Engagement Pixel Starkle Dream Up. Stephens College


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Stephens to host 'Suits & Sneakers' basketball game

By Adam Samson/Sports Information Director

The Stephens College basketball program will show its support of Coaches vs. Cancer this Thursday  when the team hosts Harris-Stowe State at Silverthorne Arena. Tip-off for the American Midwest Conference (AMC) contest is set for 7 p.m.

One event unique to the Coaches vs. Cancer initiative is the “Suits & Sneakers” Event. Different from normal gameday attire, Stars’ head coach Chris Duncan and assistant Jessica McConnell will join several coaches across the country in sporting a suit and sneakers during their Coaches vs. Cancer basketball game. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to help promote cancer awareness.

Fundraising and awareness events that focus on the fight against cancer have become a norm at all levels of sport. For some, it hits closer to home. And for Stephens basketball head coach Chris Duncan, this game means a great deal to him.

“This is near and dear to my heart because I lost my mom to cancer four years ago,” Duncan said. “Every year when the Suits & Sneakers event comes around, it reminds me of how cancer affects so many people, especially my family. This is a great opportunity to represent and show support for Coaches vs. Cancer and the American Cancer Society.”

With next week’s “Suits & Sneakers” fundraising event, pink cotton candy and balloons will be given out to all in attendance. At the door, fans can make a $2 donation for a sneaker cut-out to honor someone who is battling or has battled cancer.

Another option for fans is to print out a copy of the sneaker prior to the game for free admittance, while making a donation to Coaches vs. Cancer. All sneakers will be displayed on our Coaches vs. Cancer Wall of Support.

Coaches vs. Cancer is a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), which empowers basketball coaches, their teams and local communities to make a difference in the fight against cancer.
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Genealogist encourages students to research past

Students work on a service project for MLK Day.

International genealogist Kathleen Brandt encouraged Stephens students to learn more about themselves by learning more about their ancestors during two special Martin Luther King Day presentations on Monday.
“Who you are is not necessarily what you think,” she said during a morning workshop. Genealogists “bring the dead to life. We give them stories. They’re more than a date, more than a family tree. Explore them to find the pioneer in you.”
Brandt, who graduated from Stephens in 1981, spent nearly 20 years in international business before discovering she had a rare medical condition that doctors said would be fatal within months. She ultimately defied the odds, but that’s when she began researching her own family lineage in hopes of learning more about the disease.
She developed a passion for studying the past and by sharing what she’d learned about genealogy on a blog quickly became known as an expert. She’s since been called on by networks and cable channels to conduct work for shows such as the History Channel’s “How the States Got Their Shapes” and TLC’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” Brandt has done work for celebrities including Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw and Ashley Judd.
Brandt encourages most people to do their own genealogy using local and online resources, although she warns that only about 20 percent of data can be found online. For her clients, she is adamant that she includes everything she finds in her report, even if it’s not what the client wanted to know.
“I refuse to change history,” she said. “I refuse to sterilize it.”
Brandt’s visit was part of a daylong MLK celebration on campus. Students also volunteered during the day, conducted service projects and enjoyed a cultural presentation by Giving Voice, a theatre troupe from Missouri State University.

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International genealogist to deliver MLK Day keynote

An international genealogist and writer will deliver the keynote address on Martin Luther King Day Monday.

Kathleen Brandt ’81 will present “The Invisible Staircase” at 3 p.m. in the Kimball Ballroom at Lela Raney Wood Hall. The talk is based on King’s observation that one doesn’t have to see the whole staircase in order to take the first step.

Brandt will also conduct a workshop at 9 a.m. for students using a historical case study on how early pioneers forged ahead, regardless of obstacles.

Brandt is a consultant who has worked with corporations on historical, cultural and genealogical projects. She has researched for television episodes of TLC’s “Who Do You Think You Are” series, researching the genealogy of celebrities including Reba McEntire and Ashley Judd; and has provided research for The History Channel’s “How the States Got Their Shapes.”  

Brandt is also the author of a3Genealogy, an educational and skill building blog that explores various cultural and ethnic issues and provides genealogy research tips.

MLK Day activities also include an interactive program for students and a service project.
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Stephens English professor creates new world in upcoming web series

Sometimes when Kate Berneking Kogut, assistant professor of English/Creative Writing, talks about Daffodil Township, you forget it’s a made-up world.

She knows the history, the town secrets, who’s who in the community. She knows the town’s seven parks, six primary businesses and all about the annual event that’s the backdrop of the first season of her new web series.

Kogut is writing, directing and producing a new online series about a Missouri community gearing up to benefit from global warming after the town psychic predicts the community will someday become coveted oceanfront property.

“American Riviera” will unveil the history and future of the fictional town through a variety of media.

With the help of Assistant Film Professor Steph Borkland, Kogut filmed the first season of the web series this summer, and the series should start appearing online in the coming months, although pieces of the program are already online. The main website can be found at daffodiltownship.com and will soon include a link to the town’s faux newspaper and Facebook and Twitter accounts of some of the main characters.

“This project really allows me to explore a variety of storytelling techniques,” Kogut said. “And by exploring them myself, I’m better able to teach my students how to take advantage of all of the communication resources out there.”

Her English students aren’t the only ones who are benefiting. This summer, she let film students help on the production side; and she’s teamed up with a faculty member in the Integrated Marketing program to assist with the community newspaper.

Kogut, herself, will contribute as the voice of the psychic—who is never seen in the series—and Columbia resident Paula Carter stars as the town’s acting mayor.

“It was irresistible,” Carter said, referring to the opportunity to be involved. “This is a perfect format—it’s so accessible.”
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Sophomore competing in CFDA/Teen Vogue contest

InspirationStephens sophomore Britta Bell is competing this semester in the Council of Fashion Designers of America/Teen Vogue Scholarship Program.

The invite-only contest challenges student designers to come up with a collection worthy of the runway but at the department store prices found at Target.

For her line, Bell selected designer Tom Ford as her inspiration.

“He’s a pretty fantastic designer—sophisticated, classy, iconic, but also minimalistic,” she said.

A jury of faculty and professionals selected Bell’s designs this fall to compete in the international scholarship completion. The designs—including dresses, trousers and jackets—as well as swatches of her proposed fabrics, have since been submitted to contest judges. CFDA is expected to announce the results this spring.

Designing with someone else’s style in mind was beneficial because it required her to step out of her comfort zone, Bell said.

“I learned a lot designing through someone else’s lens,” she said.

Bell described her creations as sophisticated, but edgy; forward-thinking but timeless.

This is the first year Stephens has participated in CFDA competitions.

“It’s a small group of invited schools, and because we’re a part of that means we’re in an international spotlight,” said Monica McMurry, dean of the School of Fashion & Design. “We’re able to compete with the very best schools, making our work more intensive.”

In addition to the CFDA/Teen Vogue contest, students have had the chance to create designs for three additional competitions, all worth $25,000 in scholarship funding. Those contests will be held this spring.

Bell, 23, realized she wanted to design fashion after taking a break from college, where she originally wanted to pursue a creative writing degree. To make extra money, she began designing purses.
Through that circuit, she found a passion for fashion.

She discovered Stephens through relatives living in the area. She’s been able to develop her creative and technical skills since.

“Every step of this process has been surprising,” she said. “Since I’ve started at Stephens, it’s been full of surprises. I’ve learned more in two years than I’ve ever learned.”

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Stephens student creates winning design

Junior Mary Eifert has been named one of nine winners in the Denali Design-a-Throw Competition.
She’ll find out next month what place she won. The Grand Prize is worth $1,000, plus a throw blanket featuring the winning design.
The Design-A-Throw Competition is a nationwide pattern design contest open to college students studying fashion, graphic, interior or other design. Eifert is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in fashion design and production.
A total of 177 students entered the competition. All nine winning designs could be knit into a Denali Home Collection throw blanket. Students were asked to create a nautical or hunting themed print design and pattern. Eifert’s blue and green throw features seahorses.
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Gingerbread by petition: SCCS classes make cookies, houses

Preschool and elementary classes at Stephens College Children’s School have spent the past few weeks reading various books about gingerbread men and women.
They even had a chance to create their own paper gingerbread people and were challenged to give their characters back stories.
But that wasn’t quite enough for fifth-grader Natalie James. She wanted her classmates to get the entire gingerbread experience. So she wrote a letter to her teachers about why they should actually bake gingerbread men.

The petition

James argued that her teachers could bake them and the students could decorate them. James even offered to write a grant to help purchase ingredients—that, or parents could just donate them.
But she didn’t stop there. James, unbeknownst to teachers, posted a petition on a classroom wall asking students “Do you think we should bake gingerbread men? Then sign below.”
The sign-up sheet quickly filled up.
Teachers later discovered the note and petition.
“You can hardly say no to that,” elementary teacher Beth Watson said.
So on Thursday, James and her classmates had a chance to decorate fresh-out-of-the-oven gingerbread men.
Asked how she got the idea, James said she just really likes the baking process and knew her friends would enjoy the project, too.

“A lot of the kids here like to create and decorate,” she said.

Children over in the preschool benefited from James’ activism, too. They got to decorate tiny gingerbread houses made out of graham crackers. 
See more photos of the project here.

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Lee, Stephens children's school students visit President's Home

Kindergarteners from Lee Elementary School and students from the Stephens College Children’s School got a chance to write letters to Santa—and deliver them to the big man himself—at the President’s Home on the Stephens College campus today.

Santa talks to a SCCS student.

But visiting Santa was only half the fun. The children also got to see artwork they created this semester on display in a sitting room on the first floor, which is used for public events.
And that was really exciting, said Lindsey Clifton, an elementary teacher at Stephens College Children’s School.

“It really demonstrates to children the importance of their art projects when the works are put on public display,” Clifton said. “They’re excited about Santa, but for us as teachers, that’s really what makes this experience so valuable.”

The children were also asked to draw a picture of their day at the President’s Home, which President Dianne Lynch plans to collect in an album.

Stephens is a Partner in Education with Lee Elementary, and the holiday event is one of several collaborations between the two. On Sunday, Lee’s third-grade class joined other area choirs for a community holiday concert. And during the spring and fall seasons, the students use the house’s lawn for soccer games, to run and as a playground.

This is the second year Lynch has hosted the holiday event at the historic home, which reopened in December 2011 after a successful campaign to restore it.

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Choirs perform during Stephens holiday concert


West Middle School students perform under the direction of Hilary Myers.


The Rock Bridge High School Women's Choir under the direction of Mike Pierson.


The Velvetones, Stephens' a cappella ensemble, performs.

Choirs from Lee Elementary School, West Middle School and Rock Bridge High School joined the Stephens College Velvetones on Sunday, Dec. 15, to present a holiday concert for the community.

The first-ever Stephens College Friends & Family Community Holiday Concert attracted roughly 300. The event was such a success, Stephens President Dianne Lynch said she hopes to continue it in future years.

“We wanted a way for Stephens to give back to the community this holiday season,” said Breanne Pickering ’13, who helped organize the concert. “We think the concert was a great way to do that. The music was wonderful.”

With Stephens music instructor Tom Andes accompanying, the third-grade choir from Lee Elementary, under the direction of Elizabeth Tummons, performed Jubilate Deo by Michale Praetorius and Noel Nouvelet, a traditional French carol.

The all-female West Middle School concert choir performed Shalom, Pacem, Peace by Ruth Elaine Schram and Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights under the direction of Hilary Myers.

Breanne Pickering and Rob Doyen.

The Rock Bridge Women’s Choir performed a traditional Austrian carol, Still, Still, Still and a traditional German carol, Kling Glocken, Kling. The Rock Bridge choir is under the direction of Mike Pierson, with Janet Mathews accompanying.

The Velvetones, under the direction of Pam Ellsworth-Smith, performed several traditional carols, including Winter Wonderland, O Christmas Tree and Deck the Halls.

Stephens Theatre Professor Rob Doyen also performed a solo.

“We hope the community enjoyed this event as much as we did,” Pickering said. “It was really a wonderful way to celebrate the holidays.”

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Stephens launches Bachelor of Health Science degree

Stephens College is launching a new Bachelor of Health Science program next fall for students who want to enter the rapidly growing health industry.

The interdisciplinary degree will provide a core curriculum in health-based coursework and electives designed to prepare students to work at public health agencies, hospitals, clinics, laboratories and other health-related organizations.

“This program is a response to student demand and to the allied health professions workforce shortage,” said Dr. Tara Giblin, dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences. “It’s an interdisciplinary degree designed to prepare students for health careers who aren’t necessarily headed to medical or professional schools.”

The Health Science program takes a holistic approach, blending physical and biological sciences with behavioral and social domains of health.

Graduates will be prepared to work in a variety of careers such as health educators, health information specialists, nutritionists, community outreach coordinators or health generalists.

The demand for health professionals is growing, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, a response to global concerns about aging populations, the need to promote healthier lifestyles and emerging diseases. 
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Seniors show off behind-the-scenes theatre work

Polly Mytinger knew two things when she came to Stephens College three years ago.

She knew she enjoyed theatre, and she knew she wanted to pursue a business career.

What she didn’t know was that the two worlds could be combined.

Then, during her first semester on campus, an opportunity came up to be an assistant stage manager at the student-run Warehouse Theatre.

“I ended up working as the stage manager and haven’t stopped,” Mytinger, now a senior, said. “That completely altered my career path.”

Kelsey Looney's floral crowns and display board.

Today, Mytinger is confident running an entire production, from making sure rehearsals go as planned to making sure every show is as fresh and exciting as opening night. She makes sure props, sets and special effects work properly.

Once, she remembers pulling off a scene involving a trap door, where an actor rose from the dead, a scene that also required a fog effect, audio and visual lightening effects and the video projection of a ghost.

“The end product was brilliant,” she said. “That’s what makes it worth it.”

Mytinger was one of several theatre seniors showcasing their talents yesterday during an open house in the lobby of Macklanburg Playhouse. Set and costume designers joined theatre management majors to give visitors insights into what happens behind the scenes to making a show successful.

Kelsey Looney showed off her costume designs, including floral crowns, clay horns and sketches of a dress she made that was being used in “Inspecting Carol” last night. Stephens is a good place to study costume design, she said, “because of the good theatre and fashion departments and the way the two intersect.”

A visitor admires Antonia Howard's displays.

Lucy Connolly-Brown agreed. While she prefers making costumes, especially Victorian-era gowns, she is also grateful for the opportunity to learn to work with a variety of fabrics in her patternmaking and other fashion courses.

“When I’m not in class, I’m always in the costume shop,” she said. “You always have a new project, something new to learn.”

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Graduating senior begins career in Columbia

By Amber Surdam/Stephens College Senior

From an undecided declaration to a graphic design major, graduating senior Taylor Hill found her place among children, art and teaching.

During her sophomore year, she decided she wanted to be an artist and a teacher, so she changed her major to liberal arts with concentrations in visual arts and early education. Hill started working as an art teacher at Montessori Children’s School in Columbia earlier this month.

Hill discovered Montessori Children’s School through Stephens’ Career Services office. She needed to find a job, but she didn’t want to do just anything. After weeks of searching, numerous phone calls and persistence, Hill got an interview in October. Two months later, she received a phone call, letting her know she got the job. She will now take nine months of additional classes to obtain a teaching certificate.

Hill credited courses she’s already taken for preparing her to draft lesson plans.

“My advanced printmaking and independent class really helped me understand different methods to teach hard techniques to children,” she said.

She did a lot of practicums with the Stephens College Children School and learned through trial and error what works best with young children. She knows they want to play, make things and paint and  knows children think being creative is “cool.” But she also knows with 20- to 30-minute attention spans, keeping children interested is a challenge. Still, Hill sees it as an adventure.

In her art classes at Stephens, she worked on a variety of pieces, including a mask that she created in October. The mask isn’t for Halloween but it instead represents the troubling environment, she said. Another one of her pieces is a transparency project made from silk, thread, and picture and word clippings from a magazine.

Hill created a technique to teach young children cubism, impressionism and basic color theory. She started with cotton and muslin fabric squares. She used Vincent Van Gogh’s the Starry Night, Camille Pissarro’s Fields, Claude Monet’s the Houses of Parliament (Effect of Fog), and Barnett Newman’s End of Silence as models for her technique study. Using the original works of art, she recreated them using a basic color palette.

From St. Louis, Hill attended an all-girls high school and said Stephens felt like her second home immediately. She wanted to do something creative and declared herself as undecided while she tried out different classes to see what fit. Hill decided she would try graphic design but discovered the world of graphic design is a bit too competitive.Unable to work at someone else’s pace, she discovered her passion for visual arts and early education.

Her first day at the Montessori Children’s School went well. And while she said she couldn’t wait to do more than small lessons, she knows for right now she’s still learning.

Someday, Hill hopes to teach in St. Louis and live closer to her family.
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Class challenges students to illustrate popular novel

Students in Sara Fletcher’s Topics in Art class had a chance to combine literature and visual arts this semester with a focus on Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility.”

Students were tasked with reading the novel before illustrating it using a variety of media and models who wore pieces from the college’s costume shop.

“I think the students learned a lot about drawing human figures in relation to each other,” Fletcher said. “Having the story element was a good focus and reason for getting the arms, for example, meaningful and right.”

During the first month of the course, students discussed the novel every Tuesday. They also watched two versions of the movie to get different perspectives.

Students experimented with watercolor, ink, pencil and other tools to create various ways of stylizing and drawing naturally, as well as how to compose the illustrations in a meaningful way.

“Each student had a different perspective on the story,” Fletcher said. “It was interesting to see it from her vision. And because each was at a different angel to the models, that told the story differently, too.”

Fletcher pitched the idea of having a course theme to Dr. Tara Giblin, dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences, who was supportive of incorporating it into visual arts.

“I chose the Jane Austen theme because I am a great fan of hers and love to incorporate illustrating with fine art, and the way pictures can complement a beautiful story,” she said.

Next semester, she is teaching an eight-week course, “Women as Children’s Book Illustrators and Authors,” during which they’ll study artists and authors. Each student will illustrate a fairy tale, either an existing one or one she writes herself.
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Students inducted into Psychology Honor Society

Five students were inducted into Psi Chi, the national Psychology Honor Society, yesterday during a ceremony in the Penthouse of Hugh Stephens Library.

To become a member of the prestigious group—founded during the 9th International Congress of Psychology in 1929—students must be at least second-semester sophomores and have taken at least 9 semester hours of psychology courses, be in the top 35 percent of their class and have a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average in their psychology classes.

Once inducted, Psi Chi members are members for life and can compete for research grants and scholarships as both undergraduate and graduate students.

Inductees included Erica Bonnot, Gera Parks, Jennifer Hrebar-Ihler, Jennifer Pestle and Hillary Schneider.

This is the first class to be inducted into the Stephens Chapter for several years. In the future, members will be inducted in the spring, said Dr. Tara Giblin, dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences.

“Psi Chi is one of the largest student psychology organizations in the world, so we’re excited to breathe new life into our chapter,” Giblin said. “Women have been studying psychology at Stephens for more than a century, and we’re pleased to see students are still interested in pursuing it as a major and career.”
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Stephens presents 'Inspecting Carol'

Expect lots of laughs and some zany holiday cheer when Stephens College presents “Inspecting Carol” this month.

The play, originally written by Daniel J. Sullivan for the Seattle Repertory Theatre, is a behind-the-scenes look at a cash-strapped community theatre’s production of “A Christmas Carol.”

“Basically anything that can go wrong in a rehearsal process does go wrong,” Director Dan Schultz said. “The company starts rehearsing too late, so new cast members don’t know their lines, experienced cast members are bored, so they make last minute changes, and there are all sorts of technical problems. What results is a hysterical comedy of errors.”

When the third-tier theatre learns its funding is about to be cut, the cast of characters—including a not-so-tiny Tim and a wannabe actor who is mistaken for a National Endowment of the Arts inspector—goes out of its way to provide the company’s worth.

“For our acting students, the show gives them their first opportunity this year to work on a straight-up comedy," Schultz said. "It’s challenging for actors to play broad comic types honestly and this show offers the chance to experience that.”

The play requires students to “find the hero” in their characters, even though some of the characters don’t quite have the theatrical skills of others, he added.

“They have to first create a compelling character who then also happens to be an actor with limited skills,” he said.

The show gives student designers a challenge, too, requiring them to essentially design two shows in one.

Rated PG-13 for adult situations, the production promises to be a lough-out-loud spoof on a holiday favorite.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11-12 at Macklanburg Playhouse. Ticket information.
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Spellman to deliver December Commencement address

Renowned women’s empowerment coach Allyson Spellman ’93 will deliver the keynote address at Stephens’ December 2013 Commencement ceremony.

The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13, in the Kimball Ballroom of Lela Raney Wood Hall. Fifty-five students, including those earning master’s degrees, will participate.

Spellman graduated from Stephens with a Bachelor of Fine Arts before continuing her education at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. She is CEO and founder of Unleash Your Voice, providing services as a women’s empowerment coach. She is an author, TV guest expert and speaker. She serves as a featured guest expert for women’s empowerment topics on the Fox Morning Show and has been featured on ESPN Radio and in Hartford Magazine, New York Social Diary, Connecticut Magazine, Hamptons Daze Magazine, Accent Women and Greenwich Girl.

Spellman was recently honored as one of the “Local Ladies Who Have Made History” in honor of Women’s History Month in Greenwich, Conn., for her accomplishments. She also recently partnered with Ladies Who Launch and Business Women Connect, two leading organizations that support women entrepreneurs.

Prior to her current position, Spellman worked in various capacities for television, film and Broadway for more than 10 years. She produced several shows at New York Performance Works, including the critically acclaimed "Joe Fearless"; she served as a casting director for more than 100 commercials and independent films; and worked directly with producers on several Broadway shows including "Chicago," "Avenue Q," "Rent," "Wonderful Town" and The Drama Desk Awards. As an actress, she worked on "Law & Order," "All My Children," "Lipstick Jungle," "The Bourne Ultimatum" and "One Life to Live."

Terra Carlson ’13, a fashion marketing and management major, will deliver remarks on behalf of the undergraduate class, and Melinda Adams, who is earning a Master of Strategic Leadership, will represent the graduate class.

Graduating seniors Shinah Brashears and Becca Hudgins will also perform during the ceremony.
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Stephens to host community concert

Stephens College will host a holiday concert featuring several public school choirs and the College’s a cappella group, The Velvetones, this month.

The Stephens Family and Friends Community Holiday Concert will begin at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 15, in the Kimball Ballroom at Lela Raney Wood Hall. A reception with holiday treats will follow.

The concert is free and open to the public.

"We wanted a way for Stephens to give back to the community this holiday season, and felt a concert would be a perfect way to showcase local talent,” said Breanne Pickering, a Stephens alumna and actor who is coordinating the event. “Everyone loves great holiday music, and who better to provide it then our children, neighbors and friends.”

The concert will feature holiday music performed by choirs of Lee Elementary, West Middle School and the women’s choir from Rock Bridge High School, along with the Velvetones.

Theatre Professor Rob Doyen will make a special appearance.

The concert this year will be held in lieu of the Victorian Christmas event Stephens has held for nearly two decades. That was a ticketed event geared toward an older audience.

“We just decided we wanted to open our campus up to a wider audience this holiday season,” Pickering said. “The holiday concert is a family-friendly event accessible to the entire community."
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Stephens, Second Chance to host adoption event

Stephens College and Second Chance will join the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Subaru of America to host an adoption event that will include reduced adoption fees and free vaccinations.
The Share the Love Adoption Event and Vaccination Clinic will be held noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at Roblee Hall on the corner of College and Walnut.
It’s part of Subaru’s Share the Love event, which runs through Jan. 2. For every new Subaru purchased or leased during the event, Subaru donates $250 to the owner’s choice of participating charities, including ASPCA. A majority of the ASPCA’s Share the Love donation is targeted for distribution as grants to animal welfare organizations. Second Chance is a recipient of one of the grants.
Stephens College is a pet-friendly campus that partners with Second Chance throughout the school year offering scholarship funds to students who foster animals.
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Stephens College Children's School named Preschool of the Year

Stephens College Children’s School was named Preschool of the Year in a Parent’s Pick contest sponsored by Hulafrog of Columbia.

Only five votes separated the top three schools, according to Hulafrog.

“We’re thrilled,” said Leslie Willey, director and Dean of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Stephens. “We know we provide an excellent educational experience, but we also know we are in good company. We’re honored that parents recognized us.”

Hulafrog is a website that provides information on kid-friendly businesses and events.

Stephens College Children’s School, which offers preschool through fifth grade, was founded in 1925. The school offers small classroomsettings, where children get personalized attention from master-level teachers, as well as Stephens education majors who serve as teachers’ aides.

Programs include half-day preschool and full-day preschool for ages 3 to 5. Both are designed to support the whole child, including social, emotional, cognitive, academic and physical growth. At the elementary level, students are grouped by ability rather than age.
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Minnesota student surprised with scholarship

Gigi Kreibich had another reason to be thankful this week--on Wednesday, she received a scholarship for 75 percent of her tuition at Stephens.

Suzanne Sharp, vice president of strategic enrollment management, surprised her with the check at the Mall of America in Minnesota.

Kreibich will pursue equestrian studies at Stephens and hopes to bring attention to the Morgan horse in the industry.

She is one of six incoming freshmen to receive scholarships following Scholars Weekend earlier this month.
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Kansas student surprised with scholarship after Mass

The entire school was there to see Katherine Moore get the surprise of a lifetime.

At the end of Mass at Hayden Catholic High School in Topeka, Kan., Tuesday, Admissions Counselors Killian Kramer and Blair Whitney presented her with a giant check covering the entire cost of her Stephens education.

Moore will pursue a theatre degree with an emphasis on musical theatre. She told a reporter from WIBW in Topeka that Stephens has one of the best theatre programs.

"I'm very excited," she said. "They really propel you to work in the theatre industry...After I visited, I thought 'This is where I need to be going to school."

Moore is one of three to receive a full tuition scholarship following Scholars Weekend.

The scholarship, she said, "is such a blessing. I can't tell you how happy I am."

Moore's family was on hand to see her receive the award.

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Overland Park student surprised with scholarship

Anna Feldman thought she was just going to a nice dinner in Overland Park Monday night when she saw Stephens Admissions Counselor Killian Kramer sitting at a table in the corner.
Feldman seemed surprised to see her and made small talk—until she turned around to see Admissions Counselor Blair Whitney walking toward her with a check representing four years worth of tuition at Stephens.
Feldman was one of three incoming freshman to receive a full tuition scholarship following Scholars Weekend, during which students completed essays and interviews to compete for the awards.
Feldman will study fashion marketing and development at Stephens. She loves drawing ball gowns and someday dreams of owning a boutique that offers affordable prom dresses and other formal gowns.
Feldman’s mother and brother were on hand to see her receive the surprise.

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Oklahoma student receives full-tuition scholarship

Alicia Lamb thought it was just another Monday at Seminole High School in Oklahoma when Stephens counselors Tracy Dean and Lindsey Basler showed up with the surprise of a lifetime.
Lamb is the first of three full tuition scholarships Stephens will award to incoming freshmen following Scholars Weekend last weekend. 
Lamb has a number of interests but ultimately will study biology in pursuit of becoming an optometrist. At Stephens, biology students who apply for medical or other professional schools after graduation have a 95 percent acceptance rate.
Lamb also enjoys writing and anthropology. 
Scholars Weekend is an overnight event at Stephens in the fall that lets high achieving high school students compete for six scholarships, including three full tuition and three that pay 75 percent of tuition over a student's college career.
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Moore snags a major scholarship from Stephens

Sydney Moore was finishing up her school day in her English class at Blue Springs South High School when two Stephens admissions counselors walked in the room with a giant check with her name on it.

Dad, Mom and sis weren't far behind, ready to congratulate her for winning a 75 percent tuition scholarship from Scholars Weekend.

Moore was the second to receive a Scholars check, one of six Stephens will award.

It was fitting that the award was made in an English class; Moore is passionate about words and plans to become an English professor so she can help more people understand the power of language.

Stephens each year presents six Scholars awards following the annual Scholars Weekend held in the fall. During the overnight event, students participate in an interview and complete a personal essay. 
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Westhoff named first Scholars recipient

Erika Westhoff was practically speechless when her sister, Mycah, presented her with an enormous check representing a 75 percent tuition reduction at Stephens College.

Erika, of Newton, Kan., was the first to receive a Scholars check, one of six Stephens will award.

Mycah, currently a theatre student at Stephens, surprised her with the news this weekend.

Erika Westhoff currently works in a library, where she has experienced first-hand just how much books can impact young readers. That’s why she’s pursuing an English degree in hopes of becoming a certified librarian.

Stephens each year presents six Scholars awards following the annual Scholars Weekend held in the fall. During the overnight event, students participate in an interview and complete a personal essay. 
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Senior prepares for The Collections fashion show

By Amber Surdam/Stephens Senior  With an array of beautiful prom gowns designed and in the process of being made, Brittany Gobel is getting ready for The Collections, the annual student designer fashion show, this spring.
But it’s far from her first experience with the runway.  In addition to her previous Stephens’ runway experiences, she was involved in a couple of fashion shows this past summer while interning at Janay A Handmade, an eco-friendly wedding dress design company, in Kansas City. After completing that internship, Gobel decided that she enjoyed it so much, she wanted to focus her talents on creating prom gowns without using traditional materials.
“I’m straying from shiny fabrics like chiffon, Georgette, charmeuse, velvet and silk organza,” she said. Instead she is using taffeta, tulle, cotton sateen and muslin. Her target consumers are high school students and females 15 to 20.
When she first started as an intern, her employer asked her if she preferred patterning, drafting the design on paper or sewing. Gobel, a fashion design major, liked sewing. At Janay A Handmade, she cut and sewed fabrics, helped with fittings, and organized patterns. During the fashion shows this summer, she helped the models get into the gowns and made sure there were not any abnormalities before they went on stage.
The internship was a success. Gobel was offered a job with Janay A Handmade, and she plans to relocate to Kansas City after she graduates in May.
From West Plains, Mo., Gobel came to Stephens because she wanted to study fashion design. When she first started, she had an idea of what a fashion designer did. She thought they came up with the designs and then sent the fabric somewhere to be made. Since her time at Stephens, Gobel discovered that a designer works with a team, and they put together the components of the line.
For as long as she can remember, she’s been drawing clothes, and that’s all she’s ever wanted to do. She knew fashion was her calling.
Gobel even loses sleep if she runs into problems with garments not fitting or looking how she wanted, but said she’s learning every day. A great fashion designer, she said, is able to handle stress and can make deadlines.
Ultimately, Gobel hopes to move to New York someday and start an online business.

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Keynote speaker urges freshmen to be adventurous


Therapist, author and professional speaker Evonne Weinhaus this morning encouraged first-year students to identify their fears in order to overcome them.
“Reach out to others,” she said. “Be adventurous. Be engaged.”
Weinhaus was the keynote speaker at the inaugural Stephens College First-Year Experience Celebration Breakfast in the Kimball Ballroom. The two-hour event was a way to celebrate the completion of the first semester of the new First-Year Experience, a program launched this year. 
Each year, the FYE program will have a specific theme; this year’s theme was society and self and taught students how they and their specific area of study relate to the world around them.
“You were challenged to respond to bullying, shipwrecked, encouraged to serve beyond the walls of this institution,” Associate Professor Mark Thompson reminded the freshmen, referring to the activities they did this semester. Additionally, each class “explored ways you convey self and the relationship to the rest of society that will carry you through the rest of your college experience.”
The breakfast doubled as a networking event with women leaders from other area colleges, non-profit organizations, local businesses and Stephens College stationed at each table with students.
Weinhaus talked about how she was able to get national publicity for her books, including attention from the Oprah Winfrey Show, the Today show and Good Morning America; and how she overcame a brain tumor and surgery, and went on to identify a deep-seeded fear.

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Velvetones perform at prestigous Nashville venue

Stephens a cappella group, The Velvetones, had a chance to perform this month at The Bluebird Café, a prestigious music venue in Nashville.

The ensemble joined the Queen of Hearts, an all-female band performing in The Round—the café’s famous central area where musicians sit surrounded by audience members. It almost seemed like a “flash mob”  when members of The Velvetones began singing in the middle of the group’s performance of “Everywhere I Look I See Love,” said music instructor Tom Andes.

“It was fun seeing the look on audience members' faces,” he said. “After a while, though, it became clear that this had been rehearsed.”

“It was really fun,” Chelcie Abercrombie ’16 said. “We rehearsed the day of the performance. We had practiced listening to their CD in class, but we didn’t learn our parts until right before we went to the theatre. That was a little nerve wracking.”

The song went off without a hitch, and the audience loved it, Andes said.

After the song, Helen Lewis Moore ’77 introduced the students and gave them an opportunity to sing a snippet from their a cappella version of Winter Wonderland.

The Bluebird Café is known for focusing on the songs rather than full-scale performances, something The Velvetones aren't used to, said Katie Paulter ’14.

“That was a different kind of venue for us,” she said. “It’s about the music and songwriting. That was a cool perspective. It was like singing along with friends.”

During their visit to Nashville, The Velvetones also performed at an alumnae brunch Moore hosted at her home.

The Velvetones first worked with the Nashville-based Queen of Hearts when the band visited campus last semester, hosting workshops and putting on a public concert.

“The two groups instantly bonded and had a lot in common—in particular the love of storytelling through the art of singing,” said Pam Ellsworth-Smith, music instructor.

The “queens” have since become role models, Andes said.

“You can tell how much they rehearse to blend that well—and that’s something we work on all the time,” he said. “They’re great role models for our students.”

The Queen of Hearts performs regularly at The Bluebird Café, which hosts both well-known and up-and-coming performers. The venue is also featured in the ABC hit drama “Nashville,” which stars Hayden Panettiere. Panettiere’s mom, Lesley Panettiere Vogel, is also a Stephens alumna and attended college with Moore.

Other Velvetones who went included: Emy Blake, Emily Chatterson, Shannon Cox, Emma Marston, Ryan Tucker and Mycah Westhoff.
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Senior's collection dazzles at fashion event in Dallas

Holly Hmielewski / Photo courtesy of Jeanette Korab

Stephens Senior Holly Hmielewski unveiled her collection of dresses and swimwear at The Night of the Stars Fashion and Lifestyle Awards sponsored by the Dallas Fashion Group International on Friday.
Hmielewski has been working on the collection since May, when she won the Musselman Fashion Design Award at the Fashion Group International of Dallas Career Day Awards. 

The latter, named after the late Shelly Musselman, co-owner of the Forty-Five Ten emporium in Dallas, came with a $10,000 prize and the chance to design the collection under the mentorship of Forty-Five Ten Owner Brian Bolke.
The six-piece collection doubled as a tribute to Texas, said Kirsteen Buchanan, an associate professor of fashion and design who accompanied Hmielewski to Dallas.
The pieces featured patterns inspired by the monarch butterfly, the official state butterfly, blue bonnets, the Texas state flower and Texas blue topaz.
Audience members “thought it was stunning,” Buchanan said. “The garments were outstanding. It was really an amazing, cohesive collection, very professionally done and very striking.”

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BuzzFeed names Stephens College one of the most beautiful campuses to marry, celebrate

Stephens College has been named one of the most beautiful campuses to get married at by BuzzFeed, the leading media company for social news and entertainment.
Stephens is ranked on the list of “31 Insanely Beautiful Colleges You Can Get Married At.”
“We know we have amazing venues for couples celebrating one of the most important days of their lives—so we’re pleased to be recognized for that,” said Amanda Tilford, director of special events and business development at SC Events.
The most popular place on campus to wed is Firestone Baars Chapel, a non-denominational chapel that features stained glass and intricate woodwork. A 19th-century pip organ adds to the ambiance.
Couples typically hold their reception in the Kimball Ballroom at Lela Raney Wood Hall near the chapel.
For smaller ceremonies, Historic Senior Hall is a popular venue.
SC Events manages external events on the Stephens College campus. In addition to weddings, Stephens venues are also available to those organizing corporate, family or other events.
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