'

The Warehouse Theatre—Stephens’ student-run theatre company—is producing “Crooked,” a complex play with all the ups and downs that come with real life, Director Ryan Tucker '14 said.
Crooked starts at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 20-Feb. 22 with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee on Feb. 23. Ticket information.
The play centers on Laney, played by Emily Chatterson ’16, a preteen who suffers from a muscle deformity that causes her to have a raised shoulder. Her shrug is both literal and figurative—when she and her mother move to a new town, she uses her defensive nature to deal with the challenges. When she meets Maribel, a devout Christian played by Heidi Womelsdorf ’15, the two discover essential truth about life and themselves, Tucker said.
“The Warehouse decided to include this show in the 40thanniversary season because it really is a coming of age story for these two girls—discovering themselves and their beliefs through religion, sexuality and relationships,” Tucker said. “This is a good fit for Stephens because in one way or another, I think everyone can relate to all of these characters.”
While the show is dramatic, Tucker said audiences can expect some lighter moments.
“It truly is a show that will make you laugh out loud and cry and everything in between,” she said. “The show is a beautiful piece of work that you won’t want to miss.”
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Stephens films to be screened at MU Film Fest this weekend

Three films made by Stephens College digital filmmaking students will be screened this weekend at the University of Missouri’s Valentine’s Day Film Fest.

“There is a Light That Never Goes Out” co-directed by Haley Padilla and Clara Canfield, “Return of the Mimes” by LeeAnn Lowry and “The Fox, the Crow and the Cookie” by Madeline Carl—all shorts—were selected out of a pool of submissions that also included films by MU and other college students. The films begin screening at 1 p.m. Sunday in Jesse Wrench Auditorium in Memorial Union on the MU campus. The event is free and open to the community. At 4 p.m., awards will be given to the best films in the festival and will include significant prizes.

“This is a great way to see what other schools and area filmmakers are submitting,” said Chase Thompson, an assistant professor in digital filmmaking.

For Canfield, a sophomore, it will be the first time she sees one of her films on the big screen. It’s exciting, she said, but a little nerve-wracking. The film, shot in the Hugh Stephens Library on campus, follows a somewhat disgruntled library worker who reluctantly journeys to the film archives in the basement and finds a curious peephole. When she stares into it, her world is forever changed ... or is it?

“I hope people see that imagination is not limited by our daily lives,” Canfield said. “At least that’s what I took away from it. It's up to audiences to figure out what happens next.

Finding out how films resonate with audiences is just one benefit of a public screening such as this one, Thompson said.

“The reason to make films is to get them out there; we need to get that initial feedback,” he said. “Students need to get comfortable defending their work. Plus, the film submission process can become daunting, so the more practice you get, the easier it becomes. So even if it’s a small festival—all the better to get your feet wet and work your way up.”

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Stephens students, faculty heading to Sigma Tau Delta convention

Stephens College will be well represented at the Sigma Tau Delta Convention in Savannah, Ga., later this month.
Professor Judith Clark will serve as a faculty moderator for three sessions at the national English honor society event, scheduled for Feb. 26-March 1. 
And four English/Creative Writing majors have been invited to read their works at the conference. Maggie Myers, Amber Surdam and Alexi Scharbach will make the trip; Arianne Kobler was invited but will not attend.
Scharbach, who will read a non-fiction piece, said she’s excited but a little nervous knowing she’ll be reading in front of the top English/Creative Writing students from across the globe. She did get experience, though, last year at the society’s convention in Portland.
Surdam will read her short story about a struggling marriage. What makes the piece unique is that both sides are told through first-person narrative.
“I’ve been practicing reading to myself in my room,” Surdam said.
Myers will read her collection of poetry and is most excited about sharing her poem about a dream.
“I’d never submitted before, so I was really excited when I found out over Christmas break” that her work had been selected.
The students agreed that studying English/Creative Writing at Stephens is unique because of the faculty.
“I looked at a lot of colleges,” Myers said. “The teachers here were really amazing. They’re so caring.”
Scharbach agreed, adding that professors also publish, edit and work on other external projects.
“They have so much experience,” she said. “They’re always working.”  
While at the Sigma Tau Delta Convention, Stephens representatives will also accept the Literary Journal of the Year Award for the 2013 edition of Harbinger.
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Fashion gallery explores contrast between real, faux

Kim Kardashian gets flour thrown at her for wearing it. Pop star Beyoncé caused a stir when she wore it to a vegan restaurant. Even NFL fans weighed in on the fashion staple when football legend Joe Namath sported the look at the Super Bowl.
Fur. It conjures up images of royalty, status and wealth. It also raises eyebrows and questions about the treatment of animals.
Stephens is examining the evolution of fur, leather and suede, as well as faux fur, pleather and animal prints in the Historic Costume Gallery’s Spring 2014 exhibit.
“Faux Real: Exploring Natural and Synthetic Fur, Leather and Animal Motifs” includes coyote, fox, mink and other fur coats, wraps and hats on display in the gallery, located on the mezzanine of Lela Raney Wood Hall. There are also more recent pieces that use acrylic, vegan leather and other synthetic materials and feature animal prints and animal-themed jewelry. 
The theme “Faux Real,” is a play on contradictions, said Monica McMurry, dean of the School of Fashion and Design.
While faux fabrics might seem friendlier options on the surface, they aren’t without environmental damage. Synthetic fibers are made from harsh chemicals that damage the eco-system and emit harmful gases. They also aren’t high enough quality to be worn for more than a couple of years, but can take decades to degrade, senior Chloe Willett found in her research. The exhibit is part of Willett’s senior project for her self-initiated major combining fashion, art history and art.
Faux Real “might spark a conversation, and I hope it does,” McMurry said. “Not just about the use of fur and animal byproducts but also about the significance of animals in history and fashion. Why do we even wear animal prints?”
The exhibit is open from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays and from noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays Feb. 15 through May 10. There will be a special reception from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26.



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Playhouse to present 'Uncle Vanya'

Stephens College is presenting a new adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s "Uncle Vanya," and according to the show’s director theatre-goers are in for a ride.

“Audiences can expect to laugh and cry and see much of their own behavior reflected in the delicate, amusing and touching world of Uncle Vanya,” Director Lamby Hedge said. The “emotional roller-coaster ride includes a climax involving a pistol and a bouquet of ‘sad, fall autumn roses,’ as rowdy and farcical as a Marx Brothers movie and as heartbreaking as one can imagine.”

A period piece set in 1899, Uncle Vanya centers on a pompous professor, Serebryakov (played by guest artist Michael Rapport) who is residing at his country estate with his much-younger wife, Yelena (played by Annie Malin ’14). A daughter from his previous marriage, Sonya (played by Mariah Larkin ’14) and his brother-in-law Vanya (played by theatre professor Rob Doyen) oversee the estate. When a dashing yet alcoholic doctor named Astrov (played by Ty Carter, a second-year conservatory student) comes for a visit, absurd competitions, disastrous flirtations and unbearable heartache soon follow.

“Considered a masterpiece of early realism, Chekhov draws a portrait of lives perilously teetering between tragedy and comedy: tragedy because at the end, so many dreams remain deferred, and comedy because it becomes abundantly clear that each ridiculous character is entirely to blame for his or her own maddening inability to seize personal happiness,” Hedge said.

This version of the classic by Andrew Upton was initially produced by the Sydney Theatre Company in Australia and recently produced in New York City as part of the Lincoln Center Festival (and starred Upton’s wife and award-winning actress Cate Blanchett).

“It garnered universal, rave reviews,” Hedge said, noting that she had been looking for a fresh translation of the classic.

“The production provides our student company an opportunity to explore rich and complicated characters who are infused with funny, sad, infuriating and endearing qualities,” she said. “These are beautifully honest character studies, which will seem very fresh and modern to a contemporary audience."

Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 14-15, 21-22 and a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee on Feb. 16 at Macklanburg Playhouse. Ticket information.
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TRYPS joins Stephens family

TRYPS (Theater Reaching Young People & Schools), mid-Missouri’s acclaimed children’s theatre program, will this spring join the School of Performing Arts at Stephens College, officials from both organizations announced today.

As of April 1, TRYPS will become “The TRYPS Institute at Stephens College” and will occupy all three floors of the west wing of Hickman Hall on the corner of College and Broadway.

At Hickman Hall, TRYPS—entering its 15thseason—will operate “business as usual” and will continue to offer its existing roster of classes, camps and plays for mid-Missouri children, families and schools. As The TRYPS Institute at Stephens College, the company will create new children’s theatre classes, hands-on production experience and teaching opportunities for Stephens College students.

“We’re so excited to have a permanent home that lets us grow our programming,” said Jill Womack, TRYPS’s executive artistic director. “It just makes sense. The new space triples our classroom and rehearsal capacity. Stephens College provides a dynamic, creative environment that supports the arts.”

“We are delighted to offer our students the opportunity to develop an expertise in children’s theatre, one of the fastest-growing areas of the performing arts,” Stephens President Dianne Lynch said. “Jill has built TRYPS into a professional company with a reputation for quality and integrity, and we are thrilled that it is becoming a member of the Stephens family.”

Lynch and Womack envision other collaborations on campus as well. TRYPS has recently launched a costume academy, Threads, that may offer classes to students in in both the School of Fashion and Design and the School of Performing Arts. 

“The possibilities are endless,” Womack said. “To connect our mission to Stephens College students and to show them new ways their theatre experiences can lead to viable, creative careers before they graduate is really invaluable.”  

Mimi Hedges, interim dean of the School of Performing Arts, said the school looks forward to collaborative opportunities with The TRYPS Institute.

“Our Stephens students will have the benefit of learning about children’s theatre through planned coursework and practical experiences,” she said. “This will add another training ground to our existing pre-professional programs with great potential for employment upon graduation.”

The TRYPS Institute’s first production at Stephens will be Willy Wonka Jr. April 4-6 at Macklanburg Playhouse. Future productions and recitals will also be held at Warehouse Theatre and in Historic Senior Hall.

Hickman Hall, which previously housed Columbia Independent School, is undergoing renovations. TRYPS families and community members are invited to take a construction tour of the facility from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 16.  

Founded in 1833, Stephens College has a history of innovative, experiential programming. The college’s theatre program is ranked 16th in the country by The Princeton Review.  

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SCCS students study germs at Pillsbury Science Center

Elementary students from Stephens College Children’s School had a chance to get a close-up look at germs on Friday using microscopes in the science labs at Pillsbury Science Center.
The hour-long exercise was part of the American Chemical Society’s Science Coach program, which lets college-level science professors team up with elementary schools to provide more in-depth science lessons. Stephens received a grant last semester to fund the partnership.
Second- through fifth-graders were tasked with viewing and drawing various bacteria such as e-coli, and Walker explained what ailments each caused.
Friday was the second time the class has visited the labs and “excitement was high,” SCCS elementary teacher Elizabeth Walker said. “They were looking forward to it. It brings a new level of excitement about science—and for students who wouldn’t normally be interested in science, as well.”
As part of the activities, students also saw first-hand just how quickly germs can spread. Students each got a bag of flour, with one bag laced with glow-in-the-dark powder. After just a few handshakes around the room, most students had acquired the powder.
The exchange between the science department and the elementary school benefits those studying education, as well. Kelsey Whitten, a senior education major, had a chance to see how to teach younger children using college-level equipment.

“That’s the beauty of having” the children’s school “on campus,” she said. “There’s so much cool stuff you can do that you couldn’t if it wasn’t here.”

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