Starkle Dream Up. Stephens College


Date Tail

Stephens alumni to perform in OST’s ‘The Odd Couple’


Those attending this August’s production of “The Odd Couple” at Okoboji Summer Theatre in Spirit Lake, Iowa, will be in for a special treat. Mark Taylor and Rob Doyen, both alumni from the Stephens College Theatre program, will play the principals, Felix Ungar and Oscar Madison, respectively. They will perform alongside second-year Stephens theatre students and other guest artists as part of the 59th season of the summer stock theatre.

In “The Odd Couple,” new bachelors Felix (an uptight neat-freak) and Oscar (an easygoing slob) decide over a game of cards to live together. Their personalities clash as they attempt to make lives of their own in this “wildly and irresistibly funny” play by Neil Simon. Bernard Monroe will guest direct this timeless Tony Award-winning classic, which will be performed Aug. 2-7.

Taylor will return to the ’Boji stage as a guest artist 44 years after he first performed as a theatre student at Stephens. He has been married to fellow Stephens graduate Judy Doyen Taylor for over 40 years. She is the senior vice president of casting and talent relations for Disney Channel.

“Those magical ’Boji summers laid the foundation for much of the rest of my life,” Taylor said. “I was lucky enough to have many terrific parts there and the condensed rehearsal period (about two weeks) taught me the importance of preparing for a role with minimum rehearsal. This was invaluable when I started to work in film and television where rehearsal time is even more condensed.”

Taylor has had a career in Hollywood that spans four decades and includes television (M*A*S*H to Seinfeld), film (Arachnophobia and High School Musical 2), and voiceover animation (Superman to Super Friends). He also has directed productions for Lifetime, The Disney Channel and several theatres in L.A.

“Sharing the stage with my brother-in-law, Rob Doyen, in one of Neil Simon’s best plays makes this another ’Boji summer I will never forget,” says Taylor, who is also a member of the Stephens College Board of Trustees.

Doyen, a resident actor/professor in the Stephens College School of Performing Arts, is looking forward to performing alongside Taylor for the first time ever. What makes the experience meaningful on another level for Doyen is the fact that “The Odd Couple” is the first show he performed in as a student at ’Boji in 1968.

“I was one of the poker players along with a young Fritz Lennon,” he said. “I remember the two actors playing Oscar and Felix, George Spach and Bill Aragon, were very good, and we played to full houses all week. What a joy to bring it back to the ’Boji stage acting alongside Mark, who is more like a brother to me than an in-law. We have both been in the business for over 40 years (Mark in L.A. and myself at Stephens) but have never been on the stage together. I look forward to his homecoming to the Lakes area, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share the stage with such a talented, generous and proud fellow Stephens alumnus.”

Doyen teaches acting, directing and musical theatre at Stephens and also serves as associate artistic director at ’Boji. He has already performed in this summer’s OST productions of “There Goes the Bride” and “You Can’t Take it With You,” and he will act in the season’s finale, “The Sound of Music.”

For ticket information, please contact the Box Office at (712) 332-7773 or [email protected], or order your tickets online at

Date Tail

Kirsteen Buchanan ’83 takes on challenges of costuming for Okoboji

When the Okoboji Summer Theatre Company needs a costume designer to focus on the early 20th century or present day, they look no further than Stephens’ own Kirsteen Buchanan ’83. Buchanan is currently an associate professor in the School of Design as well as a graduate of Stephens’ Fashion program, but she’s spent many summers at OST designing costumes for productions.

This summer, Buchanan tackled the heavy task of costuming for “The Diary of Anne Frank,” the classic adaptation based on the memoirs of a Jewish girl hiding with her family from persecution during World War II. Buchanan revels in the time period. The previous summer, she worked on “To Kill a Mockingbird” (for a second time), a classic drama set during the Great Depression.

“We go in with a very limited budget and the timing is very compressed,” Buchanan explained. “We have just two weeks to work on the costumes once we get to Okoboji. So first we begin by spending time here at campus pulling existing garments from the Stephens Costume Shop, then everything gets packed up in the truck and heads up to Iowa for the summer along with all of the set pieces and furniture. We also source local thrift shops for garments we can tailor and incorporate. Then, it’s time to rent, buy or build any garments we still need.

“Research is very important, and that’s a learning moment for our students, as not all of them have been involved in that level of research or been exposed to certain periods in costume history before. You have to get the details right.”

“The Diary of Anne Frank” also presented unique challenges in that the actors all remained on the stage throughout the production and had to be able to change right on stage, she said.

“It was an honor to be part of the show and working with Gail (the dean of performing arts) who directed the production was great,” Buchanan said. “She has a real vision and provides very thorough and complete research, but she also cultivates a very collaborative process.”

Buchanan has also worked on “Hay Fever” and “Anastasia,” both set in the ’20s; “The Last Night of Ballyhoo,” set in 1939; and “Present Laughter,” of the same period. In addition, she has worked on many productions set in the modern day. “I’ve worked with Lamby Hedge (associate professor) quite often through the years,” Buchanan says. “She has been my champion. Her knack for creating visual interest with intricate details makes for outstanding productions. All of the Theatre faculty are highly supportive.”

The tradition of summers at OST all started for Buchanan when she was a student at Stephens. “I was a Fashion student at Stephens, but I took a costuming class with Patty Doyle, and she encouraged me to go to OST on an internship,” she said. “I loved it, and went back the next year, too. It’s beautiful up there. I enjoy the lake and the ambience. More importantly, you have the opportunity to focus there and become thoroughly immersed in what you’re doing. I love how the students are eager to learn and are respectful of the process. The Costume Shop staff is excellent.

“I’m excited for the 60th season and hope there’s a place for me. I am always ready to be a part of Okoboji.”  

Date Tail

SC Athletics Boasts 3.40 GPA, Eight NAIA Scholar-Teams for 2015-16

Three Stephens teams ranked among the NAIA's top 10 GPAs in their respective sports – softball (2nd), tennis (3rd) & competitive dance (t-3rd).

In recognition of student-athlete performances in the classroom, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced that 1,585 teams earned the distinction of Scholar-Team for the 2015-16 academic year. For the second year in a row, Stephens College was well represented on the list with all eight varsity teams receiving the award.

Collectively, the Stars had a phenomenal year academically as the athletics department recorded a GPA of 3.40 for 2015-16. It marks a .16 improvement from 2014-15 when the eight varsity squads combined for a 3.24 GPA.

“Our student-athletes are consistently exceeding expectations and setting new standards for academic excellence,” said SC Director of Athletics Adam Samson. “There’s no question that academics and athletics go hand-in-hand at our institution and these achievements are a direct reflection of the hard work and dedication put in by the students, coaches, faculty and staff.”

Tennis and softball were neck-and-neck for the top GPA among Star sports teams with tennis getting the nod at a 3.70 GPA. Tennis’ 3.70 ranked third nationally in the NAIA.

Other Stephens programs among the NAIA’s top 10 in their respective sport include softball (2nd) at 3.69 and competitive dance (t-3rd) at 3.32. Three additional squads posted team GPAs above 3.3 including golf (3.49), volleyball (3.46) and basketball (3.33). Soccer and cross country came in at 3.19 and 3.11, respectively.

For a team to be considered for the NAIA Scholar-Team award, it must have a minimum 3.0 grade-point average (on a 4.0 scale) for the year as defined by the institution. All eligible varsity student-athletes (including transfers) contribute to the team’s cumulative GPA.

How the Stars Compare to Other NAIA Institutions

  • Softball – 2nd out of 192
  • Tennis  – 3rd out of 112
  • Competitive Cheer & Dance – t-3rd out of 67
  • DI Women’s Basketball – t-14th out of 94
  • Golf – t-34th out of 166
  • Volleyball – t-39th out of 219
  • Soccer – 100th out of 196
  • Cross Country – 104th out of 210


Date Tail

Equestrian Center hosts riders of all ages for summer camps

The Equestrian Center at Stephens College has been busy hosting riders of all ages this summer with a comprehensive offering of summer riding camps and experiences. The series concluded this week with the second session of a residential camp for high school equestrians. 

“In their second year, our Equestrian Overnight Experience saddle seat camps bring experienced saddle seat show riders to campus for seven days of riding, field trips and exploration of equestrian industry careers,” explained Kelly Hulse, camp director and assistant professor of Equestrian Studies at Stephens. The small class sizes ensure one-on-one instruction, and both camps were at capacity this year, she said.

“It is an honor to work with these young women who are eager to try something new, who are committed to the experience, and who work so hard to master new skills,” Hulse said.

The overnight camps followed four weeks of day and evening camps for boys and girls, as well as an evening riding camp for adult riders. Sara Linde Patel, instructor and program coordinator of equestrian studies, is camp director for these camps.

“I graduated from Stephens myself, so sharing our amazing legacy with the mid-Missouri community is particularly rewarding for me,” said Linde Patel. “I love teaching new riders and look forward to our Summer Riding camps each year.”

The equestrian camps are part of a comprehensive Dream Up Summer schedule of camps at Stephens that included basketball and volleyball camps taught by Stephens coaches and a two-week Fashion: Trends to the Runway camp. It includes a Citizen Jane Film Camp that will be held the week of July 11, and the TRYPS Institute at Stephens College will kick off their summer camp series in July. View Dream Up Summer photo album.

Date Tail

Summer Dance gives students intensive learning experience


Earlier this summer, Stephens dance students participated in the annual Stephens Summer Dance (SSD) intensive as part of the B.F.A. in Dance. In the tradition of the program, nationally and internationally recognized guest faculty shared their experience and knowledge of dance technique, history and the creative process with students during the six-and-a-half week program.

“Students were immersed in daily classes and rehearsals with our exemplary guest faculty,” said Brandi Coleman, artistic director for Stephens Summer Dance. “Our dancers were challenged to quickly adapt to new ways of thinking and moving and learned how to integrate each new perspective into their technique and performance of the choreography.”

Students studied classical ballet techniques with Madame Peff Modelski (former professional dancer with the Royal Ballet, Berlin Opera Ballet, among others) and Nancy Stoy, a Stephens adjunct instructor; Alexander Technique and Bartenieff/Laban-based modern dance with Elizabeth Johnson, a GL-CMA and AmSAT certified instructor and founder/artistic director of Your Mother Dances, a Milwaukee-based contemporary repertory company; Graham Technique with Virginie Mecene (former principal dancer of the Martha Graham Dance Company and current artistic director of Graham 2); and contemporary dance with Dante Brown, founder of the New York company Dante Brown|Warehouse Dance.

For the first time in the history of SSD, students studied Dance for Camera, which was taught by Charissa Barton, co-founder of Axis Connect, a platform for emerging professional dancers. Multimedia producer Meredith Jacob, who works for Stephens’ Marketing office, served as the director of photography and co-directed the choreographic video project that resulted in the short film titled Zacharina.

The program culminated in a two-evening public performance of works choreographed by the guest faculty and performed by the Stephens dance majors in the Macklanburg Playhouse.

Date Tail

Stephens’ Fashion program rakes in more national recognition


The Stephens College School of Design has been recognized as the #15 Private Fashion Design School or College in the nation, according to, which released its fourth annual list this week. Stephens’ fashion design program was also named the #31 program nationally and recognized as #8 in the Midwest by the national website.

“Our talented faculty have worked hard to provide a quality curriculum that ensures our students have the strong technical skills, career preparedness, broad industry understanding and exposure to the industry—through an extensive list of guest speakers as well as trips to fashion capitals—that will lead to career success,” said Dr. Monica McMurry, dean of the School of Design. “We’re pleased to be honored among such impressive peer schools and to be recognized for the hard work and commitment we bring to our long-standing Fashion Design program.

Industry field trips are one reason Stephens ranks high among fashion schools nationally, McMurry said.

“Our faculty are also a huge part of why we rank so highly,” she added. “They provide industry-based projects and boast industry work experience and educational training.”

Stephens was specifically recognized for trips to international fashion capitals, the range of quality internships students pursue, the opportunity to participate in the The Collections juried fashion show, and access to the Historic Costume Museum and Research Library with its 13,000-piece collection.

The Stephens College School of Design and its Fashion programs have also been recognized by the Business of Fashion, London, and The College is considered a Top 380 College by The Princeton Review. 

Date Tail

Dr. Leslie Willey named Stephens Vice President for Academic Affairs

Stephens College recently announced that Dr. Leslie Willey ’83 has been named vice president for academic affairs, effective June 1.

“Leslie brings to the position a deep respect for and commitment to the College and its faculty,” said Dr. Dianne Lynch, president of Stephens College. “She understands our culture, our values and our commitment to students. Perhaps most importantly, Leslie views the primary role of the VPAA as the faculty’s energetic advocate.”

Willey has taught at Stephens College for 19 years. She most recently served as dean of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and director of The Children’s School at Stephens College. Willey previously served as director of the undergraduate Education department and as director of the Master of Education program. During a time of transition at Stephens two years ago, Willey also served as interim vice president for academic affairs.

“I am deeply honored to be selected to lead my alma mater in the position of VPAA,” Willey said. “I look forward to working with our administration and faculty to further the mission of Stephens.”

Prior to Stephens, Willey taught in both public and private early childhood and elementary classrooms. She has served as an educational consultant to schools, providing professional development to teachers throughout the U.S. Willey has also worked as a consultant and provided professional development through the Ministry of Education in New Zealand.

Willey earned a Ph.D. and an M.Ed. from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a B.A. from Stephens College.

Date Tail

Stephens School of Performing Arts hosts all-star lineup for Summer Theatre Institute 2016


This summer, Stephens College B.F.A. theatre students will have the unique and exciting opportunity to study and perform under the direction of top-notch, expert guest artists from across the country through their enrollment in the B.F.A. program’s six-week intensive Summer Theatre Institute (STI). Scheduled guest artists include Emma Pope from Chicago’s famous improvisational theatre Second City; Jessica Burr and Matt Opatrny from the internationally acclaimed Blessed Unrest, a devised theatre company; John Achorn, co-founder of the International Commedia Dell’Arte School in Humboldt County, California; and Ryan McIntire, professional stunt coordinator and fight choreographer, with credits from universities and professional regional theaters from across the country.

The Stephens College Summer Theatre Institute program offers intensive workshops in physical theatre, devising, stage combat, musical theatre, performance techniques, clowning, voice technique, acting, as well as classes in technical theatre and design, public relations and theatre management. The students immediately apply what they have learned by working with special guest artists to develop a fully staged, five-show season. Performances are held weekly and are free and open to the public. Each production will be supported by a rotating roster of the B.F.A. students, who will serve as actors, stage managers, designers, technicians, crew members, front-of-house staff and more, stretching their learning experience to include every aspect of the theatrical process. 

2016 Summer Theatre Institute Season
(All performances are free and open to the public! Each show is a one-night only, special event.)

Commedia Tonight!
7:30 p.m., May 20; Warehouse Theatre
Classical physical comedy, Family-Friendly

This delightful Italian Renaissance-inspired physical comedy is an all-ages show that is sure to entertain even the youngest of family members. Commedia dell'arte, the grandfather art form of clowning, is a fun and fast-paced style of theatre that will have you laughing yourself silly and wondering what exciting thing will happen next. 

Directed by guest artist John Achorn, a co-founding member of the Dell-Arte School in Humboldt County, California.


Rock ’em, Sock ’em
7:30 p.m., May 27; Warehouse Theatre
A stage combat slug-festival, PG-13

As fun as it sounds! A night of stage combat at its best.

Guest artist Ryan Quinn McIntire is directing this wildly entertaining evening of theatre featuring the art of stage combat. You won’t want to miss this night featuring stage martial arts. Don’t forget to duck!

McIntire focuses on theatre and film performance and has specialized in movement and stage combat. He has trained at the National Stage Combat Workshop and the Virginia Beach Bash Combat Workshop. Stage and screen combat credits include fight choreography for Regent University, Theatrix Productions Inc., CBN, the University of Central Missouri, Northern State University of South Dakota, Regent University, and Littler Theatre of Norfolk. He serves as a stunt coordinator and double for the NewDominion Pictures television show, A Haunting. 


The Blessed Unrest Project
7:30 p.m., June 3; Warehouse Theatre
Electrifying devised theatre, PG-13

Based off the award-winning Blessed Unrest Project in New York City, this will be a truly unique experience you won’t want to miss.

The brilliant, internationally acclaimed physical theatre company Blessed Unrest, fresh off their Off-Broadway triumph, returns to Stephens College!

New York-based husband and wife team of Matt Opatrny and Jessica Burr, founding co-artistic directors of Blessed Unrest, will awaken students to the exciting, physical theatre techniques known as ViewPoints, and will guide the STI Company toward the creation of a breathtakingly original, devised theatre performance piece. Their work breaks traditional theatre boundaries, creating new forms of storytelling that are unforgettable. For their body of work, Blessed Unrest was recently honored with the prestigious Lucille Lortel Theatre Innovation Award.


Improv, Chicago Style! 
7:30 p.m., June 10; Warehouse Theatre
Hilarious, long-form improvisation, inspired by Chicago’s famed comedy troupe Second City. PG-13

This performance of character and story-driven improv is guaranteed to have you in stitches. Directed by Second City veteran Emma Pope, Improv, Chicago Style! is sure to be a unique and entertaining evening for all. 


Lullaby of Broadway
7:30 p.m., June 20; Macklanburg Playhouse
A sparkling Broadway musical revue, Family-Friendly

A beloved tradition, this is one musical revue not to be missed.

Be prepared for fabulous song and dance featuring the entire STI Company. Our beloved traditional season closer is a sparkling musical revue featuring some of the greatest music from the Broadway repertoire. This one is always packed to the rafters! Stephens’ own Trent Rash will direct and guest artist Tamara Walker will choreograph. A jam-packed, joyful send-off from the STI 2016 Company to our wonderful, dedicated Columbia community. Come early, as this one is going to be standing-room only!

Date Tail

Summer Film Institute students take on challenge of turning book into film

Each year, Stephens students in the digital filmmaking program spend an intensive week working together to produce a film.

This year as an added challenge the group is producing a film based on a novel, "Chasing AllieCat," by Rebecca Fjelland Davis.

The idea for this year’s project started with Assistant Professor Steph Borklund.

“I loved the book and had been thinking for a while about making this film," she said. "Then, I realized our amazing students should have the opportunity to take on this challenge. And I knew they would do an amazing job with it.

“Every place in the book is a real place, which creates another kind of challenge for our students; they’ll have to figure out how they can to produce similar locations from right here in Missouri even though the book takes place in Minnesota and on the mountain biking trails of Mount Kato there."

Several months ago in preparation the student filmmakers spoke with author Rebecca Davis to discuss the transition of the book into a movie. There, they discovered what a perfect fit the book was for a place like Stephens.

“I have seen too many times when a girl gets saved by a man. ...," Davis said. "I created a girl who was strong and athletic as the protagonist instead.”

About her reaction to a mostly all female crew, she said, “I love it, absolutely love it—women are the ones who will do this story justice.

“The cool, difficult, and wonderful thing is to use thought and narration without giving too much detail so others can reimagine it."

The filmmaking institute is happening this week.

You can check out progress from the set at

Date Tail

Stephens College to hold two Commencement ceremonies

Stephens College President Dianne Lynch will confer 128 bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees and post-baccalaureate certificates during two Commencement ceremonies this weekend.

The graduate and online ceremony starts at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 6, in the Kimball Ballroom of Lela Raney Wood Hall on the Stephens campus. The ceremony will be preceded by a hooding ceremony for graduate students at 4:30 p.m. in the Firestone Baars Chapel. Marie Nau Hunter, regional vice president for Missouri Citizens for the Arts, will be the keynote speaker. Hunter serves as a regional vice president for Missouri Citizens for the Arts and is on the board of the Community Foundation of Central Missouri. In 2014, Governor Jay Nixon appointed her to the Missouri Arts Council. Most recently, Hunter was appointed to the Arts Council’s Executive Council. Hunter was on staff with the city of Columbia Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA) for 13 years, starting in 1996 as cultural program assistant before being promoted to cultural program specialist. In 2001, she was named manager of the OCA and served in that role until March 2011. During Hunter’s 10-year tenure managing the OCA, Columbia was named the state’s first ever “Creative Community” by the Missouri Arts Council and the Missouri Department of Economic Development and regularly ranked No. 1 in the Missouri Arts Council’s Community Arts Program statewide granting. Hunter was a member of the Columbia Business Times “40 Under 40” Class of 2003 and in 2010 was the state’s recipient of the “Leadership in the Arts Award” given by the Missouri Arts Council. In 2015, she was the recipient of Stephens College’s “Woman of Courage” award.

Heather Gastler will serve as the class speaker. She is graduating with a Master of Education in Counseling from Stephens. She previously received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from William Woods University. Gastler is an elementary school and high school counselor in Fulton, Mo. She previously taught fourth grade and fifth grade. Next school year, Gastler will work as a school counselor at Lee Elementary in the Columbia Public School District.

The undergraduate ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 7, at The Missouri Theatre in downtown Columbia. In lieu of a speaker, Lynch will present a video tribute to the graduating class featuring memories and thoughts from graduates and faculty.

The student speaker this year is Maile Wortham, winner of the 2016 Alumnae Association Board Scholarship. Wortham is graduating Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Education with a minor in Psychology. At Stephens, she is president of the Stephens Senior Class. She serves as the membership chair of the Mortar Board honor society. Wortham represented “Respect,” one of the College’s Ten Ideals, this year.


Date Tail

Stephens names new Dean of Graduate and Continuing Studies

Stephens College has recently named Dr. Carole Chabries, an experienced higher education leader with more than 14 years of progressive leadership experience, to the position of dean of graduate and continuing studies. With a background that includes strategic planning, program development, fiscal management and budgeting, communications, consensus building, and program review and evaluation in a higher education environment, she also has significant success with initiating and driving public, private and civic partnerships.

Her career highlights include five years as an executive director of the educational nonprofit Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities, which brought together five universities to identify and implement programs that enhanced the academic experience for all members. There, she initiated CityLabs, an award-winning interdisciplinary city/university collaboration.

Chabries most recently served as a consultant to public and private colleges and universities on projects related to development, research, shared service and collaboration. As assistant dean at Union Institute & University, a national nonprofit university with approximately 2,000 students, she played a key role in administering a cohort model Ph.D. program, and developed and planned a new Center for Teaching and Learning. Chabries holds a Ph.D. in English Language & Literature and an M.A. in English Language & Literature, both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and a B.A. in English Language & Literature (graduating magna cum laude) from the University of Washington.

“We found the right person to lead our Graduate and Continuing Studies,” said Dianne Lynch, Stephens College president. “Our graduate and continuing studies programs are essential to our success. Our mission’s emphasis on lifelong learners and our passion for providing growth opportunities for our College and her students will be furthered by this appointment as we look forward to growing and enhancing these mission-aligned programs.”

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Chabries to Stephens College,” said Dr. Suzan Harkness, vice president for academic affairs. “As an experienced higher education leader and innovator, she has consistently demonstrated her commitment to the success of students through every position she has held and every initiative she has taken on. We know she has the collaborative leadership style to build synergies with the deans, our graduate and continuing studies program directors, and faculty and staff. Her commitments to innovation and excellence make her an ideal candidate to develop and evaluate our programs and courses while ensuring quality teaching standards in the graduate and continuing studies environment.”

About her appointment to Stephens College, Chabries said, “I am delighted to have been invited to join the Stephens community. Stephens’ strengths in the creative arts and health sciences, as evidenced by its new Master of Fine Arts and TV and Screenwriting and Master of Physician Assistant Studies programs, provide terrific opportunities for new program growth and development. President Lynch has charted an exciting course for Stephens and I’m excited to collaborate with the campus community as we bring that vision to life.

“Stephens College exudes a positive energy that is palpable. All the faculty and staff I met share a commitment to student success as embodied and embraced in the Ten Ideals. It will be such a joy to spend my days immersed in the mission to help our students dream up.” 

She concluded, “My family is also excited to be moving to Columbia this summer. As a family, we’re drawn to Stephens for its warm and caring environment, for the innovative lab school, and for its pet-friendly policies and work with the local no-kill shelter. We’re bringing our dog, Ivy, and my kids are already hatching plans to eat as much ice cream at Sparky’s as possible.”

Date Tail

Stephens names new Vice President for Student Development

Stephens College has recently named Dr. Veronica (Vicky) Owles, an experienced higher education leader with more than 20 years of progressive leadership experience in higher education administration, student affairs, collaborative program development, and the delivery of student-centered services, to the position of vice president for student development.

She most recently served as Dean of Students, Miami Dade College, Kendall campus with responsibility for the management and oversight of all student services, including new student services and orientation, admissions and registration, testing, academic advisement and career services, international student services, disability support services, retention and transition services, veterans affairs, student life, and enrollment management, as well as NJCAA athletics, for a student population of 42,000 credit- and 30,000 non-credit students.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Owles to Stephens College,” said Dr. Dianne Lynch, Stephens College president. “As an experienced higher education leader and innovator, she has consistently demonstrated her commitment to the success of students through every position she has held and every initiative she has pursued. She has experience both as a leader and as a collaborative partner in all key areas of our student development function, and will bring to Stephens the vision, commitment and experience to champion and execute new initiatives and standardize best practices across our campus. Her extensive experience in Title IX issues, training and development, new student orientation, strategic planning and all aspects of residence life will further enhance our ability to move this crucial area of our College forward.

“Our College has always been student-centered; we are confident Dr. Owles will help us continue that commitment with 21st century programming grounded in a solid understanding of the fundamentals of student development services. Moreover, her commitment to mentoring student government associations members, her focus on global education, and strong interest in leadership development at all levels will bring exciting new synergies to our campus.”

About her appointment to Stephens College, Owles said, “I am honored to be coming to Stephens College because of her rich history, innovative spirit and commitment to her students. Visiting campus, I was struck by the dedicated faculty and staff, the amazing students, notable rankings, and visionary leadership of President Lynch.

“I am committed to building upon existing strengths, supporting innovation and creativity, and leading student services with the same enthusiasm and passion that I saw displayed by every member of the Stephens team. As a team, we will explore new and innovative student success practices that will continue to support the women of Stephens on their academic journey. I am dedicated and committed to helping students dream up.

“Students are and will continue to be at the center of what we do. Philosophically, student success requires the participation of all the members of the institution and I am looking forward to joining a dynamic institution where that is held at the core of the mission,” she said.

Owles holds a Doctor of Education, Higher Education Administration (Florida International University); Master of Education in Counseling and Development, Higher Education (George Mason University); and Bachelor of Science in Psychology (Longwood College). She has served as an adjunct professor, teaching in both undergraduate and graduate courses in college success, women's studies and higher education administration. She takes a position vacated by retired Vice President Deb Duren. 

Date Tail

Stephens College alumnae honored during Reunion weekend

During Celebrate Stephens Reunion Weekend earlier this month, M. Anne Murphy, a 1978 Stephens College graduate, received the 2016 Alumnae Achievement Award, the highest honor bestowed on an alumna. Doris Painter Littrell, a 1958 graduate,received the Jean Clinton Roeschlaub Alumnae Service Award, which is given to alumnae who have, among other things, promoted Stephens College locally and nationally, and served as a leader of the College.

Murphy, a principal at Dini Spheris, a nonprofit fundraising consulting firm, provides her clients with state-of-the-art best practices. She has led the firm’s efforts to handle the unique challenges of helping organizations balance a commitment to mission with the desire to set new standards and achieve new levels of performance and results.

She began her fundraising career at Stephens College before heading to New York to earn a master’s degree in fundraising management. Upon graduation, she worked as a staff consultant for Girl Scouts USA and on the campaign staff for the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Centennial campaign. Eventually, Murphy’s career led her back home to Houston, where she worked for the University of Houston Foundation, March of Dimes and University of Houston Downtown before joining Dini Spheris.

Murphy has also served in leadership roles in the nonprofit sector, including the local and national foundation board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, where the M. Anne Murphy Award for Outstanding Professional Advancement is given out each year in her honor at National Philanthropy Day.

Littrell volunteers in countless capacities for Stephens, from being involved in her local alumnae group (the Alumnae Group of Mid-Missouri) to serving on the Alumnae Association Board to helping other groups around Missouri establish their clubs or networks. Her 50th reunion continues to hold the record number of attendees for the College, and she recently donated her time and expertise to advise the College on how to better improve the Class Presidents program and increase reunion attendance.

View our photo album from Reunion here

Date Tail

Stephens College announces new Citizen Jane Film Festival Director

Stephens College announces the hiring of Barbie Banks as the new Citizen Jane Festival Director. She will begin her duties in mid-May.

Banks has experience and familiarity with the Citizen Jane Film Festival, an internationally known film festival that is in its ninth year. The festival focuses on independent film by independent women and showcases diverse female filmmakers working in all stages of their careers.

Banks understands many aspects of running successful film festivals from her experience as a volunteer at the Citizen Jane Festival for five years and as the hospitality coordinator with the True/False Film Festival for four years.

Banks presents a well-rounded portfolio of skills, experiences and expertise to lead the Citizen Jane Film Festival and manage the summer camp. For the past six years, she has worked as the program coordinator for the Adult Learning Center, Columbia Public Schools. In this capacity, Banks has provided program management for adult training, literacy and community educational programs; written grants; measured the effectiveness of programs; hired and trained staff; and managed and implemented youth summer camps. 

Banks earned a Master of Social Work in Policy, Planning and Administration from the University of Missouri and a Bachelor of Science in Social Studies Education from William Woods University. 

Date Tail

Honors Convocation recognizes outstanding students, faculty

During the annual Honors Convocation on April 11, Stephens students and faculty were recognized for their scholarship and achievements.

Numerous students were recognized with academic awards while Associate Professor Jeff Phillips, Ph.D., received the Distinguished Teacher Award, and Associate Professor Mimi Hedges received the Michael Bowling Distinguished Advising Award.

Phillips, who teaches Natural Sciences, specializes in ecology, and his research interests focus on the factors determining mate selection in largemouth bass, and the consequence that mate selection has on survival of the young. He earned a Ph.D. and an M.S. from North Carolina State University and a B.S. from the University of Central Florida.

“Advising is one of the most rewarding and sometimes challenging parts of my work at Stephens,” Hedges said. “There is nothing that makes me more proud than to see an advisee who may have struggled with her own challenges cross that stage at graduation, or to get an email announcing her first job after graduation.”

Hedges teaches lighting, scenic and properties design in the Stephens School of Performing Arts. She has served in a variety of administrative and teaching roles at Stephens, including interim dean of Performing Arts (2013-14), director of advising and Liberal Arts (2012-13), dean of Liberal Arts (2008-12) and interim chair of Psychology (2009-12). She was a resident scenic designer/scenic artist at Stephens from 2002-2006 and resident and guest designer for over 50 productions at Okoboji Summer Theatre. She earned an M.F.A. from Case Western Reserve University, a B.A. from The College of Wooster and an A.S. from Iowa Lakes Community College.

During the celebration, Alissa Pei Gorham, director of Residence Life and Education, received the Stephens Star Award for her contributions to student achievement; and Linda Pattie, interim director of Student Life and Engagement, received the Century Candle Award.

Stephens staff were also honored during a special recognition ceremony in April. Honors were as follows:

  • Community Service Award - Chris Rigby, Institutional Advancement and Initiatives
  • Customer Service Award - Bryan Corum, Admissions; Brenda Copeland, Facilities; Amy Langen, Institutional Advancement and Initiatives
  • Teamwork Award - Center for Career Professional Development (Amanda Wooden, Maureen Bernath, Jacob Wilhelm)
  • Diversity Award - Tina Parke-Sutherland, Ph.D., Humanities
  • Reaching for the Stars Award - Mandi Powell, Student Development
  • Distinguished Staff Service Award - Lita Pistono, Office of the President
Date Tail

Adam Samson named new Athletics Director

Adam Samson, sports information director and assistant athletics director for external relations, has accepted the position of Athletics Director for the College effective immediately.  

“We look forward to working with Adam and know he will lead a well-rounded athletics program that is competitive in the American Midwest Conference year after year,” President Dianne Lynch said. “We also know he will continue to enhance and provide a top-notch experience academically and athletically for our student-athletes. He is committed to our mission and understands the role of athletics in supporting that mission, our students and strategic goals. We know he will further the success and development of our student-athletes.”

In his time at Stephens, Samson has helped to usher in many improvements to our Athletics program, including the launch of a new brand, athletics website and live video streaming. He has helped Stephens and her students achieve recognition on the national level, Lynch said. He was also responsible for the NAIA Champions of Character program, student-athlete welfare, eligibility and oversight of scheduling.

“I want to thank President Lynch for her vote of confidence and unwavering support as I embark on this exciting chapter of my career,” Samson said. “I’m extremely humbled and honored to have the opportunity to serve as an ambassador for Stephens as its next AD.”

Samson’s background includes experience as an athletics communications assistant at Missouri State University (NCAA Division I), where he helped increase media coverage for men’s soccer and swimming and diving at the local and national level, among other accomplishments. He also served in a media capacity with the NAIA National Office and holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism (news & information) from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in administrative studies (sports management) from Missouri State University. He has also served as a volunteer at several premier sporting events, including the 2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials, 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Regional (Omaha, Neb.), 2011 MVC Women’s Soccer Championship, 2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Regional and 2010 NCAA Women’s Basketball Regional.

Date Tail

Launch party to be held for 2016 Harbinger literary magazine

Stephens College students have worked diligently this year to build the 2016 issue of Harbinger, the College’s award-winning literary magazine. The Harbinger staff will launch the magazine “Girls Like Us” from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27 at the Broadway Hotel, 1111 E. Broadway. The event is free of charge; food and beverages will be provided; and copies of “Girls Like Us” will be available for purchase for $6.

During the Pink and Black launch party, authors will read their works published in this year’s magazine, and Kris Somerville, magazine adviser and assistant professor of Creative Writing/Literature, will award the Donald E. Pittman Prize for Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry and Art. Stephens senior Maya Alpert, editor-in-chief of this year's magazine, will serve as MC for the reading.

Stephens senior Livvy Runyon will read from her poetry collection “The World that Surrounds Us,” a collection that utilizes rich imagery to explore themes of family and the transition from childhood to adulthood. Senior Kirsten Izzett, whose art is also featured in the magazine, will talk about her inspiration and process in “The Lisbon Girls,” a photography collection that emulates The Virgin Suicides.

Guests will also hear from Moberly Community College students, including Tiffany Corley, winner of this year's Pittman Prize for her fiction piece “Angels of Wittgenstein.”

Stephens senior Kitiara McGuire-Stiggins, graphic designer for this year's issue, will close the night by sharing her process in creating the look for “Girls Like Us.”

Other readers include Stephens senior Rachel Cooper, winner of this year's Pittman Prize for nonfiction, who also contributed an interview with esteemed poet Joy Harjo; Stephens junior Shelly Romero; Stephens student Tiana Williams; and many other talented individuals. 

Date Tail

Fashion and Film team up to host filmmaker Q&A

The Digital Filmmaking program and the Fashion program at Stephens teamed up last night to present “Men of the Cloth,” a documentary film focusing on three Italian master tailors. Filmmaker Vicki Vasilopoulo joined the audience for a Q &A  as part of the Citizen Jane Film Series.

“We’ve been looking for more films that lend themselves to collaboration with other programs on campus,” explains Associate Professor Kerri Yost. “With the film series, it’s especially helpful to collaborate with other academic areas because our filmmakers come for several days and can visit classes and share their experiences on a deeper level. It’s all about finding films that complement our curriculum and expand beyond our classroom.

“The idea came from Kirsty Buchanan (an associate professor in the Fashion program) who saw the film at a sold-out showing in New York City. She understood the way the film could work with both our programs and appeal to our Columbia community, too,” continued Yost. More information on the film series can be found at 

Photo: Filmmaker Vicki Vasilopoulo meets with fashion students. 

Date Tail

Heggemann, Teixeira Named Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes

By Adam Samson/Sports Information Director

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced Monday afternoon that 111 Division I Women’s Basketball student-athletes have been named 2016 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes. Stephens College was well represented as seniors Dana Heggemann and Bridget Teixeira received the prestigious distinction.

Culver-Stockton (Mo.) led all institutions with eight individuals on the list, while William Woods led the way for the American Midwest Conference with three. Stephens joined AMC schools Columbia, Freed-Hardeman, Missouri Baptist and Williams Baptist with two selections apiece.

This is the second year in a row that Dana Heggemann has received the award and adds to the long list of academic and athletic achievements for the Warrenton, Missouri native. Most recently, Heggemann was named AMC All-Conference Honorable Mention and was one of 10 Stars on the Academic All-Conference list. She carries a 3.71 cumulative grade-point average in the rigorous Biology program.

Bridget Teixeira, a junior college transfer from Reedley College, was in her first year of eligibility for the award. The two-sport student-athlete was also named a Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete for soccer in December. Teixeira currently serves as President for the athletics department’s student-athlete advisory committee, Association of Student-Athletes (ASA). She carries a 3.50 cumulative GPA in Psychology.

In order to be nominated by an institution’s head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, be a junior academically, and be in his/her second year of attendance at the institution.

Date Tail

Fashion leaders from all corners of the country come to Columbia to present to students

Fashion Your Future Day invited students in the Stephens School of Design (and all students on campus) to think about how they will shape their futures as the enter the workforce and pursue their goals.

The yearly event included highly successful guest speakers from the world of fashion who presented on essential career-focused topics like “How to Be the One that Gets Hired” and “Owning Your Career Development”.

Presenters included Wendy Manasse ’81, designer and founder of Quenchwear (Los Angeles); Anna Palke ’04, technical designer for Target Corporation (Minneapolis) who also spent years working in New York’s Garment District; Sylvie Obledo (pictured), a brand architect, strategist and stylist experienced in both the retail and wholesale sides of the industry (Sante Fe); and Lizann LaGrange ’84, women’s universe manager for Louis Vuitton (New York City).

The lecture series is held each year in anticipation of the jury of selection process which starts tomorrow. Then jury members will help decide which pieces will make the runway when Stephens hosts its annual fashion show in April.

Members of the jury join the lecture series to share their insights as part of the Fashion programs’ ongoing commitment to hosting industry professionals from around the world. 

Date Tail

Stephens senior receives 'M.A.D.: Making A Difference' Award from Black Women Rock!

Stephens senior Brianna Jackson received the “M.A.D.: Making A Difference” Award at a Black Women Rock! event earlier this month at the University of Missouri. The evening was a celebration of the contributions of African-American women in the Columbia area.

“I am forever grateful for all the experiences that have come my way, both good and bad, because I know they have molded me into who I am today,” Jackson said. “I couldn't be more proud of this award!”

The Black Women Rock! local program began five years ago and is modeled after the B.E.T. network’s Black Girls Rock! show that aired in 2010.

The M.A.D. award description states: “Passion belts from within this woman. She is an educator gone M.A.D. She is a woman that shows no fear in being a leader. She is a beautiful Black Woman Making A Difference in her community in order to inspire others to be M.A.D.!”

Jackson personifies that description through her passionate involvement on campus. She serves as the president of the Student Government Association, having been re-elected after serving as president her junior year. She has led diversity efforts on campus, including launching a “Breaking Barriers” series to allow students to have open dialogues about timely topics. She also led a “Hate Has No Home Here” campaign last semester that was well received by the Columbia community.

A Marketing: Public Relations and Advertising major, Jackson is also a member of Creative Ink, the student-run marketing firm on campus, and has worked on 10 projects. Outside of Stephens, she competed in Columbia’s Start Up Weekend two years, one of which she was part of a winning team.

Jackson joins more than 70 women who have been recognized by the Black Women Rock! initiative. Past recipients include Lyah Beth LeFlore ’91, a The New York Times best-selling author and a former member of the Stephens College Board of Trustees.

Date Tail

Gimme Truth! film short contest will showcase the work of Stephens Filmmaking I students

This Saturday night, True/False festival goers will have the opportunity to enjoy the work of Stephens’ own Filmmaking I class.

As part of the True/False Film Festival happening in Columbia this weekend, the Gimme Truth! event invites local filmmakers to attempt to stump the judges and contestants with their short (two-minute) documentary style videos. These videos can be either entirely TRUE or entirely FALSE.

This year, students in Assistant Professor Chase Thompson’s course worked together to brainstorm ideas for a film to submit. They collaboratively developed a list of the shots they would need and divided up the shot list and worked in small groups. Then each student took all of the film and separately edited it in their own way.

“It was absolutely amazing how so many students can take the same shots – ones developed together as a group – and edit them in such entirely different ways,” said Thompson. “It was eye-opening for everyone.

“The students voted on three films to submit and Gimme Truth! selected one of those to include in the event,” he said “But ultimately I am so proud of the entire class. They worked together collaboratively and democratically, and they all took such interesting approaches to their films. The process helped everyone learn a lot about the art of documentary.”

The selected film was edited by Abigail Cleavinger.

Thompson also has a film of his own in Gimme Truth! this year. The final list has not been published yet but the festival only selects a handful of films.

The live event will be held Saturday night at the Vimeo Theater at The Blue Note.


Date Tail

Collaboration brings to the stage stories of women who embraced the arts to survive

It was a very special evening—a labor of love and the product of intense collaboration—when Stephens women performed “Traces in the Wind,” a tone poem of remembrance.

Developed by Dr. Gail Humphries Mardirosian, dean of the School of Performing Arts, the project evolved when she brought her ideas to Stephens’ faculty and community. Tom Andes, instructor of music, composed original music. Andes and Humphries Mardirosian developed the lyrics.

Pleased with how the work came together, Humphries Mardirosian said “It’s wonderful how music gives it life. It touches another sensibility.”

Women from Stephens College performed the words of female survivors of the Holocaust. “These are women who embraced the arts as a strategy for survival, spiritual resistance or just because of who they were as individuals,” said Humphries Mardirosian.  “These stories remind us of the deep power of the arts. We hope this will serve as a tribute to the courage and creativity of these survivors—and as a conduit to each of us.”

Tuesday evening’s performance in Historic Senior Hall was a preview of the performance scheduled for this Saturday at Abramson Family Recital Hall at American University in Washington, D.C. That event will be part of the International Psychoanalytical Association’s conference titled The Courage to Fight Violence Against Women.

The stories presented included those of Charlotte Delbo who was arrested for distributing anti-Nazi reading material. She was sent to Auschwitz as part of one of the few non-Jewish prisoner convoys. She later wrote plays about her experiences. Her story was portrayed by student Katherine Moore.

Rosie Glazer was betrayed by her ex-husband, a Nazi-party member, for operating an illegal dance studio. She was sent to a series of seven concentration camps, the last of which was Auschwitz. Glazer survived by teaching dance and etiquette to her captors in the camps. Her story was portrayed by student Clara Bentz.

Eva Kavanova worked as a dramaturge, author and teacher. During the war, she was sent to a Nazi transit camp. She survived to become a professor at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and a costume designer. Her story was portrayed by student Lauren Hardcastle.

Abilene Olson, another student, performed as the narrator. Jayme Brown served as production stage manager and dramaturge. Jamie Casagrande served as costume designer.

Brandi Coleman, visiting artist, developed the movement. Pam Ellsworth-Smith, associate professor of vocal arts, served as vocal coach. Dialect coach was Paula Cavanaugh Carter. Script consultant was Barbara Oliver Korner.

After the event, a talkback was led by Greg Ochoa, interim dean of graduate and continuing studies.

“I am so honored to have had so many faculty, students and friends of the School of Performing Arts support this work,” said Humphries Mardirosian who also served as director. “We had a robust house, including students, faculty, staff, family members and community, and substantive dialogue at the talkback session.” Now its onto D.C.





Date Tail

Historic Costume Gallery spring exhibit to explore the language of clothing

The Stephens College Historic Costume Museum has announced its Spring 2016 gallery show, “Playing Dress Up: How Kids See Clothing.”

“When we get dressed and put items on, how do children perceive that clothing? How do kids make sense of who people are, based on what they see, without words? That’s what this show is about—the language of clothing,” said Dr. Monica McMurry, dean of the School of Design and curator of the Costume Research Library.

“We explore the signs and symbols of dress by creating vingettes of clothing—the nuclear family, the cowboy and cow girl, fairy tale-inspired clothing,” explained McMurry. The show also explores the world of work and includes the uniforms of service men and women, male and female nurses, police officers and fire fighters. Representing the children are girls’ and boys’ scouting uniforms.


To fully explore how children see clothing, the gallery invited students form the Children’s School at Stephens College to explore the exhibit and write and draw about what the clothing said to them. Their stories and drawings will be an essential component of the exhibit.

“Our fashion program has always enjoyed working with the Children’s School,” McMurry said. “It was one of those days, years ago, when I got the first spark of what this kind of coming together could be.”

As for the students’ perspective, one fifth-grader said, “It was a great experience for us as a class because most schools don't get to work with a fashion department." 

Her teacher, Hannah Vonder Haar, agreed: “Having opportunities to collaborate with the different departments on campus is one of the many reasons why our program is different. We have access to an amazing variety of ideas and resources. The students loved being able to illustrate the garments and use their imaginations to develop stories.”

Furthering the theme, the show will include a dress up and photo area for children who tour the show.

Companion displays will include dress from the 1920s, the decade that saw the founding of the Children’s School, now celebrating 90 years; and a tribute to the ’30s style of the Kit Kittridge figure from the popular American Girl book series.

The free gallery show will open on Feb. 25 and run through May 8. Hours for the gallery are Saturdays and Sundays, noon-3 p.m.; Wednesdays, noon-1 p.m.; and Thursdays, 5:30-8:30 p.m. An opening reception will be held on Feb. 27 from noon-3 p.m. 

Date Tail

New student group builds portfolios, creates opportunities for creative student professionals

After internships with Seventeen, Cosmopolitan and Elle magazines—all in New York City—Stephens senior Kyla Cherry made it her goal to help other students have similar experiences.  

“We can make our own opportunities. We can build our portfolios right here in Columbia, Missouri,” she said. To do that, Cherry started a new student group, “STYLE: Students Transforming Your Life Experiences.”

The group works with real clients to produce editorial content for a variety of businesses and publications. They’ve already completed “The Love of Lipstick: The 10 Must-Have Shades in Your Cosmetic Bag” for COMO Living’s online magazine, and they’ve been asked back to do another project, too.

The 20+ members of the group have specialties, including photography, styling, hair, makeup, modeling and videography. Their services are free to the business community; all they seek is portfolio-building opportunities, and their projects must include credit for their work.

“The goal is to help students get the kind of experiences that lead to internships. The whole point is to be published, to build your portfolio,” Cherry says. “It’s also exposes members to dealing with real-world clients, which is excellent experience to have.”

“This club promotes teamwork—everything is collaborative. Everyone has different personalities, but we figure out what everyone can bring to the table,” she says.  

Date Tail

Stephens joins online Odyssey community

Stephens College has joined the Odyssey community, allowing students to contribute articles to a blog popular among college students across the country.

“It’s a place for students to come in and write about either happenings on campus and their reactions or personal things,” said Stephens sophomore Katherine Craig, who is studying fashion communication at Stephens.

Students so far have contributed articles clearing up misconceptions about women’s colleges; how to embrace one’s “inner nerd,” and about life in Columbia.

Craig was contacted by Odyssey headquarters last semester asking Stephens to be part of the online site, which also hosts the University of Missouri. She has since been named editor-in-chief of the Stephens chapter.

The site relies on students to not only generate content but also to share their stories through social media. The strategy has proven successful, allowing the company to pay writers based on views.

“The Odyssey is insanely popular,” Craig said. “Scrolling through my newsfeed today, I saw at least five people who shared Odyssey stories from other schools. It’s great because say I write something like ‘Top 5 Reasons to Stay in Bed Today,’ and then my friend at Mizzou sees it on my Facebook, shares it and her friend from Ohio shares it, then everyone at Ohio State likes it and shares it. Then maybe a Stephens graduate sees it. Then it’s branched beyond colleges. It’s really fascinating.”

You can see all Stephens articles by visiting and searching for “Stephens College.”

Date Tail

School of Performing Arts hosts high school students for an Afternoon with the Bard

“Shakespeare has a huge vat of riches, fun and drama – everything we love,” said Lisa Brescia, a Stephens College visiting guest artist in acting, to the students who joined her and others today for “An Afternoon with the Bard: Shakespeare in Action”.Students from three area schools came to Stephens College School of Performing Arts on Tuesday to explore Shakespeare for a contemporary society, and what it takes to bring a well-loved but more than 400-year-old play to life.

Brescia, who has performed on Broadway in “Mamma Mia!,” and “Aida,” worked with small groups on diction and speaking for the stage. Brescia is also the director for the Stephens College Playhouse Theatre Company’s production of “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” and is teaching acting courses here this semester. 

Dean Gail Humphries Mardirosian led sessions on text and character connections.

“To understand text from another time, you have to look for the meaning behind the text—the subtext.” she said.

A third session explored scenic design, lighting and costuming – essential components for bringing the play to the modern stage. How that happens, what goes into to creating a set – and why – were discussed in the interactive session.  

Students were welcomed from Hickman and Battle high schools and Gentry middle school to the actual rehearsal and performances spaces that Stephens College students use, and had the opportunity to meet current students in the program as well.

The event was one of several tied to the current production of "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" which continues Feb. 12 and 13. 

Date Tail

Stephens hosts high school women for Health Professions Day

Local high school students came to Stephens College campus today to explore careers in the health professions, learn about health and wellness topics, and gain hands-on laboratory experience. 

“These young women are interested in pursing a career in the health science field, but they may not understand all of their options,” explained Suzan Harkness, Vice President of Academic Affairs for Stephens, “moreover, they may not know how to best prepare for college while they are still in high school. Taking the right sequence of courses in high school will ensure they are on the right track as they plan for and prepare for college.

“We hope that today gave them a taste of their options and opportunities,” she said.

Dean Susan Muller, faculty and undergraduate volunteers from the School of Health Science shared their expertise in health and wellness with chemical laboratory testing of foods and interactive presentations on the effects of nutrition and stress.

Representatives from Boone Hospital Center shared a diversity of career experiences in a panel discussion. Joining Stephens from Boone Hospital were Deanna Powers, RN-Patient Care Manager; Sharilyn Reedy, MSN-Clinical Staff Educator; and Teri Kaune, BS, PHR-Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist. The panel talked about hands-on patient care roles as well as the business and administration side of healthcare.

The director of Stephens’ Master in Physician Assistant program also spoke about that career path and Stephens’ career center staff provided additional perspectives.

Current Stephens students who are members of Tri-Beta Honors Society also assisted with the activities, and escorted visiting students around the Stephens campus. Visiting students were from Hickman, Rock Bridge and Battle high schools and sponsored by the schools’ AVID and EEE programs.



Date Tail

Starlets capture first place at Stephens Dance & Cheer Challenge

By Adam Samson/Sports Information Director

Rising to the occasion, the Stephens College competitive dance team took home top honors at the second annual Stephens College Dance & Cheer Challenge Saturday afternoon. The Starlets topped American Midwest Conference foes Missouri Baptist University and Lindenwood University-Belleville for their first gold of 2016.

Fixing mistakes from last weekend’s competitions, Stephens turned in a top-notch performance at Silverthorne Arena. With a final score of 90.85, the Starlets won by a significant 15-point margin over their next-closest competitor. Missouri Baptist edged the Lynx Line from Lindenwood-Belleville by a slim 0.60 points at 74.85 overall.

The Starlets won over all three dance judges with its energetic routine garnering scores of 86.00, 91.00 and a competition-high 96.00 points.

In the cheerleading competition, LU-Belleville snagged first place with a final score of 77.83. Missouri Baptist finished second with 71.92 points.

The Starlets now have two weeks to prepare for their NAIA Qualifying Competition. Placed in the South Regional, Stephens heads to Oklahoma City, Okla. on Feb. 18-19 and will vie for one of three automatic bids for the NAIA Cheer & Dance National Invitational in March.


Date Tail

Writers on the Edge guest author shares advice on getting published

Stephens College English/Creative Writing program recently hosted novelist Laura McHugh as part of the ongoing Writers on the Edge series. The award-winning author of “The Weight of Blood” shared her journey as a first time novelist, offering advice to students and guests about the process of submitting work, getting an agent, and negotiating the terrain of the world of publication.

Of special interest to the audience of writers and readers was McHugh’s experiences seeking agent representation. She shared her less-than-successful query letters as well as a sample of a more successful one that interested multiple agents, including the one currently representing her work. “An important part of a good query letter is how well you describe your novel,” she said. McHugh also suggested that writers look at other work that is similar to their own so agents might have a better idea of where your work fits in the current market.

“It was a great event,” said Kate Berneking Kogut, associate professor of English/Creative Writing. “A wonderful opportunity for us to hear about the experiences of a talented writer.”

“The Weight of Blood,” published by Spiegel and Grau, was a winner of the International Thriller Writers Award for Best First Novel. It was also a Barry Award Nominee for Best First Novel and was named One the of the Best Books of the Year by Bookpage.

McHugh’s second novel, “Arrowood,” also published by Spiegel and Grau, is due out in July.

The English/Creative Writing program’s next event is “Sparking Words” a workshop with Visiting Writer Tara Betts, Sunday, Feb. 7, 6:30-8:30 p.m. in Dudley 225. Every writer welcome!

Close Button Right Button Left Button

Most computers will open PDF documents automatically, but you may need to download Adobe Reader.