Engagement Pixel Starkle Dream Up. Stephens College

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Oct
22
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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.”
 
Oct
22
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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.”
 
Oct
22
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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.
 
Oct
18
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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.  

 
Oct
17
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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.
 
Oct
16
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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.
 
Oct
16
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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.
 
Oct
15
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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.”
 
Oct
14
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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.
 
Oct
14
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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.”
 
Oct
11
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MU composers, Stephens choreographers team up, create original works

 

composers-and-choreographers
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:


 
Oct
11
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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.”
 
Oct
11
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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.
 
Oct
10
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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.

 
Oct
10
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Grundy, company give demonstrations at Stephens

Karen Grundy, artist director of the Missouri Contemporary Ballet, and members of her company were on campus today demonstrating the moves that make her modern dances so unique.
Grundy has been working with Stephens dance students for about seven weeks as a guest artist. The training culminated today with demonstrations from both professional and student dancers. v
Grundy’s contemporary ballet combines ballet foundations with routines that emphasize core strengths and amazing stretching abilities. Students from the Stephens College Children’s School joined Stephens students and staff for the performances, which included excerpts from the company’s upcoming production of CRAVE, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 and 15 at the Missouri Theatre.  
During a question and answer session following the performances, one SCCS child asked Grundy how the dancers do what they do.
“Lots and lots and lots of training,” Grundy replied. “We rehearse everyday.”
Stephens’ three-year, two-summer dance program hosts guest artists throughout the year. Grundy said the most rewarding aspect of serving as a guest is watching the students grow.

“Seeing the progress and seeing the strength—that’s always the best part,” she said. “Seeing the results.”
 
Oct
10
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Freshmen Year Experience activity channels alumna, promotes team work

teamwork1teamwork2Freshmen at Stephens College today channeled the spirit of alumna Dawn Wells—best known for her role as Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island—during a team building exercise, part of the new Freshmen Year Experience

Faculty members converted the Kimball Ballroom into an ocean complete with various islands and palm trees.

Assistant Professor Kate Berneking Kogut began the exercise by reminding students that Wells attended Stephens and letting them know they'd get their own chance to play Mary Ann, the girl-next-door character Wells portrayed on the beloved show that has aired consistently for 50 years.

After being “shipwrecked,” students were assigned islands where they had to form a government, figure out how to access and share resources and to work together.

The activity continued a study about personality types. Earlier in the week, students took the Myers Briggs personality test to determine their individual strengths.

“This activity reinforces how they fit in and how they can work with other personality types,” said Kogut, who teaches English/creative writing. “One of the main lessons is team building and how they fit into this larger community of castaways.”

Students were given envelopes with resource cards they could eventually trade with those on other islands.

But first, students had to complete a series of academic and creative tasks.

“It’s just a fun way for our freshmen to work with others who aren’t necessarily in their academic fields or close friend groups,” Kogut said. “This really helped get them out of their comfort zones and let them push the envelope a little.”

 
Oct
9
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Stephens to celebrate Hispananic Heritage Month with Latin Night

Stephens College is hosting a Latin Night Tuesday, Oct. 15, a grand finale celebration marking the end of this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month.

The event will feature local band La Movida with salsa lessons from members of the MU Latin Dance Club in the Kimball Ballroom at Lela Raney Wood Hall. Drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be served, and the dance party is free and open to the public.

“It’s really important that we celebrate the Latino culture,” said Junior Lluvia Garcia, who is spearheading the event. “A lot of Latinos are doing really great stuff in the arts, and the Latino culture isjust fun in general. It’s fun to celebrate that culture.”

Garcia is a Chicago native who transferred to Stephens this year. She was sitting in Vespers, a secular meditation time for Stephens students, last month when the idea came to her. Because Hispanic Heritage Month spans Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, she decided to make the celebration a finale event, piggybacking off of a string of events hosted at the University of Missouri.



Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates important events that happened between Sept. 15 and Oct. 15 in Latin American countries, which won independence Sept. 15. Mexican Independence Day is Sept. 16, Chilean Independence Day is Sept. 18 and Día de la Raza, or the celebration of race, (Columbus Day in America) takes place on Oct. 12.

In addition to Stephens students, Garcia plans to invite members of MU’s various Hispanic and Latino clubs. The general public is also welcome to attend, as well.
 
Oct
8
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International designer shares career highlights


Former textile designer Erich Biehle urged Stephens fashion students today to be enthusiastic about their work, pay attention to their surroundings and to develop strong relationships if they want to succeed in the competitive world of high-end fashion.

“When you put enthusiasm behind it, it’s easy,” he told a crowd at Charters Auditorium. “It’s very easy. Everything will become easy and one idea will lead to the next, but you have to have your eyes open. You have to be interested. You have to read. You have to travel.”

Biehle is on campus this week helping select student designs that will be entered into the Council of Fashion Designers of America student competition next spring. The contest is a highly competitive, invite-only scholarship program.

During a lunchtime lecture, Biehle, who is currently a consultant, outlined some of the highlights of his more than four-decade career as a designer. Immediately after graduating from the University of Art and Applied Sciences in Zürich—where he studied with Johannes Itten, a Swiss painter and former Bauhaus teacher—Biehle began designing floral patterns for various Yves Saint Laurent collections. What amounted to a couple days of work ultimately became fashion history, and Biehle’s designs are now housed at the Zurich University of the Arts Museum of Design.
Biehle insists he had “mediocre” talent but said he was enthusiastic and willing to put in extra work to add special touches to the designs.

“I liked what I did, and I was dedicated to it,” he said.

Biehle would go on to design for Givenchy, Paris, designed for special products for Haute Couture and became executive vice president for Bally International. From 1996 to 2002, he was president of the board of directors and CEO of the Abraham Group with companies in  Zürich, Paris and New York. He's also worked with Gucci, Prada, Calvin Klein, Armani, Chanel and Michael Kors.

Social and technological changes have altered the industry, though, and Biehle warned students that they would be working under different conditions than he did during his career.

Rather than working with specific clients, today’s designers work for the people on the street, he said.

“I didn’t really care if somebody was going to like” his designs, Biehle said. “Did I ever care? No, I didn’t. I was lucky enough to get away with it. But you do have to care. You have to respect the company you work for. You have to be aware of changes in society. You have to be aware of trends and what people are preferring. Do they want more comfort or do they want more elegance? You have to be flexible.”
 
Oct
8
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Saunders named Young Ambassador to U.S. Embassy

Junior Becky Saunders has been named a Young Ambassador to the U.S. Embassy, meaning she will be called upon from time to time to represent American youth around the globe.

The honor comes on the heels of her visit to Greece this summer, where she talked about entrepreneurship and worked with high school students in Athens as part of a Junior Achievement Conference. To counter the weak economy, the Greek government has been putting a focus on teaching entrepreneurship at a young age, and Saunders was there to show the youth just what’s possible.

Saunders was a fifth-grader when she started her own company in her hometown of Phoenix. It was a pet sitting business, and it was wildly successful. By the time she had to give up the business for college, she had 75 regular clients.

The success captured worldwide attention. Saunders was named Junior Achievement Young Entrepreneur of the Year Worldwide, was featured on BIZ Kids PBS and was selected to participate in a workshop with Arizona lawmakers.

It’s not the first time she’s traveled overseas on behalf of Junior Achievement. She’s also visited Japan to talk about the importance of training women in business.

Saunders is a fashion marketing and management major with no plans of giving up her entrepreneurial spirit. After she graduates, she plans to own her own boutique specializing in high-end equestrian goods.
 
Oct
7
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Andes to present reading of 'Color Blind'


Stephens music instructor and well-known Columbia musician Tom Andes will host a concert reading of his original musical “Color Blind” this weekend.
The reading—which will include performances of all 17 original songs—starts at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13, in the Historic Senior Hall Recital Hall. It is free and open to the public.
“Color Blind” is the story of Michael, a depressed alcoholic art professor who loses his ability to see color, forcing him to paint in black and white. When he loses his sight altogether following an alcohol-spurred car accident, he has to completely rethink his artistic abilities.
John Leen, a guest artist from Chicago, will read the script of Michael, with Stephens theatre students Katie Pautler and Shinah Brashears filling the lead female roles. 
Ed Hanson, creative director of Talking Horse Productions in Columbia, will also be making a guest appearance. Theatre Professor Rob Doyen will narrate, setting the scenes for the audience. Students from Andes’ class along with members of The Velvetones, an a capella group on campus, will also perform some of the numbers.
Andes has been working on the music, lyrics and book for four years following an especially successful summer at Stephens Okoboji Summer Theatre in Iowa.
“I was so inspired; it was the best theatre experience I’d had, so I started formulating a musical of my own,” he said. 
It was also during a season at Okoboji where Andes got the inspiration for his plot. There, a friend asked him what he’d do if he ever lost his hearing. 
“It was a dramatic thought to me,” he said.  “So I decided to write a play about a visual artist who loses his sight.”
This is the third and final reading before Andes hopes to see the musical on stage in a full performance. 
Sunday’s attendees “can expect a concert,” he said. “I wrote it as a vehicle for my music. So it’s a concert, basically, with some dramatic overtones.”
 
Oct
5
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Alumna critiques student designs for CFDA contest

A Stephens alumna who now works for Louis Vuitton as Women's Universe Manager in New York was on campus this week critiquing designs that will be entered into the Council of Fashion Designers of America student competition next spring.

Lizann LaGrange spent Tuesday working one-on-one with juniors, helping them select the best among their two- and three-piece outfits. During each 30-minute critique, LaGrange also suggested improvements, such as fabric or color changes.

The students are enrolled in a 300-level sportswear course and would typically be designing garments for the annual Jury of Selection and student fashion show on campus in the spring. This year, however, the designs will also be considered for the CFDA competition, an invite-only scholarship program. For that contest, students were specifically challenged to create sportswear related separates that exemplify Liz Claiborne’s philosophy and core design elements.

Students were given a chance to explain the inspiration behind their designs before each critique. Amy Shank said she based her part-silky, part-metallic pieces on the concept of a modern-day armored Joan of Arc headed into the workforce. Kelly Ferguson’s line featured draped tunics and tailored vests in hopes of creating a feminine androgynous look.

For her collection, Emily Horner created boxy designs inspired by modern architecture. She admitted it was a little nerve-wracking defending the designs but was pleased with LaGrange’s input.
“I’m proud of what I produced,” she said. “I liked all of my pieces.”
LaGrange, who has also worked for Escada N.Y. and Fratelli Rosetti, said she was impressed by the work.

“I saw some really interesting student designs,” she said. “It was exciting for me to see the creativity it took for being such a focused project with a very specific client.”
She also praised students for being “open-minded about how to take their pieces and make them even stronger.”

Now, the hard work begins, Horner said. She and her classmates have until the end of the semester to turn their ideas into marketable clothing.

“Coming up with ideas is pretty hard, but making them is a different animal,” Horner said. “It’s easy to dream up this amazing design, but it’s another thing to figure out how to get it to work.”
 
Oct
4
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Stephens welcomes delegation from Hong Kong



Stephens College today welcomed a group of educators from Hong Kong who were in Missouri this week learning about the school counseling process.
Missouri’s model of school guidance is considered one of the strongest in the nation, in large part because of the collaboration that occurs between the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and those preparing students to become school counselors.
During a lunchtime presentation, Dr. Gina Sanders, director of the Master of Education in Counseling at Stephens gave the dignitaries an overview of the program, and instructor Carolyn Roof provided a more detailed look at the coursework. Among the visitors from China were school development officers and educational administrators.
Stephens is unique in that graduate-level counseling courses are taught in the evening, allowing students to work full-time. That said, program advisors work closely with students to balance their schedules when they’re ready for practicum experiences in area schools, Roof said.
“We advise and assist them to develop individualized academic plans,” she said.
Roughly 130 students are enrolled in the counseling program at Stephens, including men and women. Eighteen instructors, most of whom are either retired or working professionals in the field, teach the courses. In addition to Roof, who has decades of experience working at the elementary level in Columbia Public Schools, Ann Landes, who was a longtime guidance counselor at Hickman High School, is also part of the counseling faculty.
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education led the group’s week-long visit, which also included stops at Benton Elementary, a STEM-focused school in Columbia, and the University of Missouri.
During her welcome, Stephens President Dianne Lynch gave the group an overview of the undergraduate side of the college, explaining that Stephens is a student-centered college that prepares women for life, not simply a job. In today’s technological and mobile world, young people need to develop their passion and a skill set that translates to various careers, she said.Asked how to foster that passion, Lynch advised the educators to simply listen to what students are saying, identify their strengths and encourage them.  
 
Oct
4
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Panelists: Status of women in film bleak, change is underway

 

Kalyen-and-Joanna
Kalyen Ralph and Joanna Demkiewicz of The Riveter.


Filmmakers and media experts yesterday painted a grim portrait of Hollywood where men dominate and refuse to not only give women the resources needed to make films but also refuse to reflect them in an accurate light on the big screen.

But attendees of the first ever Citizen Jane Summit yesterday agreed that they can change those statistics and said there’s a movement underfoot.

“We need to come up with practical ways and ideas on how we can make a change and how our evolution can turn into a revolution and happen a little quicker,” said Kerri Yost, associate film professor at Stephens and program director of Citizen Jane Film Festival.

Students and community members yesterday joined industry experts at Historic Senior Hall on the Stephens campus to talk about the under-representation of women in Hollywood and what can be done to boost those numbers.

Part of the problem is basic behavior, said Melissa Silverstein, author of “In Her Voice” and the Women in Hollywood blog. In general, men like to be entertained, and they’re more willing to go to movies on opening weekend to get that entertainment. Women, on the other hand, are more critical about what they pay to watch and they’re willing to wait a few weeks after the opening to go. That’s an issue for Hollywood, she said, which essentially judges success on opening weekend sales.

In at least one way, a solution is simple. Women need to support female filmmakers not only by going to see their movies but also by going on opening weekend.

Statistics aren’t any better for women on screen. The number of female actors is currently at a five-year low, she said.

And the numbers are worse for African American women, Yvonne Welbon, Academy Award nominated filmmaker said. Her research has shown black women have made just 80 films in the history of movie making. Two black male filmmakers—Spike Lee and Oscar Micheaux—together have directed almost as many films as all black women combined, she said.

“That’s a little troubling.”

But those numbers aren’t unique to film. Two recent University of Missouri graduates, Joanna Demkiewicz and Kalyen Ralph, said they were disheartened as students by the lack of women working in long-form journalism. That’s why they started “The Riveter,” an online and print magazine that provides space for women to tell their stories. Independent film is parallel to what The Riveter is doing, they said.

The summit closed with audience members joining panelists to talk about ways to improve the statistics.

The Columbia community can play a role in supporting female filmmakers this weekend during the Citizen Jane Film Festival. The festival kicks off today with a series of panel discussions, and the opening film, “Maidentrip” starts at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Missouri Theatre. Citizens can purchase single tickets at the venues or swing by the Box Office on campus for weekend passes. A complete schedule can be found here.

 
Oct
3
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Bartels represents Stephens at global conference

Junior Nickie Bartels represented Stephens College last week at a global conference in New York sponsored by The Women in Public Service Project.
“A Global Conversation: Why the UN Must Focus on Women’s Leadership,” hosted by Barnard College, brought together international leaders to talk about ways to boost the number of females taking on government and service roles.

“One thing they talked a lot about was that if you change the people at the table, you change the perspective,” Bartels said. “You can then address issues that a group of men might not otherwise think about. You bring a whole different perspective.”

The conference featured former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, who is currently the administrator of the United Nation’s Development Program, and included the deputy executive director of UN Women, Mexico’s tourism secretary
and the executive director of Georgetown’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security.

“It was so neat to meet everyone,” Bartels said. “The other student delegates were amazing, as well. They’re going to do awesome things, too.”

Stephens College joined The Women in Public Service Project last month, making Bartels’ trip a spur-of-the-moment opportunity. Bartels said she received an email from her advisor, Susan Bartel, dean of the School of Organizational Leadership and Strategic Communication, inviting her to participate just a week before the conference.

“It felt surreal,” Bartels said.

Bartels is studying strategic communications and integrated marketing in hopes of going on to law school. She wants that law background in order to start a not-for-profit organization to educate women about reproductive rights.

The conference “reaffirms my belief that this is what I want to do, and that it is doable,” she said.

Stephens College funded the trip through Magic Moments, a discretionary fund in President Dianne Lynch’s office that pays for unique opportunities that arise for students.

“I can’t thank Dianne enough,” Bartels said. “I feel if I were at any other school, I wouldn’t have had this opportunity. Stephens really prepared me for this both educationally and personally.”
 
Oct
3
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Stephens strives to get women working in film



Before the Citizen Jane Film Festival kicks off tomorrow, more than one reporter asked Director Paula Elias why we need a festival featuring all female filmmakers.
It’s simple. The entertainment industry is lagging behind other industries when it comes to gender equality. Of the top 250 domestic grossing films made in 2012, women accounted for 9 percent of all directors, according to a report from Celluloid Ceiling.
“This is an industry based on confidence, and women haven’t felt as confident because culturally they have no representation in the profession,” said Kerri Yost, director of programming.
Predominately male film schools and the notion that women could not handle elaborate equipment contributed to the problem, keeping many would-be female filmmakers away.
Enter Stephens College.
For nearly a decade, the Digital Filmmaking program at Stephens has been giving young women the chance to explore all aspects of the industry—the production, lighting, audio, editing and directing. The program culminates with seniors creating their own short films from start to finish.
So what do you get from a woman with a camera that you might not get from a man? An entirely new way of looking at things.
Assistant Professor Chase Thompson predicts moviegoers will start seeing those types of innovative ideas when more women are put in charge.
“We need a fresh perspective,” he said. “Everything we’re seeing now, they’re all remakes of the same old story told again and again from the same perspective. We need to get cameras in the hands of women.”  The digital filmmaking program at Stephens began in 2004, but it has deep roots on the Stephens campus. Women have been working in the two large Patricia Barry studios on campus for decades, previously as part of mass media and broadcast journalism programs.
Digital filmmaking was born out of the College’s goal to keep up with changing market trends and a desire to send more females into a growing industry that wields a lot of influence.
“Stephens is always focused on careers, and we’re small and nimble enough to adapt to changing times,” Yost said. “We started the digital filmmaking program strategically. We reaffirmed the women’s college mission, and there aren’t enough women in film. Our mission is to get more women in front of and behind the camera.”
Because the program was built for the times, Stephens was one of the early programs to adopt digital technologies.
“Others have tried to evolve with the industry, and some are now scrambling to get everything digitized,” Yost said. “We went digital early, and that was a smart decision.”
But while technology allows anyone to film from anywhere in the world, mid-Missouri isn’t exactly a mecca for moviemaking. That’s why Stephens launched the Citizen Jane Lecture Series alongside the major. The series brings women working in the film and television industry to campus, allowing students to see career potential and make connections in the field.
Again, Stephens proved to be ahead of her time: A study earlier this year from the Sundance Institute and Women in Film Los Angeles found that mentorship is crucial if show business is going to achieve equity.
As an extension of the lecture program, Stephens in 2008 launched the Citizen Jane Film Festival, a three-day festival showcasing the works of female filmmakers from around the world. What started as a symposium has nearly doubled every year since and is now a full-blown festival, giving women a chance to screen and discuss their works.
“Citizen Jane Film Festival does a good job of championing the idea that women’s voices are powerful and need to be represented,” Thompson said. For students, here are people—women like them—doing what they want to do and showing them it’s not just a hobby.”

At Stephens, digital film faculty members don’t just teach filmmaking, they make films. Yost has directed several documentaries that have received national recognition. Thompson’s short film, “Threshold,” received a nod at an international film festival earlier this year—and he was back on set this summer with a new feature project. Assistant Professor Steph Borklund, the most recent addition to the team, spent the summer working on her new short film, “I Am One,” co-produced by Assistant Creative Writing Professor Kate Berneking Kogut.
“It is imperative for our digital film faculty to be working filmmakers,” Borklund said. “The digital filmmaking world changes so rapidly—new cameras, new codes, new recording formats. Being working filmmakers helps us relate to the students. We understand the stress and complications that go with making a film.”
 
Oct
2
Date Tail

Student project could lead to fewer deworming treatments at stables


Horses at Stephens College could see fewer unnecessary deworming treatments in the future thanks to a study conducted recently by two students.

Caroline Schwerzenbach, who graduated in May, and Katie Sharp, a junior, teamed up to determine whether the horses at the equestrian center need to be dewormed twice a year, as was routine, or whether they could get by with fewer treatments.

One problem with deworming routinely is that horses can build immunity to the vaccinations over time.

Sharp and Schwerzenbach tested 51 horses by counting eggs in fecal matter. They discovered that three horses had especially high egg counts, with one being abnormally high. After deworming, the latter horse was the only to have egg counts in a follow-up test, indicating that the horse is especially vulnerable. Schwerzenbach presented the findings at an external conference, and Sharp gave a presentation on the work during Family Weekend at Stephens this past weekend.

By using the egg count method, Stephens can reduce treatments, saving money and improving the overall health of the college’s horses.

Students in the sciences at Stephens will likely to build on this study, conducting egg counts for the stables while also adding other research components to the tests, said Tara Giblin, dean of the humanities and sciences.

“This is a great example of the collaboration that happens at Stephens,” she said. “Students benefit from working in real-world settings, and they benefit by being exposed to other disciplines on campus.”

 
Oct
1
Date Tail

Freshman coordinates dinners for fellow first-year students

Stephens freshmen last week had a chance to get to know one another better at back-to-back dinners at the President’s Home.

The events were the brainchild of Freshman Jenna Westra who talked to Stephens President Dianne Lynch after noticing students in the dining hall whom she hadn’t yet met.

“I wanted a way for people to meet everyone,” she said.

Westra is studying Event and Convention Management, a new major this year, so the project doubled as a way to get some first-hand experience. While Lynch’s office took care of logistics, Westra was in charge of coming up with icebreaker games, creating nametags and making sure attendees felt comfortable.

“I didn’t do everything, but it was certainly a step in what I want to do,” she said. “Everyone had a great time. There was really no pressure, people just got a chance to know more about one another.”

The dinners are just one example of how students can create their own opportunities at Stephens, parents were told during a Family Weekend event this past weekend. Lynch is always available to students who have ideas, Tina Parke-Sutherland, a professor of English/creative writing said during a faculty panel discussion.

"Our president is an amazing resource," she said.

And Westra didn't hesitate to take advantage of that. She's now working with Lynch on ideas for Halloween events at Stephens. She'd also like to coordinate another freshmen dinner.

Westra and fellow Event and Convention Management students are also getting real world experience in their courses. The class recently visited SC Events, the office that coordinates weddings, business meetings and other external and internal events on campus, getting a behind-the-scenes look at event planning.
 
Sep
30
Date Tail

Fashion students design pink dresses for Breast Cancer Awareness



pink-dress1
Logan Blagg explains her dress design.

Last Wednesday, Logan Blagg had a green towel and an idea.

The Stephens College junior wanted to create a ball gown using the towel as the bodice and a cut wicker basket to create the skirt. By Friday, the basket she’d ordered hadn’t come in, and Blagg had to revert to Plan B, using pieces of foam and wire to create the skirt instead.
Troubleshooting is one of the main lessons embedded in the annual Pink Dress project at the Stephens School of Fashion and Design.
“It’s an engineering feat,” said Tina Marks, who is teaching the Creating Sustainable Communities course. The project challenges students to create dresses using non-traditional materials. It doubles as a Breast Cancer Awareness project, and several of the dresses will be displayed in store windows downtown during the month of October.
Engineering wise, it’s one of the toughest designs students will work on, Marks said. Students can sketch imaginative works—but sometimes those ideas go awry in the design stage.
“I learned that I need to do a lot more preparation and planning and to make room for troubleshooting,” said Kelly Ferguson, a junior who also had to come up with an alternative plan when her original idea didn’t work.
Ferguson used a circle-patterned shower curtain to remind women to “Spot Cancer Early” through self-screenings in the shower.
The women presented their dresses to Assistant Fashion Communications Professor Lisa Lenoir this afternoon. A Visual Design class will now judge the dresses to determine which will be displayed downtown. This spring, a professional Jury will also judge the dresses, and the top designs will be modeled at the annual student designer fashion show, The Collections.
Junior Audrah Davidson is hoping her delicate fall-themed design survives the numerous moves. Her dress is a shower curtain base embellished with decorative leaves painted pink, a reminder to “Leave Cancer Behind.” The dress is designed to celebrate remission.“It’s fun,” she said Wednesday while gluing leaves. “It’s so much fun. I’m learning a lot—this gets your creativity going.”

pink-dress2
Melinda Thiedig and her cork themed dress.

Jessica Yuhouse used plastic bags and tissue paper to create her strapless dress. She works in retail and wanted to find a use for the materials that often end up on a landfill. Her dress—which she was able to try on herself—is themed: “Don’t get wrapped up in breast cancer.”
Melinda Thiedig also was able to try on her dress, made up of hundreds of donated wine and  Champagne corks painted pink. The dress, which featured the pink ribbon design on the back, wasn’t as uncomfortable as one might imagine, Thiedig said.
Other designs featured water bottles, insulation foam and parts from old high heel shoes.
Although she put in some long hours after her initial plan fell through, Blagg was also ready to show off her finished dress during presentations today. Her dress’s theme, “Uncage Your Inner Strength,” was a play on the birdcage-like skirt. She covered the towel in pink pillow stuffing and Himalayan salt.
The students had just two weeks to design and create the dresses, Marks said. “I’m impressed. I really am.”

 
Sep
30
Date Tail

Faculty discuss first-year challenges

Having tenured professors teach and advise freshmen gives students numerous advantages, but it can also be intimidating for young women just out of high school.
That’s one challenge first-year students face as they transition to Stephens College, said Annette Digby, vice president of academic affairs. Digby joined a faculty panel Saturday morning to talk to parents of first-year students about adjusting to college. The event was part of Family Weekend.
At Stephens, students work alongside tenured and tenure-track faculty all four years, meaning they’re working with professors who have decades of experience and long lists of scholarly accolades. That’s unique to Stephens—at most colleges and universities, students don’t begin working with tenured faculty until their junior years, and graduate assistants teach most freshmen-level courses.
Freshmen here just need to realize that they should take advantage of that, Digby said. They shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions, share ideas or ask for advice or help.
“Everyone here wants to see you succeed,” said Jim Terry, association professor of art history. “Pester us. This is what we do.”
While college is sometimes portrayed as a “non-stop party” in the media, Stephens students quickly realize that it requires work.
“Stephens College is a job,” President Dianne Lynch said. “You work as hard as a young professional college student as you would as a young professional in the office.”
And students are welcome to contribute to the workplace as much as anyone.

“This is a place where ideas become possible—where anything is possible,” Lynch said.
 
Sep
28
Date Tail

Children's School project focuses on collaboration, beautification of grounds


paint1paint2
Preschool and elementary children enrolled in Stephens College Children’s School worked together this morning to create mosaic stepping stones that will be placed in the new butterfly garden in the playground.
The school has been working on the garden since last year. The stones will lead to the tent-shaped trellis, and butterfly bushes and milkweed will be planted in the spring, elementary teacher Lindsey Clifton said. She also envisions vines eventually growing up the trellis.
“They’re learning that it’s a nurturing process that takes time,” Clifton said.
The project is also a way to let preschool and elementary students work more closely together. Children worked in multi-age groups of 10 to design and create the mosaics.
The Children’s School already offers multi-age classrooms to allow students to progress at their own pace, but the preschool and elementary grades are located in two separate facilities.
“One of our goals is to help students see the school as one,” said Beth Watson, elementary teacher. “Our preschool students are learning from the older kids. They’re seeing them as role models.”
Junior education majors at Stephens who serve as teachers’ aides also got in on the action this morning, assisting with the mosaic project.
“It’s a good example for them to see community building within a school,” Watson said.

 

 

 

 



The butterfly garden is one of several projects improving the looks of the grounds around the Audrey Webb Child Center off Windsor Street. The school, with the assistance of Stephens Project Manager Richard Perkins, teamed up with the City of Columbia to create a rain garden on the edge of the property. The layout of the design was finalized earlier this month and planting will begin this spring.

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