Starkle Dream Up. Stephens College


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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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Equestrian students do well at Lake St. Louis show

Hunter Jumper riders from Stephens College competed at the National Equestrian Center at Lake St. Louis this past weekend.
The Irish Fox show was the last of the season and had an “enormous turnout,” said Sara Linde Patel, equestrian studies instructor.
“Our students competed in classes with 15 to 25 other horses and riders,” she said. “All of our students did a phenomenal job, and everyone placed in very large classes.”
Here are the results:
Junior Haley Upton and St. Skip's Prince were Champion in the Crossrail Hunter division out of six.
Freshman Ashley Noltkamper and Zinnia were Reserve Champion in the Schooling Hunter division on Sunday out of 17 horses. Noltkamper and Zinnia also received a 3rd and 4th place out of 26 horses on Saturday in the Schooling Hunter Division on Saturday.
Senior Michelle Humber and Tuba received a 1st place and a 6th place in the Schooling Hunter division out of 17 horses.
Sophomore Mallory Patton and Third Day received at 1st and a 3rd place out of six in the Crossrail Hunter division.
Freshman Lindsey Weir and Forte received several 2nd place placings out of six in the Crossrail Hunter division.
Junior Megan Hasemann received a 4th and several 5th places out of 17 in the Schooling Hunter division.
Junior Alex Hagelston and Randevu received a 4th and a 5th out of 17 in the Child/Adult Jumper division.
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Stephens begins using digital signage

Those on the Stephens College campus might notice a few new flat-screen televisions in areas around Stamper Commons.

The digital signage is a way to not only tell students, staff and faculty about upcoming events, it also provides a 24-hour weather service and will be used to alert the campus of any weather or other emergencies.

“The digital signage allows us to use the latest technology to get information out quickly to our constituents,” Marketing Director Rebecca Kline said. “It is also a great way to welcome visitors, alumnae and guests to campus with attractive messages.”

Officially recognized student groups will be allowed to request information be shared through the digital signage. Requests should go to Janese Silvey at [email protected]

An event schedule on the digital signs will be updated regularly.
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Dancers, composers discuss collaboration

Senior Samari Jackson-Preston knew she loved dance when she came to Stephens College, but it wasn’t until her coursework in the dance program here that she began to really understand herself and her passion.

“I figured out who I am through this journey,” she said following Sunday’s matinee of the Senior Dance Concert.

So it was fitting that she choreographed “I Am; Who I Am,” an interpretive dance set to original music composed by University of Missouri student David Witter. The piece, which featured a solo performance by Carrie Collins-Whitfield, was one of six original new compositions and dances showcased this weekend at the Macklanburg Playhouse.

During a question and answer session with attendees on Sunday, dancers were asked about getting the chance to work with composers.

“It’s beautiful,” said LeeAnn Davis, whose Southern Suite of dances was set to the music of MU student Trey Makler. “There’s much more energy and much more life.”

MU musician and composer Ben Colagiovanni said he would not have thought to create the jazzy sounds of his composition, “Pick Up Sticks,” without collaborating with Stephens senior Jordan Jackson.

“I never would have written it,” he said. “And it was great to see my stuff live and that visual interpretation.”

The music was the backdrop for Jackson’s “Battle of the Susies.”

The collaborative project came about when Dr. William Lackey, assistant teaching professor in MU’s School of Music, and Carol Estey, artistic director for dance at Stephens, got together last semester and talked about the idea of working together. Dancers and composers jumped at the possibility—a rare opportunity for even professional dancers and musicians.

Both MU and Stephens students recommend the collaboration continue each year.

“This is an invaluable experience to gain at a young age,”Makler said.
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Stars Recipient of 2013 AMC Soccer Fair Play & Sportsmanship Award

By Adam Samson/Sports Information Director

The Stephens College soccer team is the recipient of the American Midwest Conference (AMC) Fair Play and Sportsmanship Award, the conference office announced Thursday.

Voted on by the league coaches, the Stars are back-to-back winners, having won the award in 2012 following their first season playing AMC soccer.

The annual award reflects the ideals of sportsmanship, ethical behavior and fair play on the field, a key focus of the NAIA’s Champions of Character program.

“Last year, I really feel like we perhaps won the Fair Play and Sportsmanship award in part because we were not fully a soccer team in some ways,” said head coach Xander Kennedy. “We had athletes who would go in hard for a ball and if an opponent fell over, would stop in the middle of the play and pick them up.”

Kennedy went on to say that this year’s players were much more aggressive, yet they conducted themselves in a manner that warranted the sportsmanship award.

Also for the second year in a row, the Stars’ soccer team went the entire season without drawing a card (yellow or red).

“We have yet to receive any sort of disciplinary action while competing,” Kennedy added. “That’s a tribute to our young ladies who are competing hard, but doing so in a way that they don’t get overly frustrated and don’t let their emotions get out of control.”

The Fair Play and Sportsmanship Award was announced on Thursday, along with all-conference honors, following the conclusion of the AMC Women’s Soccer Championship match between Columbia College and Park University.

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Equestrian students champions at Tulsa show

Two equestrian students and their instructor have returned from a Pinto Horse Association of America show in Tulsa.

Sophomore Shelby McCoy showed Radical Rendezvous and was named Champion in Amateur Horsemanship and Reserve Champion in Showmanship at Halter.

Junior Candis Miner and Paint Me Fred were named Champion in Amateur Western Pleasure.

“This show had more than 3,000 entries from 20 states,” instructor Karen Craighead said. “It was a huge show. Candis’ win was very emotional. It was a huge class with a lot of pressure. Paint Me Fred has won the last three times he competed there—so a lot of pressure.”

Miner and Fred have one show left and will leave for Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Thanksgiving to show at the Zone 5 Championship show.
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Purina's Petcentric profiles Stephens College

Stephens College has received national notice this semester for its pet-friendly policies.

Purina's Petcentric featured the campus in a recent video, part of the Snouts in Your Town series. Edward Fouke was on campus earlier this semester talking to our students about having the ability to bring their pets with them to college.

Earlier this year, John Woestendiek talked to students about the pet fostering program for The Bark magazine. Read that article here.

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Citizen Jane presents 'First Comes Love' Nov. 18

Those who missed out on the Citizen Jane Film Festival this year—or those who just want to see more—are in luck. 
The Citizen Jane Film Series will be hosting a viewing of “First Comes Love” at 7 p.m. on Nov. 18 in the Charters Auditorium in the Helis Communication Center.
Single at 41 in New York City, director Nina Davenport decided to have a baby on her own. In this HBO documentary, she chronicles her journey toward single motherhood.
A question and answer session with the director will take place after the screening. The event is free and open to the public.
The Citizen Jane Film Series, formerly known as the Citizen Jane Lecture Series, brings female filmmakers to campus to screen and discuss their works. It’s part of the broader Citizen Jane initiative, which includes the film festival and a summer academy for middle school girls.
This year, Citizen Jane is taking a portion of its film festival to the Spirit Lake, Iowa, community. 
Looking for entertainment beyond the Okoboji Summer Theatre—Stephens’ stock theatre company in Spirit Lake—the community asked Stephens for other entertainment that could be offered throughout the year.
“We agreed to bring a small part of our film series there," Citizen Jane Director Paula Elias said. "Stephens has a strong presence there with Okoboji, and we just want to build on that,”
Spirit Lake isn’t the only town that wants to be part of Citizen Jane.
"We get requests frequently from communities asking us to bring a piece of the Citizen Jane Film Festival to them,” Elias said. “This will let us try that out."
At the Pearson Lakes Art Center there this Saturday, Citizen Jane will be screening “Ms. Ouri Made Shorts, short films made by Missouri filmmakers, and “Remote Area Medical,” an award-winning film about a group of volunteer healthcare providers. Elias will also present information about film trends during a dinnertime discussion.
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Internship gives senior variety of experiences

By Amber Surdam/Stephens College SeniorKaylyn Crane needed an internship last summer.
A graphic design major, she went to her advisor, Kate Gray, for help. Gray suggested that Crane see Hub & Spoke, a marketing agency that specializes in web and graphic design.
After two interviews, she landed a job as an intern.
During her internship, Crane designed posters, including one for the Missouri Contemporary Ballet’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”
She also redesigned and created a logo for Keeping Good Company, a senior care service business.
Crane created a booklet for Pela Cura, a medical spa, and designed an ad for Columbia Home.
One of her most interesting projects was creating two beer can designs for Rockbridge Brewing Company.
Crane came to Stephens after serving four years in the Air Force, where she was able to travel and earn money for college.
“I knew I wanted to go to school in Columbia,” she said. “My mother knew of Stephens’ prestige. She knew it was great.”
She chose graphic design because she wanted to do something different after working in finance customer service in the military.
“I realized that I really hated finance customer service,” she said. “I needed something creative to do. 
So I looked at what kinds of artsy jobs there are. And that’s when I discovered graphic design.”
But Crane also discovered her two worlds are not that different.
“They are kind of similar,” she said. “In graphic design, you can’t be late. You have deadlines. Attention to detail is big in graphic design and in the Air Force.”
Crane is now eying her options when she graduates in May. She’s considering applying to a local magazine but is also considering relocating to Kansas City or St. Louis.
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Students headed to Nashville to perform at The Bluebird Café

Members of the Stephens College Velvetones are headed to The Bluebird Café, a prestigious music venue in Nashville, to perform alongside the Queen of Hearts.

The Velvetones is an a cappella ensemble that specializes in jazz tunes. Last year, the students had the opportunity to collaborate with Queen of Hearts when the Nashville-based band performed on campus.

Queen of Hearts—a four-woman group that includes Stephens alumna Helen Lewis Moore—hosted workshops, visited classrooms and performed during a visit to Stephens this past winter.

“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. “We are now members of each others fan club!”

At home in Nashville, the Queen of Hearts performs regularly at The Bluebird Café. The café regularly 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, Leslie Panettiere Vogel, is also a Stephens alumna and attended college with Moore.

Ellsworth-Smith said the Velvetones were “thrilled” when they received the invitation.

Those going are: Chelcie Abercrombie, Emy Blake, Emily Chatterson, Shannon Cox, Emma Marston, Katie Pautler, Ryan Tucker and Mycah Westhoff.

The students will also perform for alumnae during a brunch on Sunday.
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Children's School students get chance to work in Stephens science lab

kids-learning-scienceElementary students from Stephens College Children’s School last week had the chance to conduct a scientific experiment in the Pillsbury Science Center on campus.

The children were challenged to measure the amount of sugar in popular soft drinks by weighing and comparing soda samples to samples of sugar water.

Juniors majoring in education, as well as two students studying science at Stephens, were on hand to assist.

It was the first project funded by a grant Stephens recently received from the American Chemical Society. The funding allows Katrina Walker, assistant professor of chemistry and physics, to serve as an ACS Science Coach for SCCS students this year, working with elementary teachers Lindsey Clifton, Elizabeth Watson and Hannah Vonder Haar.

“We’re excited to have these collaborations across campus,” said Leslie Willey, Dean of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies. “It’s wonderful not only for our children, but for education majors and science students. Science students are getting an understanding of working with children, and it’s exciting for education majors to learn from scientists. This is a really powerful experience for our students.”

The $500 ACS grant will allow the children’s school students to conduct future projects in the lab.

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Students, veterans remember service on Veterans' Day

Cordy Brannan-Cahill ’15 wanted to follow in the footsteps of her father, grandfather, uncle and cousin when she enlisted in the military a year after she graduated from high school.
Unlike Dad, who was in the Army, or Granddad, who was in the Navy, though, Brannan-Cahill opted for the Marines.
“If you’re going to do it, you might as well go for the best,” she said.
And that’s no insult to the other branches. By “best,” Brannan-Cahill just means she wanted to challenge herself fully. When she enlisted, women couldn’t serve in special operations such as the Navy Seals or Army Rangers. (The Pentagon earlier this year unveiled a plan to change those rules in the coming years.)
Brannan-Cahill began training in March 2008 in hopes of becoming a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear first responder.
And then she suffered a stress fracture in her pelvis and was medically discharged.
Veterans’ Day is bittersweet, she said, noting that she would have finished her four years of service by now had she not been injured.
But she also stops to remember the sacrifices of her family members, the  friends she trained with and others who have served.
That includes a number of Stephens students, including those in online and graduate programs.
For at least two non-traditional students, serving in the military helped them find their calling.
Mary Rudolph admits she was looking primarily for stability when she enlisted in the Navy at the age of 22 in 2002.
“I wasn’t able to afford school or living on my own,” she said.
For the first two years, Rudolph was responsible for ship maintenance; the latter she spent on the aviation side, learning parachute rescue and making sure pilots had necessary survival gear. 
She also took advantage of opportunities.
“I soaked up all the experiences, made great friends and was able to travel the world,” she said.
Mostly, Rudolph developed empathy for service members, experiencing first hand the loneliness, homesickness and feeling that you had no one to talk to.
She’s now pursuing a Master of Education in Counseling from Stephens in hopes of working for the Department of Veteran Affairs and ultimately working on bases as a military counselor.
Isalia Ratliffe also discovered her calling while serving. She was a patient administration specialist while stationed at a medical hospital during her years in the Army. Today, she works in health information technology. While she already has the career she wants, Ratliffe is pursuing a bachelor’s in Health Information Administration from Stephens.
“It’s a personal goal,” she said.
Today, Brannan-Cahill has a new goal. She’s pursuing a degree in equestrian studies in hopes of working for a breed association or in some other equestrian management or business role.
“My goal was to get better and go back, but horses are my first love,” she said. “I would have loved to gone back, but my life has taken a completely different direction.”

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Students organize event for Plays for Living celebration


They designed and printed the nametags, planned the hors d'oeuvres menu and made sure tables were arranged to foster a comfortable mingling environment.

And judging by the way guests didn’t want to stop mingling, the reception was a success.

Roughly 50 Stephens Board of Trustees members, faculty, alumnae and students gathered at Historic Senior Hall on Nov. 7 to celebrate the partnership between the College and Plays for Living Theatre.

Students in Cindy Hazelrigg’s event and convention management class spent weeks planning the event, said Stephanie McHenry ’15, who was tasked with marketing.

“This has been a really great opportunity for us to get real world experience,” she said. “We literally planned everything out.”

The reception marked the kick-off of the Plays for Living season, which Hazelrigg’s students have been scheduling at area schools.

Stephens launched Sprouts Plays for Living last semester, an educational theatre program that uses short plays to educate children and teens about sensitive topics such as bullying and diversity.

Stephens theatre students perform a specific play called “What’s the Difference” to area fourth-graders.

Last semester, they performed the play at nine schools; however, this year, McHenry said her classmates have tried to schedule the performances at all schools, including private schools in the area.

Sprouts Plays for Living is the brainchild of Dylan Shelofsky ’13 and Sara Crosby ’76, both of whom are currently on the Board of Trustees.

Crosby is director and founder of Dakota Academy of Performing Arts Plays for Living Theatre Company in Sioux Falls, S.D. During her senior year, Shelofsky reached out to Crosby for help when trying to establish a children’s theatre program at Stephens.

Plays for Living adds an educational component to theatre. After the local performances, students in Stephens’ Master of Education in Counseling program facilitate small group discussions with children, allowing them to talk about what they’ve seen.

That model has helped thousands of youth, Crosby said during the celebration.“We’ve seen great social change in Sioux Falls, and you have the chance to do that in Columbia."

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Video presentation, panelists discuss fashion criticism at Stephens

Love it or hate it, fashion is becoming more accessible to the masses, and that’s turning anyone with a blog into a fashion critic.
That was one take-away from a special presentation at Stephens College last night that featured a video address by New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn and a panel of local fashion experts.
The standing room-only event attracted mostly students, and also several alumnae and Board of Trustees members. The program aimed to educate the public about the intersection of what people wear and the culture they live in.
In her video presentation, made exclusively for Stephens' Fashion Program and The Kansas City Fashion Group International, Horyn lamented the corporatizing of fashion houses, but expressed optimism that—just like the local food movement and the rising demand for handcrafted goods—original fashion by independent designers will make a comeback.
And people will base decisions on serious criticism, not those with blogs looking for free samples.
That’s where serious fashion journalists come in, Caroline Dohack, lifestyle editor at the Columbia Daily Tribune, and Lisa Lenoir, former fashion editor at the Chicago Sun-Times who is now an assistant fashion communications professor at Stephens, agreed.
“Fashion is a reflection of culture, and that is just as important as art or real estate or the economy,” Dohack said.
With so much information available, “we’re trying to make sense of it,” Lenoir added.
And the public at large is interested. Dohack pointed to her popular “Love It or Hate It” feature on the Tribune website that allows voters to weigh in on specific styles.
“People really want to talk about it,” she said, pointing to the high numbers of votes cast in the weekly polls.
While blogs and the ability to self-publish have given underrepresented groups in fashion—namely plus-sized and ethnic women—a voice they historically haven’t had in fashion, Dohack said, panelists urged students to be smart fashion media consumers. Make sure the person or company behind the blog or website promoting products is legitimate, they advised, noting that not all sites follow journalistic ethics.
Lenoir knows first hand the temptation to weigh in on fashion even when one isn’t a reporter.
“When I left fashion reporting for non-profit work, it didn’t stop me from doing my own commentary on Facebook,” she said. “But I still held the same standards because people still know me…. Be classy, be smart, use great words and you can say things that have impact.”
In her video, Horyn also discussed specific shows, including Alexander McQueen’s historic—and final—Spring 2010 show, which she dubbed the ultimate example of the intersection of what is historically informed while also using the latest technology. Panelist 
Bradley Meinke, a former stylist and current adjunct instructor at Stephens, attended the show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
“It still gives me chills,” he said
The Costume Museum and Research Library sponsored yesterday’s program. The library is a collection of roughly 13,000 garments and accessories that are selected for exhibits each semester.
The Historic Costume Gallery is current featuring “BohemianRhapsody: Dressed in Floral, Paisley and Lace,” and showcases garments on the fringe of society.
Unlike most fashion exhibits, the pieces are not enclosed behind glass. That’s intentional, said Monica McMurry, Dean of the School of Fashion and Design. She told attendees yesterday that she fears society has lost the sense of touch in fashion.
“It is like the difference between touching or hugging a photo or a person.  Which would you rather do?” she said. “Today’s museum installations of fashion or designer clothing provide a chance to ‘almost’ touch the clothing, to see the garments on a ‘body,’ to experience the creation in a more intimate way.  Clothing is a second skin and it is imbued with lifelike qualities and aspects of the person – it requires touch.”
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Authors discuss genre at Writers on the Edge event


Michael Petrik

They stopped short of saying libraries should do away with genre aisles, but two local authors yesterday did urge students to challenge any perceptions they might have about science fiction, western, romance and other fiction that falls into specific categories.
Michael Petrik and Meagan Ciesla, both doctoral candidates at the University of Missouri, discussed bridging the border between popular and high literature in the Penthouse at Hugh Stephens Library yesterday, part of the Writers on the Edge series.
Although typically not considered highbrow literature, Ciesla and Petrik dismissed the notion that genre novels are “bad” literature.
“I would challenge that one is better than the other,” Petrik said. “It comes down to how you enjoy it—sometimes it’s pure escapism…If a romance novel does its job, it’s not necessarily bad.”
And with fiction such as the popular Harry Potter series, readers are starting to see genre and literary techniques merge. Historically, literary fiction has focused on character development, while genre novels rely on plot. But more writers of genre fiction are starting to describe characters and scenes in more detail, and literary writers aren’t shying away from fantasy, romance and other trends.
“You can have a zombie novel and still have literary development of characters, even though it follows a formula or conventions of a genre,” Ciesla said.
Genre authors are starting to buck conventional ideas, as well, she said, reading an excerpt from “The Sisters Brothers” by Patrick deWitt in which the author describes one of the main male characters as being afraid of spiders.
“The author challenges or defies the convention of cowboy novels by making his character unique,” she said. “It’s unexpected that a cowboy would be afraid of spiders.”
Asked after the talk whether they’d like libraries and bookstores to stop labeling fiction in genre categories, the authors were mixed. On one hand, it would be nice to introduce literary readers to genre, Petrik said, but he acknowledged that genres have specific markets.
They agreed that e-readers, Amazon and other technological advances might solve that issue for some readers by allowing books to fit into multiple categories. But those purchasing books still want to know what they’re getting.
“You have to separate the art you’re producing and the product,” Ciesla said.

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