Starkle Dream Up. Stephens College


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Stephens sweeps NAT auditions

Stephens College women swept their divisions in a Musical Theatre Audition in St. Louis sponsored by the National Association of Teachers of Singing.  The competition was held at Webster University. 

The singers, part of the musical theatre program in the School of Performing Arts, competed with students from colleges in the St. Louis area. The panel of judges included voice professors from various colleges and private studios, as well as professional equity singers from the St. Louis MUNY.

"It's an opportunity to he heard by professionals in the field and receive feedback," said Pam Ellsworth-Smith, a member of the music faculty. "It's also an opportunity to hear other singers outside of our amazing four walls."

Students performed repertoire from the Broadway and Off-Broadway repertoire and were critiqued on vocal technique as well as characterization. Mainly, the judges were looking for cast ability. 

Apparently, the judges liked what they heard.  Allie Mgrublian '16, Emily Chatterson '16, Mycah Westhoff '15 and Rebecca Munoz '16 all took 1st place wins in their respective categories.

Conservatory student Eddie Andrews placed 1st for Sophomore/Junior men.

Melissa Trierwiler '16, Chelcie Abercrombie '16, Ryan Tucker '14 and Emy Blake '15 all took 2nd place in their respective categories.

All students who placed in a division received a cash award and a certificate.  The 1st place winners in each division were featured in a recital where they performed one of their songs for all the participants in Moore Auditorium. 

The National Association of Teachers of Singing, or NATS, is an international organization that exists to recognize and support the development of vocal artists.  The organization hosts voice competitions at the Chapter, State, Regional and National Level. 

Stephens students are now eyeing the National Auditions to be held this coming summer in Boston, as well as the State Auditions next fall.
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NY Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn video to be screened Thursday

New York Times critic and fashion journalist Cathy Horyn has created an exclusive presentation for Stephens College and The Kansas City Fashion Group International that will be screened at Stephens this week.

“Why is Fashion Such a Phenom Now” begins 6:30 p.m. Nov. 7 in the Kimball Ballroom at Lela Raney Wood Hall. Fresh from European runway shows, her video presentation will include both insights into the media buzz over fashion, as well as a historical account of current styles and the influence of celebrity on fashion.

After the video, a panel of fashion editors and fashion historians will answer questions from the audience about the video. Among panelists will be Caroline Dohack, lifestyles editor of the Columbia Daily Tribune, and Ann Brownfield, curator of the Kansas City Garment Museum, author of “We Are Hanging by a Thread,” a former coat and shoe designer and a Stephens College alumna.

The event is free and open to the public.

“We’re excited to have the chance to screen this special presentation,” said Monica McMurry, dean of the School of Fashion and Design. “Between Cathy’s insights and the expertise on our panel, we suspect audience members will leave with a new appreciation of the fashion industry.”

The event is hosted by the Stephens College Costume Museum and Research Library and the School of Fashion and Design. As an extra treat for attendees, the Bohemian Rhapsody exhibit will be open during special hours from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Historic Costume Gallery in Lela Raney Wood Hall. The exhibit features garments with Bohemian influences, including pieces worn by singer Jane Froman and Columbia socialite Matilda Magnus Price.

Horyn became the fashion critic of The New York Times in 1999 after having spent a year as a fashion reporter. Prior to that, she worked for Vanity Fair magazine, The Washington Post and the Chicago bureau of The Associated Press. Horyn graduated from Barnard College and has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.

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Equestrian club to host weekend shows

The Prince of Wales Club at Stephens College is hosting two schooling shows on campus this weekend.

The Western Schooling Show starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, and the Saddle Seat portion of the show begins at 1:30 p.m. On Sunday, the Hunter/Jumper Schooling Show begins at 9 a.m.

The shows are not only for Stephens students but also for other competitive riders in the community, said Sara Linde Patel, an equestrian studies instructor and club advisor. It’s also open to the public.

“We can expect anywhere from 30 to 50 outside riders and as many as 100 spectators,” she said. “In the past the shows we have put on here for the community have always been a huge hit. The community riders who come appreciate the opportunity to bring their young riders or green horses to a show where they can be sure to get a positive experience. I am always proud of how our students make the outside riders feel at home and welcome. They go above and beyond to answer questions and to make sure that all who participate have a great time.”

The event not only provides a riding opportunity, it also gives Stephens equestrian students experience managing and running equestrian events. The club has worked for weeks planning, budgeting and preparing for the shows.

“The students learn the ins and outs of how to put on a successful horse show,” Patel said.

She encourages everyone to attend.

“The weekend looks to be beautiful weather, so I anticipate we will have a great turn out,” she said.

“We will have concessions, and it will be a wonderful opportunity to get out and enjoy the fall weather.”

Next week, equestrian instructor Karen Craighead and two students are headed to a Pinto Horse Association of America show in Tulsa. The event includes a Pinto show, Appaloosa show, Palomino show and a Buckskin show. At the end of each day there will be championship classes including all.

Junior Candis Miner is showing Paint Me Fred and Sophomore Shelby McCoy is showing Radical Rendezvous.

“The show looks good in numbers, with most classes having more than 25 entries,” Craighead said. “This show also hosts the World Championships for the Western Dressage Association. Should be a fun show!”

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Stephens announces pet costume winners

  Stephens students and their four-legged roommates got into the Halloween spirit early this year, dressing up in costumes for a pet parade and contest at Stephens last week.
Students dressed their pets in Batman and Robin costumes, one pup sported a Cardinals baseball cap and another dog doubled as a hot dog, matching his burger-costumed owner. Pictured are contest winners.
Stephens has been welcoming pets since 2004, and Bark magazine recently declared the campus one of the most pet friendliest colleges in the country
In addition to cats and dogs, students also bring rabbits, gerbils, birds, lizards and other furry or scaly friends.
The pet costume parade was followed by a community trick-or-treating event on campus.

Best overall & Best large dog: Kristen McCurdy with Star as Rapunzel &Pascal from Tangled.
Best small breed dog: Melinda Thedig with Andy as Yadira Molina


Best animal/owner pair: Becky Saunders with Brody as hamburger & hot dog
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Writers on the Edge presents: Genre-fied

Stephenie Meyer’s popular “Twilight” series might not be highbrow literature, but the books did launch an entertainment empire. But can such novels ever find a place among the classics?

That’s the topic of the next Writers on the Edge lecture at Stephens College. “Genre-fied: Bridging the Border Between Popular and High Literature” is 4:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4, in the Library Penthouse and will feature a conversation between area writers Meagan Ciesla and Michael Petrik.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Ciesla is the author of “Me, Them, Us,” a novella published in Iron Horse Literary Review. Her essays have also appeared in a number of other publications, including Prime Number and Kenyon Review. She has a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Wyoming and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Missouri.

Petrick is also a doctoral candidate in fiction at MU. His stories and poems have appeared in The Journal, Pinball, Fifth Wednesday Journal and the Sierra Nevada Review.

Writers on the Edge is a series that brings guest writers to campus. Past guests have included former Missouri Poet Laureate Walter Bargen, Wisconsin poet and novelist Dale Kushner and Columbia author Gladys Swan.
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Senior participates in global meeting conference

Senior Erika Watson was among more than 100 college students who took part in a leadership program held during IMEX America in Las Vegas earlier this month.
The Future Leaders Forum is designed to encourage and inspire the next generation of meetings industry leaders around the world. It’s a joint initiative between IMEX America—a worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events—Meeting Planners International and MCI, an independent, global association, communications and event management company.
During the three-day forum, Watson learned about sustainable event planning practices—how to be green by making simple changes such as swapping disposable dishes with real tableware and how to select green venues. Sustainability is a growing trend in the industry, she said.
The forum also showed her ways to stand out from the crowd—although Watson was ahead of the class in that regard. In one resume-writing workshop, her resume was used as a model example because of the use of color in the design.
Mostly, the forum provided networking opportunities.  Nearly 2,700 exhibitors participated on the show floor of IMEX America.
“It’s a gigantic trade show specifically focused on industry vendors and suppliers, so it was a huge opportunity,” said Cindy Hazelrigg, assistant professor of Event and Convention Management.
Watson, who is graduating in December and relocating to Colorado, said she made several contacts that she plans to use when job hunting in the future.
Already, her academic experience is giving her an edge. While most collegiate participants were hospitality majors, Watson’s marketing, public relations and advertising degree combined with an event planning minor has given her a more comprehensive education that impressed those in the industry, she said.
“Stephens has definitely encouraged me to stand out,” she said, “and has made me marketable as a professional.”
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Students design dresses for Freedom by Fashion show

Designer: Kelly Ferguson

Students in Tina Marks’ Crafting Sustainable Community class have created dresses from Fair Trade fabrics that will be modeled during a community runway show this weekend.

The Central Missouri Stop Human Trafficking Coalition sponsors the Freedom by Fashion show, and this year it features an Unmasking Modern Day Slavery theme to raise awareness. The event is 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.Sunday, Nov. 3, at the Plaza Event Center.

Stephens’ models will join others in the community to walk the runway and showcase a variety of garments.

Marks’ students were tasked with creating upscale designer dresses using fabrics created using sustainable working practices such as fair wages and safe working conditions. Those fabrics tend to be more expensive, but this year, students were able to purchase Fair Trade fabric from a senior who used it for her senior collection.

“Normally, we’d go out and buy fair trade fabrics, but she already had quite a bit leftover,” Marks said.

All the material is printed cotton that was hand made in Ghana.

For her garment, Junior Kelly Ferguson matched a short-sleeved solid top with a patterned elongated skirt. The idea was to emote a feeling of female power and strength, she said.

“I am also hoping to express that Fair Trade textiles can look modern and fabulous,” she wrote in a description of the outfit.

Marks’ students also used re-purposed denim to create pieces for the show. Junior Jessica Yuhouse created a denim dress from a pair of old Levi’s jeans, and Senior Melinda Thiedig designed a dog vest from recycled denim.

This project is part of the Breaking the Pattern initiative in the School of Fashion and Design, an initiative that raises awareness for various causes.

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Warehouse Theatre offers 'The How and the Why'

The Warehouse Theatre this week presents “The How and the Why,” a contemporary play about two biologists who share more than a mutual interest in reproductive science.

The play centers on the relationship between an up-and-coming graduate student, Rachel Hardeman, and a senior faculty member Zelda Kahn, who are both exploring why humans are the only species to experience menstrual cycles and menopause. Both have very different explanations, but as the relationship grows questions become more personal.

“This show is a good fit for Stephens not only because they are two very independent and strong female characters but because it deals with issues that women face every day,” said Senior Emma Delfosse, who is directing the play. “Zelda, played by Kate Thurn, makes a difficult decision to give up her child because she was not ready to have a child, not because she wanted to be successful in her career. The show addresses how much harder women have to work in the sciences and math to achieve the recognition that they deserve.”

To better understand the scientific jargon in the script, Delfosse consulted her mother, Mary, who was a neonatal nurse, and her cousin, Rachel Steinberger, who has a doctorate in environmental microbiology.

Audiences can expect a simple set with an academic feel. Delfosse credited Junior Jahzeiah James for creating a set that transitions smoothly from an office to a bar and Junior Emilie Kimberly who is serving as prop master. Junior Cheyenne Smith created the costumes, which will help show the levels of professionalism of each character, Delfosse said.

The show isn’t just for the scientific community; it’s for anyone who wants to understand human nature, Delfosse said.

“This is definitely a show that will have you leaving the theatre thinking,” she said. “The theories presented in the show are not just theories for the show but theories that we can think about in everyday life.”
Show times are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 31, Nov. 1 and Nov. 2 with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee on Nov. 3. Ticket information.
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Graphic design students hear from Columbia Home Magazine team

Representatives from Columbia Home Magazine encouraged graphic design students to follow their passion, be open to change and to have positive attitudes when they’re trying to land their first job out of college.

And when looking for that job? Don’t assume a larger market is going to result in a better working experience, the team said.

Chris Harrison, general manager, Angela Huhman, publisher, Erica Pefferman, sales director, and Kristi McCann, digital assets manager, all worked or interned for larger corporations before coming to Columbia Home, a sister publication to Columbia Business Times. They agreed that one of the advantages of working for a smaller publication is that everyone is able to have a say in the process.

“When you have a culture that doesn’t allow everyone to contribute as a team, creativity gets stifled,” Harrison said.

The magazine staff gave a presentation at Stephens today as part of the graphic design program's Professional Lecture Series, which brings industry experts to campus. This particular event was sponsored by Creative Ink, Stephens' student-run marketing firm. During the lunchtime discussion, each Columbia Home representative talked about his or her career path and gave insights into what they do on a daily basis.

If students left wanting to intern or work for the magazine, it’s little wonder. The Columbia Home team members spent the bulk of the hour talking about how much they love working there.

“I love everything about this job,” said Huhman, who became publisher this fall. “I love the interior designing, the fashion shoots, the recipes and food aspect—everything. I instantly fell in love with this magazine.”

McCann, a recent University of Missouri graduate, returned to Columbia after completing an internship with a large publication in Dallas. Although she enjoyed her time there, McCann said it’s more difficult to interact with higher ups at larger companies. At Columbia Home, she said, she’s comfortable sharing ideas with those at the top.

“I’m passionate about my job,” she said. “I enjoy going to work every single day.”

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Educational advocate shares story at Stephens

The head of a girls' boarding school in Afghanistan urged Mid-Missourians last night to use their education and advantages to help those less privileged.

“You don’t have to wait until you’re out of college,” Shabana Basij-Rasikh said. “You just have to have the passion for it and follow that no matter what.”

The Missouri Military Academy co-sponsored the event, which drew more than 200 attendees, including 100 MMA students who joined Stephens students, faculty and community members in the Kimball Ballroom for Basij-Rasikh’s special presentation. She’s in the area this week visiting a cousin, who is a student at the academy, and speaking at Washington University in St. Louis.

Basij-Rasikh followed her passion while still at Middlebury College in 2008. Knowing the lackluster literacy rates of women in her country, she founded the School of Leadership, Afghanistan, a boarding school. She became head of the school after graduating in 2011. SOLA supplements the three- to four-hours of public education girls currently receive, but unlike public school, studies at SOLA focus on teaching young women critical thinking skills. The ultimate goal, Basij-Rasikh said, is to educate the students well enough that they earn scholarships to study at boarding schools or colleges outside of Afghanistan.

Basij-Rasikh wasn’t allowed to attend public school until 2002. Prior to that, under the Taliban regime, she had to attend a secret school in the home of a private individual. Men would stand guard outside of the school, and she and her young classmates were acutely aware they were risking the lives of teachers, families and themselves by attending. At one point, Basij-Rasikh said, she became so frustrated she told her parents her schooling wasn’t worth the risk.

“And they told me: 'You can lose everything in your life. You can be forced to leave your house. Your money can be stolen from you. Every possession you have can be taken one way or another. The one thing that can never be taken from you is your education.'”

Basij-Rasikh with Annette Digby and MMA President Charles McGeorge

Although conditions have improved, it’s still dangerous for families who want their daughters to receive high levels of education in Afghanistan, Basij-Rasikh said. The father of one of her boarding school students survived a bombing attempt only to receive a message that he would die if he continued to educate his daughter. The man responded: “Kill me now if you wish, but I will not stop my daughter from being educated.”

Stephens, which has been educating women since 1833, was thrilled to partner with MMA to host Basij-Rasikh on campus, said Annette Digby, vice president of academic affairs.

“At Stephens, we are committed to educating and preparing women to be leaders,” she said, “not only empowered leaders, but leaders who empower others.”

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Professor shares appreciation for staff services

A couple of weeks ago, Laura Flacks-Narrol, assistant professor of business marketing, left her office for just a minute to take a break from calculating midterm grades.

When she returned, she discovered that she’d accidentally locked her office doors. Her keys—and cell phone—were inside. And it was 8 p.m. on a Sunday.

After finding a fellow faculty member also working that night, Flacks-Narrol was able to call Campus Security, and a security officer let her in.

Flacks-Narrol was—and still is—amazed by the level of service that’s provided at Stephens College.

“Just feeling comfortable being here at night knowing we have security on campus is huge,” she said.

It doesn’t take a staff appreciation event for Flacks-Narrol to express her appreciation for employees at Stephens. Prior to joining the faculty here, she worked at another higher education institute in which employees weren’t expected to rely on one another. A call to facilities crews there would mean an hourly bill sent to her department—and that meant when boxes had to be moved or a file cabinet relocated, she ended up having to do it herself.

“Here, the facility crews are so helpful,” she said, ticking off a list of instances in which crews showed up immediately when she needed help lifting, moving or installing equipment or furniture.

Same with the employees in Information Technology, whom she praised for  always being willing to help.

Flacks-Narrol expressed appreciation for others, too, from the administrative assistant at the School of Organizational Leadership and Strategic Communications—who is “amazing”—to those who show up without notice after hours to empty the trash cans.

“They take out my office trash daily here,” she said. “And that’s just a visible thing staff does. There are so many invisible ways the staff contributes to Stephens.”
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SGA launches 'Random Acts of Beautiful' initiative

Stephens’ Student Government Association has launched a Random Acts of Beautiful initiative to help students see themselves as the unique, talented women they are.

During lunchtime yesterday, SGA members were stationed at Stamper Commons handing out free buttons with messages such as “I am beautiful,” “I am important” and “I am a star.”

The campaign began after Sophomore Brianna Jackson approached Stephens President Dianne Lynch. A friend back home had committed suicide, and Jackson said she wanted a way to give her friends and classmates at Stephens a morale boost that coincided with National Depression Screening Day earlier this month.

Lynch suggested Jackson and SGA launch a campaign to encourage their peers to view themselves in a more accurate and positive light.

In the coming weeks, students can expect to see those messages on bulletin boards and mirrors across campus. One flyer will include tear-off tabs reminding students they are beautiful, and mirror messages will tell students: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder—and those eyes belong to you.”

Lynch will also address the topics during a Vespers service at 9 p.m. tonight, SGA President Effie Franks said.

“We plan to keep this going for a little while,” she said.
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Junior named AMC Soccer Player of the Week

By Adam Samson
Sports Information Director

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Stephens College junior midfielder Kenzie Andrade was tabbed as an American Midwest Conference (AMC) Soccer Player of the Week after leading the Stars to their first program victory last Tuesday. Andrade, who attended Rock Bridge High School, notched a team-record five points in the Stars’ 4-3 milestone victory over Faith Baptist Bible College.
The AMC Offensive Player of the Week honor marks the first conference award for the Stephens College soccer program.
In the early going, Andrade knocked in a goal from just inside the box to give the Stars a 2-0 advantage over FBBC. Less than a minute and a half later, Andrade was credited with an assist on Rose Baka’s goal to increase the Stephens’ lead to 3-0.
Faith Baptist Bible College made a run of its own with three straight goals, including an equalizer in the 76th minute. Showing poise and experience, Andrade quickly answered with the game-winner and her second goal of the match in the 78th minute. Her multi-goal performance is another first for the Stephens College soccer program.

Watch the video above to hear why Kenzie chose to play soccer at Stephens. 

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Children's School to host bake sale

The Stephens College Children’s School is hosting a bake sale Thursday and Friday to raise money for school programing.
Cookies, cakes and other baked goods will be up for grabs all day at the Audrey Webb Children’s School and between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in Stamper Commons.
Proceeds will help bring new opportunities for Stephens College Children’s School students, including additional field trips and improvements to the new gardens on the playground, said Beth Watson, a teacher and parent at the school. 
“This is a great way to support our youngest Stephens College students,” she said.
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Star sticks boost spirit, promote service

Starts-attendeeAttendees at future Stephens College sporting events might notice an influx of stars around the court.
That’s because students in Suzanne Sharp’s First Year Experience class are making new star spirit sticks to support the teams. Fans are asked to wave the sticks from the benches to cheer on the Stephens Stars.
Creating the spirit sticks is part of a service component embedded within the FYE initiative, which launched this fall as a way to help students better understand how their academic studies relate to life outside of school. Some classes are writing letters to service members, others are volunteering around the community. In addition to creating spirit sticks, Sharp’s class also plans to write letters to area residents battling cancer.
Sharp, vice president of strategic enrollment management, is co-teaching the class of honors-level students alongside Rose Obunaga, head volleyball coach. Earlier this year, Sharp invited her students to join her for a volleyball game, where she handed out homemade star spirit sticks to boost excitement. 
“They were kind of a hit,” Sharp said.
Students in the class decided to create additional sticks as part of a service project. They also created pink stars and signs to support Spike for the Cure, the “pink out” volleyball game scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday in Silverthorne Arena. 
“This lets us not only show support for our teacher but also express support for those battling breast cancer,” freshman Jess Heinle said.
Stephens officially adopted the star mascot when the College reinstated athletic programs in the early 1990s, but the star has been associated with sports at Stephens since at least 1927.
“In Stephens, athletics play a very important part in the life of every student because the activities are planned to benefit the mass, instead of the individual ‘stars,’” according to the Stephensophia yearbook from that year. Yearbooks from the 1940s also show the “Stars” being used as a nickname associated with athletics.

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Stephens joins community in remembering Almeta Crayton

The Stephens College community joins Columbia in mourning the loss of Almeta Crayton, a former First Ward councilwoman who hosted a popular public dinner at Stephens every Thanksgiving.

“Everybody Eats” began 16 years ago at a local restaurant before relocating to Stamper Commons on the Stephens campus.

Crayton’s annual goal was to “feed as many people on Thanksgiving as she possibly could,” Stephens President Dianne Lynch said. “We worked together to make that as convenient and flexible as possible—for both the people Everybody Eats served, and for the people who volunteered their time to make it happen.”

Tony Coleman, director of Campus Security at Stephens, was among those volunteers. For the past several years, he’s spent part of his holiday lending a hand.

“Year after year she would be just as excited as the previous year about the event and amazed at the outpouring of help and support for the event,” he said.

Coleman joked that he always seemed to be the one around when someone was having difficulty working appliances.

“One year it was the ovens,” he recalled. “Almeta would just pat me on the back and say with a smile ‘I know you will show them how to work this.’ (I knew nothing about the ovens.) Another year it was the dishwasher and with that same smile: ‘I know you will show them how to work this.’ (I knew nothing about the dishwasher.)  But we always figured out how to show everyone how to work things and the Thanksgiving days went the same as they always did…..with Almeta seated somewhere in the dining area, a line of people wishing her well and saying ‘thank you’ and, of course, everyone  eating.”

Although one of her better-known projects, Everybody Eats was just one way Crayton contributed to the community. She also hosted a community breakfast on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and served the First Ward on the Columbia City Council.

“Almeta always just did whatever needed to be done,” Lynch said. “That sounds simple or easy, but it was neither: She recognized that our community needed to be fed, and she figured out how to bring people together to get it done. She believed that the City Council needed a voice and a perspective that it didn’t have, and she stepped up and worked tirelessly to get elected and to be that voice. She was an activist who dedicated her life to equal opportunity and social justice—and our community is a far better place as a result.”
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Grant will boost science studies at SC Children's School

Students at the Stephens College Children’s School will get more in-depth science lessons and will even have a chance to visit college-level labs in the coming months, thanks to funding from the American Chemical Society.

Katrina Walker, assistant professor of chemistry and physics, will serve as an ACS Science Coach this school year. She’ll work alongside elementary teachers Lindsey Clifton, Elizabeth Watson and Hannah Vonder Haar to help children conduct experiments and get a deeper understanding of chemistry.

“My hope is that we can do some of the projects at the children’s school and in the undergraduate science labs,” Walker said. “That way, the children can see a science lab and potentially interact with some of the college students.”

The $500 ACS grant allows coaches and teachers to purchase supplies and provide students with additional science-related experiences.

“This was a competitive award, so we’re very proud of our faculty,” said Tara Giblin, Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences. “This is a perfect example of how Stephens works together across disciplines for the benefit of all of our students, including those at the Stephens College Children’s School.”
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Basij-Rasikh, educational advocate in Afghanistan, to speak at Stephens

Stephens College has teamed up with the Missouri Military Academy to host Shabana Basij-Rasikh.

She will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23, in the Kimball Ballroom at Lela Raney Wood Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Basij-Rasikh is co-founder and president of the School of Leadership, Afghanistan, a nonprofit that makes education and employment accessible to young Afghan women. The visit comes on the heels of the release of “I am Malala,” a memoir from Malala Yousafzai, the teen who was shot a year ago by a Taliban gunman for advocating for female education.

Like Malala, Basij-Rasikh risked her safety as a youth when she posed as a boy in order to go to school. She told CNN’s Christina Amanpour last year she returned to Afghanistan after graduating from Middlebury College to help other girls still struggling to receive an education. SOLA is the first, and perhaps only, girls' boarding school in Afghanistan, and her work has garnered international attention. She was also featured on a TEDx Talk last year.

Basij-Rasikh is coming to mid-Missouri to visit MMA in Mexico, where her nephew attends the college preparatory school as a boarding student. As the second oldest women’s college in the country, Stephens agreed to host her speaking event on campus and open it to the Columbia community.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Shabana Basij-Rasikh,” Stephens President Dianne Lynch said. “We obviously share a commitment to women’s education, and that commitment extends far beyond the boundaries of the Stephens campus.”

Last month, Stephens joined the Women in Public Service Project in order to support efforts to boost women in leadership roles around the globe.

MMA plans to send its students to the speaking event, as well.

“SOLA’s mission is an important one for women in general and Afghanistan in particular,” MMA President Tony McGeorge said. “Through MMA’s 360° Educational model, which focuses on the development of the whole young man, we hope to educate the fathers of the future that will support the active participation of women in every aspect of society. We are proud to support the initiatives and mission of the School of Leadership, Afghanistan.”
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'A Catered Affair' is first musical of the season

A young couple wanting a no-fuss wedding must stave off a mom with big ideas in “A Catered Affair,” Stephens College’s first musical of the season.
The musical’s script is by Harvey Fierstein and is based on a teleplay by Paddy Chayefsky that was later adapted to the big screen by Gore Vidal. 
It follows the story of Tom Hurley, a New York City cab driver, and his wife, Aggie, who are still reeling from the loss of their beloved son in the Korean War. At rise, their daughter, Janey, announces to the grieving, working class family that she is engaged to Ralph Halloran, the son of a well-to-do real estate broker. Class and generational conflict soon follow, as dinner with the in-laws prompts Aggie to decide to turn the low-key wedding into a formal affair.
“It is a powerful and touching story with characters drawn with passion and compassion,” Director Lamby Hedge said.
“A Catered Affair” premiered on Broadway in the spring of 2008. In total, the production received three Tony Award nominations and 12 Drama Desk Award nominations, the most of any show from the 2007-08 season.
In the Stephens version, Graham Galloway, a senior BFA theatre student, is playing Janey, and Eddie Anderson, a Conservatory student is playing Ralph. Emma Mae Marston, also a senior in the BFA program, stars as Aggie opposite theatre professor Rob Doyen. Ed Hanson, guest artist and artistic director of Talking Horse Productions, will play Winton, Aggie’s brother.
In addition to great acting, local audiences can expect “beautiful chamber music with a complex, lush score,” Hedge said, adding that Stephens music instructor Cheryl Nichols is handling the musical direction.
The setting will also offer some “very special cutting edge technology to bring rich details to life,” she said.
Show times are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25-26 at Macklanburg Playhouse, 100 Willis Ave. Visit the Stephens Performing Arts website for ticket information.
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Stephens alumna finds 'adventure' as voice of popular character

 Stephens alumna Polly Lou Livingston still isn’t used to people wanting her autograph, to take photos with her and to hear her say something—anything.
She doesn’t have the Internet, so she can’t read what people blog about her or when they demand  to see—or rather hear—more of her. In short, she has no idea just how popular she is. Indeed, Livingston has found fame, albeit in a most unusual way.
The 1948 Stephens graduate is the unique Southern voice behind Tree Trunks, a tiny yellow elephant that makes sporadic appearances on the award-winning animation “Adventure Time” on the Cartoon Network.
Producers send the scripts to her in San Antonio, and she records her lines in a local studio.
“I just read what they send me,” she said, admitting that she’s only seen herself in the show once.
She’s a fan favorite, with at least one fan site declaring her the “best cartoon voice in history.”
As William Jack Sibley of the San Antonio Current describes it, her dialect is “somewhere between a hinge in quest of lubricant and Blanche Dubois as channeled by Olive Oyl.”
“Adventure Time” creator Pen Ward contacted Livingston in 2009 with the idea that she be the voice of an elderly elephant that bakes apple pies for a living. Livingston was a friend of Ward’s mother when he was growing up, and “he remembered my terrible voice,” she said.
Livingston, aka Tree Trunks, has appeared on several episodes of the show and, in one, falls in love with a Mr. Pig, who Tree Trunks eventually marries.
That actually posed a dilemma for Livingston, who is Jewish.
“I thought I should ask my Rabbi first,” she joked, noting that her faith deems pigs unholy creatures. “But then I decided as long as I didn’t eat the pig…”
Her dialect hasn’t always been in demand, though.
“I’d still like to find that professor who kicked me out of my freshman English class because he hated my voice,” she quipped. “He told me to hold my nose and try to change it.”
Lucky for Livingston and her fans, she didn’t.  

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Public invited to join Stephens for spooky Halloween events

At Stephens, Halloween isn’t just a day—it’s more like a season.
And it’s about to get spooky on campus.
Student clubs this year are inviting the public to explore Stephens’ haunted past. But if you’re not one for frights, Stephens is also hosting a parade featuring pets in Halloween costumes and a safe night of pre-Halloween trick-or-treating.
A Chilling Campus Tour
Stephens is supposedly haunted, and members of Sigma Sigma Sigma will tell—and show—visitors all about it during tours of campus between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22.
During the walking tour of the Stephens campus, tour guides will take visitors through the college’s haunted history, sorority President Michelle Niewald said. Expect to encounter some ghosts and ghouls along the way.
Tours begin at Roblee Hall at the corner of College and Walnut.
Tickets are $4 in advance or $6 at the door. Proceeds from the event benefit the Robbie Page Foundation, which promotes play therapy rooms for children recovering from devastating diseases. To purchase tickets in advance, email Niewald at [email protected].
Pets, Candy and More
What’s cuter than a pet? A pet in a costume. Students will show off their furry friends in Halloween garb during a pet parade followed by a Safe Trick-or-Treating event on Thursday, Oct. 24.
The parade starts at 5 p.m. on Journey Plaza, the quad south of Walnut Street. The parade will wind through campus, across the College and Broadway bridges and back to Lela Raney Wood Hall, where the trick-or-treating event will begin.
Between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., members of Mortar Board and other campus clubs will be stationed around the Kimball Ballroom, passing out candy and overseeing activities for children.
Both the parade and trick-or-treating event are free and open to the public.
Spooky Stories
On Halloween night, Oct. 31, the Stephens community will gather in Firestone Baars Chapel from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. for Sigma Tau Delta’s annual Spook-A-Thon. There, students and faculty will share ghost stories, creepy poems and other scary tidbits. The event is mainly for the Stephens community, and attendees are encouraged to wear costumes, said Alexi Scharbach, Sigma Tau Delta president. President Dianne Lynch will be a guest reader.
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A historic win for the Stephens Stars

By Adam Samson
Stephens Sports Information Director

ANKENY, Iowa –  The Stephens College soccer team finally got the result it was searching for with a historic 4-3 victory over Faith Baptist Bible College yesterday. The 4-3 outcome gives the Stars their first win as a program and their first win under the guidance of head coach Xander Kennedy.

“It was one of those days where everything came together,” said Kennedy, the second-year head coach. “Despite cold and windy conditions, the team was feeling good before the game and it carried over into the match. They played their positions as well as I’ve ever seen them and willed themselves to victory. It wasn’t easy, but the Stars finally broke through.”

Not only did the Stars get their first program victory for both eras, but they also recorded their first-ever lead. Sophomore midfielder/forward Ilia Siegwald put Stephens on the scoreboard 54 seconds into the match, which also goes down in the record books as the quickest goal scored by a Star.

Junior Kenzie Andrade added to the Stars’ lead in the 20th minute as she floated one over the Eagle defense and out of reach for Eagles’ goalkeeper Tayler Martinez.

With the offense clicking on all cylinders, the Stars quickly moved upfield and created another scoring opportunity. Less than a minute and a half later, freshman Rose Baka retrieved a pass from Andrade and slid one past the goalkeeper to give the Stars a 3-0 advantage.

The Eagles capitalized on a defensive miscue in the 34th minute and was credited with an own goal. Stephens carried a 3-1 lead into halftime.

Playing with a greater sense of urgency, Faith Baptist managed to score a pair of goals within two minutes of each other. It was Eagles’ Kirsten Passwaters, who scored the equalizer in the 76th minute and tied the match at 3-3.

Luckily, it took just under two minutes for the Stars to put an end to their offensive lull. Stephens College junior captain Kenzie Andrade came through in a big way as she caught the Eagles out of position and knocked in the game-winner in the 78th minute.

Following Andrade’s goal, the Stars buckled down on defense and ultimately kept Faith Baptist out of the box. The Eagles had zero shots and just one corner kick in the final 12 minutes of the contest.

Overall, Faith Baptist Bible College held a 20-13 shot advantage over the Stars. Stephens goalkeeper Briannica Ponder pulled in 13 saves compared to Eagles keeper Tayler Martinez, who made seven stops on the day.

Stephens College will look to continue the momentum from its historic victory as the team travels to   Missouri Baptist University on Saturday
for an 8 p.m. match-up.
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Designer shares tips with fashion students

Senior Designer Carla Ashton-Carroll gave fashion students practical advice yesterday, urging them to brush up on geography and business and to research the companies they’re going to be working for in the future.
“Ask yourself ethical questions,” she said, referring to working conditions of some overseas manufacturers. “Unless people like us press for action, it’s not going to change.”
Born in East Africa to English parents, Ashton-Carroll talked to students about her extensive travels as a designer for Rhona Sutton LLC London & New York. 
She’s also worked for Bernado and Donatella, as well as the Oscar label for Oscar de la Renta.
“I’ve seen half the world through my job,” she said. “I’ve been a lot of places I wouldn’t otherwise have gone.”
Those working in the fashion industry not only have to travel to meet with oversea suppliers and manufacturers, but many designers travel for inspiration, Ashton-Carroll said.
“Fashion is constantly changing and constantly evolving,” she said. “For inspiration, you’re always looking for new things. You don’t know where inspiration is going to strike.”
In addition to researching other cultures, Ashton-Carroll urged students to get a basic understanding of business and financial markets.
"You don't have to read business news, but keep abreast of the issues," she said.
In the meantime, she encouraged student designers to pursue their big ideas while in college.
“Explore your interests and what really excites you,” she said, noting that once a designer works for a company, she’s limited to that style.

Seniors are currently working on their designs for the annual student fashion show this spring. Ashton-Carroll is one of several industry professionals who have visited campus this fall to critique student works.
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Harbinger spans programs with new editors

Senior Emily Collette wasn’t sure how to respond when Harbinger advisor Kris Somerville asked her and Junior Emily Marchant to be co-editors of this year’s award-winning student literary journal at Stephens.
After all, Collette is a documentary film major, not an English/creative writing student. Prior to this year, she didn’t even know other majors could be involved in the Harbinger.
“It was unexpected,” she said. “I hadn’t thought of it. At first, I was doubting myself.”
But she accepted, remembering that saying “yes” to unexpected opportunities even while in doubt is a mantra at Stephens championed by President Dianne Lynch.  
And, of course, the leap of faith is paying off. Collette and Marchant say the leadership opportunity is improving in other areas.
“My experience with Harbinger is giving me a lot of confidence in class, in school and in my schoolwork in general,” Marchant said.
Both women—who are currently enrolled in Somerville’s non-fiction writing class—say they are also learning skills that directly tie to their respective majors.
“It’s definitely helping my script writing,” Collette said. “Kris always tells us ‘show, don’t tell,’ and that’s been a huge help with my senior film project.”
Tracing its roots back to the 1960s, the Harbinger is an annual publication that features poetry, short stories, fiction and interviews written by Stephens students, regardless of major. 
Marchant, an integrated marketing major, had a short story published in last year’s edition, “Bombshell.”
One advantage of having editors who come from disciplines other than English/creative writing is that they can better reach out to all students, Collette said, noting that others likely don’t know that the award-winning publication is open to everyone.
Right now, the Harbinger staff is in the process of soliciting submissions for the 2014 issue, which will be published in the spring. There are six drop boxes located around campus for students to submit their works, and Harbinger staff members are also visiting classes to get the word out.
Entries are due Dec. 6. Then, staff members will spend the holiday break reading submissions and will reconvene in the winter to select the best. That’s when the theme for the 2014 edition will emerge.
“We want the pieces to dictate the theme,”Marchant said, “not the other way around.”
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Pink dresses on display in Downtown Columbia

Stephens College fashion students are putting their pink dresses on display in downtown Columbia this month in support of Breast Cancer Awareness.
At Tallulah’s on Broadway this morning, juniors Becky Saunders and Madison Moore set up Audrah Davidson’s leaf-themed dress and another, created by Melinda Thieding, made entirely from wine and Champagne corks. 
The project required the students to find items in the store to display alongside the dresses, and Saunders and Moore chose a baking theme. Pink cookbooks and linens, along with a muffin pan and silver frame, complemented the dresses.
Store owners Melissa Alabach and Mary Stauffer have been partnering with Stephens’ pink dress project during Breast Cancer Awareness Month since the kitchen, tabletop and home store opened nearly three years ago.
“It’s a great cause,” Alabach said.
“And I love the creativity,” Stauffer added. “It’s always fun to see what they come up with.”
The dresses were designed last month in Tina Marks’ Creating Sustainable Communities course. 
Faculty judges selected six to be displayed, and students in a Visual Merchandising class are now working with merchants to get the winning designs in storefront windows where they will be displayed the remainder of the month.
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Stephens puts focus on Study Abroad program

Even though it was the first time she’d ever flown, she was fine until the plane landed.
That’s when it hit her. Colby Elliott was on her own. In London. An ocean away from home. And immediately, she was homesick for her family back in St. Louis.
 “That would have to be the most challenging part of the entire trip,” Elliott says, joking that the thought of swimming back to the States crossed her mind.
But Elliot adjusted. This summer, she immersed herself in her courses at the London College of Fashion, an intense program that kept her busy during the daytime. In the evenings, she took her mind off home by exploring the city’s streets and shops.
And although she “absolutely loved” her studies, Elliott also realizes her greatest lesson happened outside of a classroom.
“I have learned that there is nothing in this world that I cannot achieve,” she says. “I have gained a new independence and strength within myself that I did not know I had.”
And that is the ultimate benefit of studying abroad, says Lynda Baumgartner, Study Abroad Coordinator at Stephens.
Baumgartner has spent the past four years focused on increasing the number of students who take advantage of overseas opportunities. While she prefers that students spend an entire semester abroad, she was thrilled to see 13 Stephens women venture out of the United States this summer.
The main benefit of traveling overseas, Baumgartner says, is that it forces students to step out of their comfort zones and into the world—and to realize they can succeed there.
“They’ve earned the ability to say: ‘I did it,’ ” Baumgartner says. “‘And if I can do this, what can I do next?’”
Navigating study abroad options—and then securing the necessary paper work and financial aid necessary to make one a reality—can be daunting. That’s why Baumgartner has launched an aggressive campaign to make sure students start thinking about their options as early as their freshmen year. While students can’t participate in Stephens’ Study Abroad program until they’re at least sophomores, they need to allow themselves plenty of time to hash out the details.
Stephens has agreements with five universities overseas and four study abroad program providers, allowing students to essentially study anywhere in the world. While London is a popular destination—especially for fashion majors—students have also recently studied in South Korea, Greece, Ireland and Costa Rica.
Hannah Dritt ’15 spent the summer at Oatridge College, a part of Scotland’s Rural College, after finding the opportunity with the help of Stephens equestrian faculty.
“I have always thought about going overseas, and when I started asking about programs, my teachers pointed me in the right direction,” she says.
Dritt took equestrian anatomy and equestrian fitness—coursework she says will benefit her as she continues her studies at Stephens.
“I fully intend to use the information I learned in both my job and in my classes back home,” she says.
Knowing how overseas studies apply to a student’s field is essential, Baumgartner says. Although she’d love to see more students study abroad, Baumgartner is adamant that students understand why they’re going and how the experience aligns with their academics and career goals.
“They have to be clear about why they want to go,” she says. “Potential employers are going to want to know specifically what the students got out of the experience.”
In addition to the elite courses she’s taking, Elliott’s cultural experiences in London are also complementing her studies back home.
“The most rewarding aspect so far has been learning fashion through a different culture,” she says. “London is so free and nonjudgmental when it comes to fashion, which has been a complete breath of fresh air for me.”
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MU composers, Stephens choreographers team up, create original works


Composers and choreographers get to know one another.

Stephens choreographers and dancers are teaming up with composers from the University of Missouri to create a performance of entirely original works next month.

The result of the collaboration is a rare artistic treat, Senior LeeAnn Davis said.

“The community doesn’t want to miss this,” she said. “It’s the first time we’re going to have all new choreography and compositions—all original works in one place.”

The Senior Dance Concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15 and 16 with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee on Nov. 17. The concert will take place in Macklanburg Theatre to allow for the full orchestra in the pit.

MU School of Music seeks to position itself as a leading center in the areas of composition and new music, thanks to the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, by offering an array of programs through the Mizzou New Music Initiative. Dr. William Lackey, assistant teaching professor in MU’s School of Music, and Carol Estey, director of the dance program at Stephens, discussed the collaboration earlier this year and decided it was a perfect match.

“We really didn’t know what form it would take, but this is a great opportunity to meet other young artists and collaborate,” Lackey said.

This summer—during what was a sort of “speed date” pairing event—composers and choreography students had a chance to get to know each other before pairing up.  They spent the rest of the summer working together to come up with the sounds and movements that will make up the Senior Dance Concert.

"Due to the collaborative process this summer, our students’ communication skills were strengthened significantly,” Lackey said. “The skills learned by this process will inform future collaborations our students initiate or take part in.”

Stephens senior Stephanie Reynolds said she sent her composer words she wanted the music to reflect. Together, they adjusted timing, volume and other details as needed.

“This is a really great experience,” Reynolds said, noting that this type of collaboration is typically cost prohibitive. “We’re lucky to have this opportunity.”

Even professionals don’t often get the chance to work with composers, Estey said.

“Choreographers do not frequently get to choreograph to new music, and they rarely get to perform to live music,” she said. “Everything about this is a more sophisticated opportunity.”

Get a sneak peek of one of the dances in this short clip from rehearsal this week:

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Seminar students visit exhibit featuring female artists

Students in Jim Terry’s Women in Art seminar class visited Antiques on Wednesday in downtown Columbia yesterday where art specialist Melissa Williams talked about the women who became pioneers in American visual arts.

Williams’ display included a variety of portraits, landscapes and scenes and included an original work by Fidelia Bridges, one of few successful female artists in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The painting is of the bird on a branch that eventually became the inspiration for the iconic winter bird scene she later painted for America’s first Christmas cards.

But it was an oil painting of a young girl by artist Blanche Matthewes that stole the show.

“I love the color palette and the soft, fuzzy edges,” Junior Mokie Blanding said. “And the eyes seem to go on forever.”

Junior Jasmine Taylor also preferred the portrait over others on display, saying she loved the way the light reflected from the muted colors.

Although relatively unknown, Matthewes was one of the first female American artists to have a painting exhibited at the Royal Academy.

Terry’s Seminar: Women in Art explores the contributions women have made to painting, sculpture and architecture from the Renaissance to the present. While she recognized that some might question the practical aspect of such a course, Williams encouraged the students, saying the ability to articulate art is a unique ability.

“Art history is an amazing skill set,” she said. “It’s hard but it means your curiosity triumphs over the fear of hard work.”
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Lynch accepts Stephens induction into Boone County Hall of Fame

Stephens College President Dianne Lynch received a standing ovation yesterday after sharing the past and current state of the College with a crowd at the Boone County Museum and Galleries.

Lynch accepted Stephens’ induction into the Boone County Hall of Fame, an honor that recognizes entities and individuals for their contributions to the community. During the recognition ceremony last night, she highlighted Stephens’ past but also reassured community members that Stephens is on solid financial ground and will continue to contribute to Boone County for centuries to come.

“If there is anything we know with certainty about Stephens College, it is that she has withstood the test of time,” Lynch said, noting that the college survived cultural and political unrest. “She has endured great wars, wrenching crisis and political reformation…She has teetered and recovered, expanded and retracted and always re-emerged.”

Lynch also highlighted the legacy of James Madison Wood—the longtime Stephens president who was responsible for growing the College between 1912 and 1947—and noted that Stephens has always been ahead of its time, whether implementing a radio station in the 1930s or an aviation program in the 1940s to teach young women to fly.

“If that’s not a metaphor for Stephens College, I don’t know what is,” Lynch said.

Founded in 1833, Stephens is the second oldest women's college in the country.

Other 2013 inductees into the Hall of Fame were longtime local journalist and volunteer Jane Duncan Flink, who also received a standing ovation, and Luella St. Clair, president emeritus of Christian Female College, the predecessor to Columbia College.
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SCCS pumpkins, costume gallery among Artrageous Friday line-up

pumpkins Preschoolers at the Stephens College Children’s School this morning joined elementary students to paint pumpkins that will be on display tomorrow as part of Artrageous Friday.

The school received 70 donated small white pumpkins and a few large ones. After reading a book together, students spread out into groups to decorate them. The pumpkins will be on display in the window of Blanc Studio at 918 E. Broadway for Artrageous Friday, an evening art crawl.
After painting the pumpkins, students continued outdoor activities at the new children’s school garden, where they harvested carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes and other vegetables that will be used for snacks in the schools.
The pumpkin activity comes on the heels of another project that allowed older students to work with younger grades.
“Again, our elementary students served as role models to our younger students,” elementary teacher Beth Watson said. “These projects really reinforce our collaborate educational culture that lets students progress at their own pace.”





Stephens is also a stop on the Artrageous Friday route tomorrow. The Costume Museum and Research Library Gallery will be open with special hours from 6-9 p.m. The "Bohemian Rhapsody" exhibit displays pieces that demonstrate the influence of Bohemian counterculture. The museum is on the mezzanine level of Lela Raney Wood Hall.

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