Engagement Pixel Starkle Dream Up. Stephens College


Date Tail

Behind the scenes of 'Almost, Maine'

In this video, acting instructor Dan Schultz takes viewers behind the scenes of "Almost, Maine," now playing at Macklanburg Playhouse.

The show opened Friday and continues this weekend. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Almost, Maine, a romantic comedy by John Cariani, takes a look at the nuances of love through a series of vignettes. All of the stories take place during the course of one night in a small community in northern Maine.

Date Tail

Terrace residents tour fashion exhibit

fashion-exhibitResidents from Terrace Retirement not only learned about Bohemian styles during a private tour of the Historic Costume Gallery yesterday, they also shared their own memories and knowledge of the garments.

One visitor had information about one of the oldest garments on display that she was able to share with curators, said Monica McMurry, dean of Stephens’ School of Fashion and Design. She now plans to send them a photo of her grandmother wearing a similar garment.

“Another person actually lived in a Bohemian society and had much history to share,” said McMurry said. “He remembered some of the styles on display looking like the styles worn in his home town as a child.”

The collection also features garments worn by singer Jane Froman, which are set up next to a garment owned by alumna and actress Patricia Barry, as well as a dressing gown owned by Matilda Magnus Price, a Columbia socialite after whom the historic fashion collection is named. A photo of a young Price is also displayed in the exhibit.

Bohemian Rhapsody is open to the public every Thursday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 3 p.m.

Private tours are available, however, for groups that would like to view the collection at other times.

By scheduling a private tour, visitors get more behind-the-scenes narratives about the history of the garments, McMurry said, and the opportunity to talk one-on-one with a curator. To schedule an exhibit tour, call 876-7220.

Date Tail

Stephens to be inducted into Boone County Hall of Fame

Stephens College is being inducted this year into the Boone County Hall of Fame.
Sponsored by the Boone County Historical Society, the honor is given to organizations and individuals that have contributed to the development, growth and preservation of Boone County. 
“We’re honored that the College is being recognized for its contributions to the community,” Stephens President Dianne Lynch said. “Stephens has a rich history. We were founded in 1833—the city of Columbia essentially grew up around Stephens College.”
With rising enrollments, facility improvements and recognition by some of the top college guides in the country, Stephens continues to contribute to the community’s educational landscape.
“Stephens is in great shape,” she said. “We’re truly one of the few women’s colleges not just surviving but thriving.”
In addition to the College's educational mission, Stephens also contributes to the vibrant arts and performing arts culture that Columbia enjoys.
Other inductees into the Hall of Fame this year include Jane Duncan Flink, publisher emeritus of the Boone County Journal, and posthumously to Luella Wilcox St. Clair, president emeritus of Columbia College.
Honorees will be recognized at a reception and awards ceremony next month. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, at the Boone County Museum and Galleries in Nifong Park. For ticket information, call 573-443-8936.
Date Tail

'Our Nixon,' 'Citizen Koch' among anticipated films

The 2013 Citizen Jane Film Festival sets sail Friday, Oct. 4, with the screening of “Maidentrip,” a documentary tracing the adventures of a 14-year-old’s solo voyage around the world.

The film follows Laura Dekker, the Dutch teen who became the youngest person to ever sail around the world alone.

It’s an appropriate opening night selection for a festival that also set out to break barriers. Now in its sixth year, Citizen Jane is one of few film festivals shining a spotlight on works by female filmmakers.

But don’t let the focus on women fool you, Program Director Kerri Yost said. While some are designed to provide a female perspective, most are just “really good films,” she said.

Among the most critically acclaimed films this year is “Our Nixon” by Penny Lane. The documentary is a compilation of never-before-seen clips of Richard Nixon’s aids; footage from more than 500 reels of home movies confiscated during the Watergate hearings.

Also coming to Citizen Jane Film Festival this year is Tia Lessin’s Citizen Koch, a story about the way in which money and power interfere with America’s democracy. Originally titled “Citizen Corp,” the film had early support from public television, which later pulled funding for fear of upsetting Charles Koch and David Koch, billionaire conservatives and donors. Lessin and fellow filmmaker Carl Deal later used social media to raise funding for the project. “Citizen Koch” premiered at Sundance Film Festival.

Lessin will join other filmmakers at noon Friday for a panel discussion about how social media and online fundraising efforts are changing the way films are made today. That discussion, in Studio A of the Helis Communication Center, is free and open to the public.

Those wanting a head start on the action are invited to attend the CJ Summit, a workshop allowing audience members to interact with a distinguished panel of feminist filmmakers. Attendees can RSVP at [email protected] Guests include award-winning filmmaker Yvonne Welbon, New Day Films Founder Julia Reichert, authors and journalists. That event, also free and open to the public, starts at 3 p.m.Thursday, Oct. 3, at Historic Senior Hall.

Reichert and Welbon will team up again Saturday morning to present “From the Archives: Finding Identity” featuring rare clips from early feminist filmmakers.

Although passes giving access to all events and to all films are available, visitors can opt to attend a single film or event. A complete schedule is available at www.citizenjanefilm.org.

“Citizen Jane is designed to be an easy and relaxing festival, something you can incorporate into your other plans that weekend,” Yost said. “Our box office process and venue sites are chosen to make it very easy to attend.”

Date Tail

New storytelling class challenges students to think differently


Kate Berneking Kogut, center, explains an activity to students.

Students in a new class at Stephens College were given an unusual task Monday.
“Don’t think,” Assistant Professor Kate Berneking Kogut challenged nearly 30 students.
It was tougher than it sounds. Asked for simple suggestions, such as girls’ names or types of clouds, most students blanked, struggling to come up with the perfect answer. By the end of the hour-long class period, students acknowledged that over thinking sometimes gets in the way of action.
The goal of the new course, Starting With Story, is to help students deconstruct the idea of a story, Kogut said. Too often, she’s found that students come with preconceived notions of how a story should read or sound—and that sometimes paralyzes the process, be it writing for book, stage or screen.
“Don’t get it right, get it written,” Kogut told the class. “Get it down, then go back and craft it. People who want to get it right don’t get it finished.”
The course combines writing with activities that force students to think differently. In addition to the word association exercise Monday, for instance, students also drew hands to help them visualize ways a question could be revised into a request or a demand.
They also participated in an activity requiring them to match similar sounds.
The physical activities aren’t combined with every classroom discussion, Kogut said, but they do help spark the creative process.
Over the course of the semester, students in Starting With Story will also learn character development, how to dramatize everyday dialogue and will complete a research project requiring multiple types of sources.

Kogut previously taught these concepts in her scriptwriting course. But Starting with Story is now a prerequisite for classes not only English/creative writing but also the film program and integrated marketing. And that makes sense because the lessons are so universal, she said.
“Story is how we make sense of ourselves and the world, and how we make sense of our place in that world.”

Date Tail

Stephens opens new student workout room

Stephens College students have a new place to work out on campus.

The College this summer converted a space on the first floor of Stamper Commons into a gym, complete with weights, exercise balls and 21 exercise machines. 

Workout-center2Although some pieces of equipment are new, most had been available to students previously in Hillcrest Hall, which has since been sold.

The new exercise space is adjacent to the Student Union, which opened in 2012 and offers students a place to play Ping-Pong, video games or foosball or to watch television.

Administrators are hoping the more centralized location will boost the number of students taking advantage of the free gym.

“Students want to stay active but the fitness center was just not accessible,” said Deb Duren, vice president of student services. “This new location will let them easily get in a workout between classes and other activities.”

Date Tail

Freelance designer shares life, work advice with marketing students

Freelance designer Kristen Brown gave Stephens students an up-close look at the fast-paced world of graphic design today, encouraging them to get experience at agencies before attempting to launch their own businesses.

Brown owns and operates Hoot Design Co., where she designs logos, custom prints, cards and other products. She started the firm when she returned to Columbia in 2010 after working at a large ad agency in Chicago for five years.

Brown, also an adjunct at Stephens, kicked off the Professional Lecture Series for Creative Ink, the student-run public relations firm at Stephens. The series brings in women working in marketing and design to give practical advice and share real-world scenarios. Brown also talked about the challenges of starting a family while staying active in the workforce. She has two children, a 2-year-old and an infant, whom she brought to the lecture with her. The baby slept through class, but Brown joked that that wasn't always the case and bringing children to meetings isn't always a positive experience. 

Brown wasn’t looking to start her own business when she began doing freelance work in Chicago. She had created a poster for a nephew and started receiving requests from others for reprints. Shortly after, she snagged additional work on the side helping a city department create brochures. It wasn’t a glamorous gig, she acknowledged, but it helped her build a client base.

She warned students that their first advertising or design job might not be a dream job but is necessary to get to the next position. 
That said, Creative Ink students have an edge, she noted. Most designers do not get to work with clients early in their careers, and it’s even more unusual to get that experience while in college.
Creative Ink, now in its sixth year, works with professional clients to come up with custom promotional materials. Current community clients and partners include the Men’s Minority Network and Columbia Public Schools.
“That interaction with clients and your strong portfolios are invaluable,” Brown said. “I love how Stephens teaches this program.”
Date Tail

Columbia residents join students at opening of fashion exhibit

For Columbia resident Mary Ann Groves, the new Bohemian Rhapsody-themed fashion exhibit at Stephens College brought back a flood of memories.

The neckline on the 1960s gold jacquard coat and dress on display reminded her of her wedding gown. Inside the Historic Costume Gallery in Lela Raney Wood Hall, she stopped at a bed jacket displayed among the rare collection of vintage lingerie. Delicate bed jackets, she and a friend reminisced, were once considered proper gifts for women who were in the hospital.

“This is just exquisite,” she said, taking a moment to scan the gallery.

Groves was one of more than 30 visitors who stopped by the opening reception for Bohemian Rhapsody, a show featuring paisley, lace and floral prints that will remain open through Dec. 15. Gallery hours are 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays and noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

In addition to the Bohemian looks popular in the 1920s and1970s, visitors can expect pieces with Asian and Egyptian inspiration, as well. Two dresses owned by singer Jane Froman are on loan from Columbia College. Stephens President Dianne  Lynch called the exhibit one of the most beautiful shows she has seen in the gallery.  

Freshman Kathryn McCarthy was drawn to a circus-inspired gown with dramatic sleeves, a cinched waist and lace trimmings.

“I would never wear it, but I love this,” she said.

Students joined community members at the opening as part of a class assignment. Monica McMurry, Dean of the School of Fashion & Design, is teaching a first-year experience course about fashion, culture and identity that challenges freshmen to think about clothing in new ways. Students at the opening had a chance to “claim” a displayed garment they will spend the coming weeks studying.

Freshman Taylor Barber selected a1920s gold flapper gown with floral accents.

“I always thought I should have been a flapper,” she said. “I’ve always loved the 20s. It was an important time in fashion. Lengths were changing; arms could be exposed. It was a powerful era for women.”
Date Tail

Stephens chapter of Alpha Lambda Delta earns national nod

The Stephens College chapter of Alpha Lambda Delta has been awarded an Alpha Award at the Bronze Level, which recognizes the local group for a high initiation rate.

During the 2012-13 school year, the local chapter initiated 74 percent of students invited to join the group.

Only first-year students are invited to join Alpha Lambda Delta, an honor society founded in 1924 at the University of Illinois. Once a member, students remain in the group throughout their college careers as long as they maintain excellent grades.

At Stephens, membership is open to the top 10 percent of the freshmen class, meaning most inductees had a perfect or near-perfect 4.0 grade point average, said Meredith Jacob, outgoing president. Stephens members participate in community events, but mostly encourage one another to continue earning high marks, Jacob said.

Glenda Earwood, executive director of Alpha Lambda Delta’s national headquarters, praised Stephens for having an “outstanding chapter.”

“The growth of this honor society demonstrates that more academically talented students are drawn to your campus and that the successful transition of these students from high school to college has been supported by faculty and staff,” Earwood wrote in a letter to Stephens President Dianne Lynch.

“We’re thrilled to see the Alpha Lambda Delta chapter and our high achieving students recognized with this honor,” Lynch said.

Date Tail

Performing Arts season kicks of with love story

This is a love story.

Well, almost.

"Almost, Maine," by John Cariani, provides a quirky look at the clumsiness of falling in and out of love.

The Stephens College School of Performing Arts will present the play at Macklanburg Playhouse at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13-14 and Sept. 20-21, with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee on Sept. 15.

The show opens the 2013-14 performing arts season. Get ticket information here. Set in a community so far north it’s almost in Canada, Almost is almost, but not quite a town because the residents never organized it. The play takes place on a moonless starry night during which friendships get complicated, feelings get hurt and love can either take root or fall on the floor … literally.

“It’s really nine small plays,” said Carol Estey, Stephens’ artistic director for dance and the show’s director. “Each is fully formed with a beginning, middle and end. They’re connected by location and are happening simultaneously over the course of one night.”

The Stephens production will feature an all-student cast from the theatre department, including four male students who will each take on multiple roles. Students also designed the set, which will suggest different locations across one community.

Although all about love, don’t expect everything to end happily ever after. Cariani “talks a lot about the magic and complications of being in love,” Estey said. “It’s sweet, but not all sweet. There are moments in the beginning of relationships, relationships ending and he leaves some of the stories open-ended.”

A play for date night and the lonely hearted alike, "Almost, Maine," is for anyone who has ever been in love—or almost.

Ticket information here.
Date Tail

Pedestrian bridge work continues

A rendering of the completed pedestrian bridge over Broadway.

Work continues on the pedestrian bridges over Broadway and College Avenue, however the bridges remain open during construction.

The work includes adding a brick facade on both sides of the bridges, giving them an appearance that is more consistent with the look of the Stephens campus. Eight-foot high columns will also be added atop the piers and will match the historic columns near Historic Senior Hall.

Additionally, signage will let drivers know they’re crossing through Stephens College territory. The Stephens College name, as well as official seal, will span the sides of the bridges.

“We’re really excited about this project,” said Lindi Overton, vice president for finance and administration. “Not only is it good for Stephens, it also improves the look of what really has become an entryway into Downtown Columbia.”

This is the second phase of the bridge improvement project, which last year included replacing the bridge spans and adding wrought iron railing.
Date Tail

Stephens students observe 9/11 Day of Service

9-11_service9-11_service2Stephens College students today vowed to spread kindness, be more positive and donate time and money to charities.

It was part of the campus’s participation in the national 9/11 Day, a non-profit movement aimed to pay tribute to victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Stephens’ Staff Advisory Council, Student Government Association, Campus Life Unleashed and Leadership and Programming Office teamed up to observe the day locally by promoting service.

“It’s a way to turn Sept. 11 into something positive,” said Sandie Heckman, an accounting assistant and member of SAC.

Observing the day also helps college students remember the day, even though many were in their early teenage years when the attacks occurred.

Stephens pledges were posted onto a  “Wall of Remembrance for 9/11” inside Stamper Commons.

By mid-day, one wall near the campus bookstore was nearly filled with brick-like stacks of student pledges, some of which outlined specific goals. "I pledge…To call my mom," one student wrote, "and tell her I love you!"

Date Tail

Stephens to join Women in Public Service Project

Stephens College has joined the Women in Public Service Project (WPSP), a program of the Global Women’s Leadership Initiative at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC.

Founded in 2011 by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in partnership with the historic Seven Sisters Colleges, the WPSP is an innovative program that aims to boost the number of women in leadership roles. Stephens becomes the 12thcollege to become a full academic partner in the network, which also partners with the U.S. Department of State.
“WPSP provides strategic investment in and international visibility to women's leadership around the globe — a mission and set of commitments consistent with those of Stephens College,” Stephens President Dianne Lynch said.  “Individually, each institution and every sector has a role to play in increasing women's influence and position. Collectively, we have the potential to help change the world—one political system, economy and culture at a time.”
The WPSP envisions a world in which women occupy at least half of political and civic leadership roles by 2050. To accomplish this goal, the WPSP challenges communities to advance a new generation of women committed to public service; brings together leaders, educators and public servants from around the globe who are committed to the goal; and makes recommendations to implement creative solutions to increase the number of women who aspire to public leadership.
The WPSP hosts symposiums that bring together emerging women leaders around pressing issues. The symposiums provide a platform for participants to discuss constitution-making, new developments, best practices and opportunities for changes in laws and policies in their communities and countries. This summer, Clinton delivered the keynote address at the WPSP Institute at Bryn Mawr College, a founding partner. Among other global institutes and symposia, the WPSP will host a Summer 2014 Leadership Institute with the Harpswell Foundation and Pannasastra University, Cambodia in Phnom Penh.
The WPSP also promotes two-way and peer-to-peer mentoring and publishes Journeys to Leadership: Narratives from the Ground to showcase the stories of WPSP global network members.
“By joining the WPSP as a full partner, Stephens College joins other leading academic partners and government entities in heeding an urgent call to action for women’s leadership in public service throughout the world,” said Rangita de Silva de Alwis, director of the WPSP, “and has positioned itself as a powerful platform for women’s leadership globally."
Date Tail

Stephens again snags 30th spot in annual ranking

Stephens College is once again ranked among the top third of its peer group.

U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 Best Colleges guide rates Stephens No. 30 in the Midwest Regional College division. That is the same ranking the College received last year. Stephens also recently landed in the 28th slot among baccalaureate colleges in the Washington Monthly.

In addition, Stephens is included in The Princeton Review’s 2014 guide to the 378 Best Colleges in the country.

“We’re pleased to be consistently recognized for our commitment to quality programs,” President Dianne Lynch said.

U.S. News & World Report ranks colleges based on factors such as graduation and retention rates, acceptance rates, the test scores of incoming freshmen and average class sizes.
Date Tail

Stephens College to host One Read panel discussion

Stephens College will host "Expressions of Us," a panel discussion and part of this year's One Read event, coordinated by the Daniel Boone Regional Library.

The discussion, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, in the Kimball Ballroom at Lela Raney Wood Hall with a wine and hors d'oeuvres reception. At 7 p.m., a panel of Stephens faculty will discuss various themes in this year’s One Read selection, “The Ruins of Us” by Keija Parssinen.

“We’re so excited to be a part of the One Read program this year,” said Stephens President Dianne Lynch, who will moderate the panel discussion. “It’s fitting that, as a women’s college, Stephens would join in an analysis of this important book about the complexities of female roles and identities.”

Publishers Weekly has hailed “The Ruins of Us” as a gripping, well-crafted debut novel. The story follows an American wife living in Saudi Arabia whose identity is challenged when her husband takes a Palestinian second wife.

Panelists include Laura Flacks-Narrol, an assistant business professor who has traveled throughout the Middle East. She will explore Mariam’s use of an anonymous blog in the novel and will discuss how social media might give more women around the globe a voice.

Tina Parke-Sutherland, a creative writing professor, will also be on the panel and will share from her expertise on women in Islamic cultures. Monica McMurry, dean of the School of Fashion and Design, will discuss expression through fashion as it pertains to the book and society.
Date Tail

Stephens participates in College Avenue Mile

About 120 Stephens College students and employees joined ESPN’s John Anderson on Sunday, Sept. 8, to walk and run a mile for his charity.

The Anderson Family Charitable Foundation, founded in 2009 by John and Tamara Anderson, supports public school children, and proceeds from the Columbia event will benefit the Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri.

The College Avenue Mile run/walk began at Wood Hall on the Stephens College campus and also attracted participants from the University of Missouri and the Columbia community.

Although a thunderstorm slightly delayed the run, it didn’t deter Stephens students and staff, who were sporting pink Stephens T-shirts and armed with rain coats, umbrellas and ball caps.

After running and walking to Stadium Boulevard, a mile from the starting point, the Stephens community reconvened at the President’s House for brunch.

The event was a campus-wide effort, said Luanne Andes,executive assistant to President Dianne Lynch. In addition to participating, faculty and staff members also pitched in by sponsoring students.

Watch Stephens participates at the start of the College Ave. Mile Walk:

Date Tail

Historic Costume Gallery presents "Bohemian Rhapsody"


It originated as a style used by independent thinkers to challenge the status quo, but over time, Bohemian influence crept into fashions worn by social outcast and socialite alike.

Exhibit Grand Opening:
Sept. 12, 2013, 4:30-7 p.m.
Exhibit Dates:
Sept. 12-Dec. 15, 2013
Thursdays, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Saturdays & Sundays,
12-3 p.m. and by appointment
Location: Historic Costume Gallery, mezzanine floor of Lela Raney Wood Hall, 6 N. College Ave.

The Stephens College Historic Costume Gallery will explore that evolution during the exhibit “Bohemian Rhapsody” this semester. The exhibit opens with a reception from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Sept. 12 and will continue through Dec. 15. Regular gallery hours are noon to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday. Private tours are available.

Although the term Bohemian did not surface until decades later, its roots can be traced to the poets, playwrights and artists of the early 1800s, said Monica McMurry, Dean of the School of Fashion and Design. She points to the Romantic Army, a group of theatregoers who dressed absurdly and crowded into Victor Hugo’s controversial play “Hernani” to keep the critics at bay.

Bohemians surfaced as a counterculture after the French Revolution, and the style tends to resurface in times of social unrest. Many of the pieces in the collection are from the 1920s and 1970s and feature colorful paisley and floral prints. Pieces also show Gypsy, Asian and Medieval influences. Although many are extravagant, the pieces also reflect the influence in everyday wear.

“The average person owes a debt of gratitude to those who have dressed at the edges of social decorum, or Bohemian,” McMurry said. “The Bohemian has gone before most of society to take risks and upset the boundaries of culture, thus the co-opting by the rest of us to be part of that group.”

Dress1Designers in the collection include Donald Brooks, who was perhaps best known for costume and theatrical designs; Anne Fogarty, known for designing clothing accessible to women on limited income; and Vera, an American artist and designer known for bold colors and patterns. Two dresses in the collection were owned by singer Jane Froman and are on loan from Columbia College; and the exhibit also includes a red dressing gown owned by Matilda Magnus Price, a Columbia socialite after whom the Stephens fashion collection is named. The exhibit also includes pieces of lingerie—a first for the Stephens College Historic Costume Gallery.

Dress2“Bohemian Rhapsody” will have a special section that celebrates the classic combination of black and gold popular in Columbia. Fine or better dress is as much a part of most Southeastern Conference tailgate parties as enjoying the game, McMurry said. “We hope to inspire this in our own collection of ‘spirited’ clothing.”

Date Tail

Speakers inspire at Opening Convocation

Motivational speaker, cancer survivor and author encouraged new and returning Stephens College students to seize opportunities, be their own advocates and make the most of any situation.

Keynote Speaker Kim Becking joined the Stephens community Thursday, Aug. 29, for the annual Academic Opening Convocation, a campus tradition that dates back more than 100 years. The event officially welcomed students back to campus and kicked off the 2013-14 school year.

Becking, who now lives in Columbia, was an attorney and mom of a 2-year-old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. With the help of her support group, three other young women battling the disease, Becking co-authored “Nordie’s at Noon” about their experiences. The book was rejected several times before being published and, ultimately, successful.

“You’re going to have people who tell you that you can’t do something,” she said. “It’s your choice what you do with that.” Becking’s advice mirrored encouragement students heard from faculty, staff and a fellow student during the ceremony. Assistant professors Dan Schultz, the 2013 Distinguished Teacher, and Laura Flacks-Narrol, the 2013 Michael Bowling Distinguished Advisor, told students to invest in their coursework and the opportunities they will have during their Stephens careers.

“This place is really magical,” Schultz said, later adding: “Take advantage of our awesomeness.”

Flacks-Narrol recommended students think of their college years as a Pinterest page ready to be filled with a collection of activities and experiences, especially those that fall outside of their comfort zones.

“We want you to go beyond your wildest dreams,” she said. And Stephens faculty members are here to help, said Lois Bichler, Associate Professor of Biology and Chairwoman of the Faculty Council. She told students that faculty members here have a “fire” for teaching and for their subject areas. “You matter,” she said. “Know the faculty at Stephens College are always with fire for our work with you.”

Senior Steffanie Frank, President of the Student Government Association, also encouraged students to be active by either joining clubs or organizations or by starting their own. “You’re not going to accomplish anything by doing nothing,” she said. “Stephens has so much to offer.”
Date Tail

Another top ranking

Stephens College is ranked 28th in the country among baccalaureate colleges by Washington Monthly.

The media outlet, headquartered in Washington, D.C., rates schools based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories: Recruiting and graduating low-income students, producing cutting-edge scholarship and encouraging students to give something back to their country.

Nearly half of all Stephens students qualify for federal Pell grants, and 98 percent receive merit- and need-based financial aid of some sort.

"We're committed to providing young women a quality education regardless of family income, so we're pleased Washington Monthly editors have recognized that," Stephens President Dianne Lynch said.

Stephens also provides students with a number of leadership and service opportunities, including a service project component of a new First Year Experience course all incoming freshmen take.

This year's ranking represents a 21-spot jump from Stephens' ranking in the guide last year. The Washington Monthly's ranking also comes on the heels of Stephens' inclusion in The Princeton Review's 378 Best Colleges guide.
Date Tail

2013-14 Performing Arts Schedule

The 2013-14 performing arts season at Stephens College promises laughs, drama, dance and lots of music.

“There is entertainment here for everyone from Uncle Vanya, a Chekov classic to the new musical Respect: A Musical Journey of Women,” said Mimi Hedges, who is serving as interim dean of the School of Performing Arts. “We are offering a spot of comedy with Inspecting Carol and a wonderful Holiday Choral Concert in early December.”

Students will also be showcasing their talents at the Warehouse Theatre, an entirely student-run operation; student choreographed dance concerts will take the stage in November and again in the spring; the Bach’s Lunch Recital Series runs throughout the school year; and film students will have a chance to show off their best works in the spring.

This year's season sponsors are KRFU News Talk 1400 AM and Joe Machens Dealerships. Ticket sales begin Thursday, Aug. 29, in the Stephens Box Office, (573) 876-7199 or [email protected].

The Stephens School of Performing Arts capitalizes on the strengths of the College’s theatre, dance, music and film departments. Students perform alongside the men and women enrolled in the College’s Professional Conservatory Training Program. Stephens theatre department is ranked 16th in the country by The Princeton Review.

2013-2014 Performances:

Playhouse Theatre Company
(Unless otherwise noted, all Playhouse performances are held in the Macklanburg Playhouse, 100 Willis Ave.)

Almost, Maine
[Romantic Comedy, PG-13 for Adult Situations]
7:30 p.m., Sept. 13-14, 20-21, 2013; 2 p.m. Sunday matinee, Sept. 15
By John Cariani
You’ll fall in love with this hilarious play about the quirkiness of love. It’s a cold winter night in Almost, Maine, a town so far north it’s almost in Canada and one that doesn’t actually exist because the residents never organized it. Under shimmering northern lights, the play is a series of nine vignettes about townspeople falling in and out of love. Expect some surprise endings as hearts are captured, broken and mended. This is a comedy for anyone who has ever been in love—or almost.

A Catered Affair
[Musical, PG-13 for Adult Situations]
7:30 p.m., Oct. 18-19, 25-26, 2013; 2 p.m. Sunday matinee, Oct. 20
Book and lyrics by Harvey Fierstein, Music by John Bucchino
A grieving mom wants to throw an elaborate wedding for her young daughter in this heartfelt, intimate musical from Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein that was nominated for a Tony and Drama Desk award. Based on the classic 1956 film of the same name, the play follows young lovers Jane and Ralph, who plan to wed in a no-fuss civil ceremony until Jane’s parents receive an unexpected check and her mother’s wedding scheme begins. This sentimental comedy is more than ceremonial; it’s a compelling tale about family relationships and the ties that bind.

Inspecting Carol
[Comedy, PG-13 for Adult Situations]
7:30 p.m., Dec. 6-7, 11-12, 2013; 2 p.m. Sunday matinee, Dec. 8
By Daniel J. Sullivan
Get your fill of holiday cheer with this hilarious behind-the-scenes look at a community theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol gone awry! When a third-tier theatre learns its funding is about to be cut, the wacky cast of the company’s annual production of A Christmas Carol will do anything to prove they’re still worth it. Some eccentric characters in this holiday farce include a not-so-Tiny Tim, a Scrooge dreaming of performing en Español, and an ill- fated wannabe actor pulled into the center of this laugh-out-loud spoof on a Christmas favorite.

Uncle Vanya
[Drama, PG]
7:30 p.m., Feb. 14-15, 21-22, 2014; 2 p.m. Sunday matinee, Feb. 16
By Anton Chekhov
When a successful professor and his charming young bride visit his country estate, relationships are tested in this classic play written by Anton Chekhov,
the father of modern drama. Hidden love triangles, fears that lives have been wasted and the professor’s ultimate decision to sell the estate create havoc that tests morals and loyalties. Take a look at the actions and consequences of daily life in this timeless tale that ends with a dramatic climax.

A Shayna Maidel
[Historical Drama, PG]
7:30 p.m., March 14-15, 19-20, 2014; 2 p.m. Sunday matinee, March 16 (Performed in the Warehouse Theatre)
By Barbara Lebow
Two sisters who, as girls, were separated by war reunite as women living very different lives in this poignant story about expression and hope. The younger sister is a modern New Yorker whose make-up and fashionable attire contrast sharply with her older sister’s homely appearance. She must come to grips with the horrors her older sister survived during the Holocaust, which claimed many of the family’s relatives. A Shayna Maidel, which means “a pretty girl,” explores inner beauty, resilience and reconciliation.

RESPECT: A Musical Journey of Women
[Musical, PG]
7:30 p.m., May 2-3, 7-9, 2014; 2 p.m. Sunday matinee, May 4
Book, Music and Lyrics by Philip Roger Roy, Dana Matthow and
Bud Martin
This internationally successful musical tells the story of women through adored Top-40 hits of the last century. RESPECT includes favorites like “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “I Will Survive,” “Hero” and “What’s Love Got to With It.” This exhilarating musical experience encourages women to look for heroes within themselves, and is for women (and men!) of all ages!

Warehouse Theatre Company
(All Warehouse performances are held in the Warehouse Theatre, 104 Willis Ave.)

The Smell of the Kill
[Dark Comedy, PG-13 for Dark Themes]
7:30 p.m., Sept. 26-28, 2013; 2 p.m. Sunday matinee, Sept. 29
By Michele Lowe
Settled in the North Chicago suburb of Wilmette, Nicky, Debra and Molly have tolerated one another for years during dinners arranged by their husbands who are old college roommates. For the first time, while preparing dessert, the trio exchange confidences and discover that all three of their marriages are on the brink of disaster, and the three women are facing the challenges of their lives. When the men mistakenly lock themselves in a basement meat locker, the women are faced with a tough life-or-death decision: leave the men out in the cold permanently? Or let them out to thaw?

The How and the Why
[Adult Contemporary, PG-13 for Mature Themes]
7:30 p.m., Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2013; 2 p.m. Sunday matinee, Nov. 3
By Sarah Treem
An up-and-coming graduate student, Rachel Hardeman, meets Zelda Kahn, an established senior faculty member, and the exchanges between student and teacher quickly reveal that there’s more history lurking under the surface. This intimate and keenly perceptive play, from playwright Sarah Treem of HBO’s In Treatment series, explores science, survival of the fittest and the difficult choices women of every generation face.

[Coming-of-age Comedy, PG-13 for Sexual References]
7:30 p.m., Feb. 20-22, 2014; 2 p.m. Sunday matinee, Feb. 23
By Catherine Trieschmann
Fourteen-year-old Laney is an aspiring writer with an imagination that is as off-kilter as her awkward adolescence. But when Laney ends up in Oxford, Mississippi with a mother in crisis after a divorce and a twisted back, faith is up in the air. When she befriends Maribel, a fervent believer in the power of Jesus Christ to save her, Laney’s love for storytelling spirals out of control. Laney embarks on a hilarious spiritual and sexual journey that challenges her mother’s secular worldview and discovers that divine and earthly love may not be so far apart.

Desdemona: A Play About a Handkerchief
[Comedy, PG for Sexual References]
7:30 p.m., April 10-12, 2014; 2 p.m. Sunday matinee, April 13
By Paula Vogel
Desdemona, having slept with Othello’s entire encampment, revels in her bawdy tales of conquest. Her foils and rapt listeners are the other integral and re-imagined women of this Shakespeare tragedy: Emilia, Desdemona’s servant and the wife of Iago, and Bianca, now a majestic whore of Cyprus. The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel turns Shakespeare’s Othello upside down to take a glimpse into the lives of the infamous women in Shakespeare’s world and what challenges they faced.


Senior Dance Concert
7:30 p.m., Nov. 15-16, 2013; 2 p.m. Sunday matinee, Nov. 17
Macklanburg Playhouse
The culmination of personal dance experiences reflected in the choreography of graduating dance majors. This year’s concert will include original compositions created for Stephens students by composers from the Mizzou New Music Initiative as well as live music.

Annual Dance Company Spring Concert
7:30 p.m., Feb. 28-March 1, 7-8, 2014; 2 p.m. Sunday matinee, March 2
Macklanburg Playhouse
An eagerly anticipated Stephens tradition, the Spring Dance Concert features a variety of dance forms such as classic ballet, modern dance, jazz and tap. The evening of dance is highlighted by a variety of world dance selections.

New Works Dance Concert
7:30 p.m., April 25-26, 2014; 2 p.m. Sunday matinee, April 27
Warehouse Theatre
Adjudicated student choreography performed by members of the Stephens Dance Company.


Bach’s Lunch Recital Series
12:30 p.m., Sept. 26, Oct. 31, Nov. 21, 2013; Feb. 27, March 20, April 24, 2014
Historic Senior Recital Hall
A great way to spend your lunch hour! Relax in the elegant surroundings of Historic Senior Hall and support Stephens students as they perform a variety of musical theatre, vocal jazz, classical and choral works. These monthly recitals are free and open to the public.

“Stephens Sings” Winter Choral Concert
7:30 p.m., Dec. 8, 2013
Historic Senior Recital Hall
The Stephens Concert Choir and The Velvetones, the College’s a cappella jazz ensemble, invite you to a joyous evening of classical, vocal jazz and seasonal works in the graceful beauty of Historic Senior Hall. This concert is for all ages and is free and open to the public.

“Stephens Sings” Spring Choral Concert
7:30 p.m., April 13, 2014
Historic Senior Recital Hall
Join us at Historic Senior Hall as the Stephens Concert Choir and The Velvetones, the College’s a cappella jazz ensemble, present a year-end performance in celebration of spring and the accomplishments of our senior class! This program of classical and vocal jazz works is appropriate for all ages and is free and open to the public.


Citizen Jane Film Festival
Oct. 4-6, 2013
Stephens College campus
This festival features independent films made by independent women. Short and feature films in all genres are showcased as well as a variety of panel discussions and special events. Visit www.citizenjanefilm.org for more details.

Best of Year 2013 Student Films
Scheduled for Spring 2014
Stephens College film students screen their best work of the past year. Free and open to the public.

Citizen Jane Lecture Series
Scheduled throughout the year.
The Citizen Jane Lecture Series brings nationally recognized female filmmakers to Stephens to screen and discuss their work. The series is funded in part by an educational grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Date Tail

Stephens named to 'best colleges' guide

The Princeton Review has named Stephens College one of the best institutions for undergraduate education in the country.
Stephens and the University of Missouri are the only mid-Missouri schools to be included in the annual college guide. “The Best 378 Colleges,” which is being released Aug. 6, represents about 15 percent of the country’s 2,500 four-year colleges.
Selected schools weren’t given overall rankings; however, this year’s The Princeton Review does provide lists of the top 20 colleges in various categories. Stephens is ranked No. 16 for its theatre program.
The Princeton Review bases selections on data, campus visits and feedback, including student surveys.
According to the company, Stephens students said they “love the atmosphere,” and enjoy the small class settings while still living in a college town. They were especially complimentary of faculty, saying professors are “all very qualified in their fields. They love teaching here and are excited to work with students.”
One student said: “Stephens empowers women to take on leadership roles in the workplace and the world.” 
Another wrote: “Stephens gives its students everything they could possibly need to pursue their dreams.” Students also doled out praise for one another, calling classmates strong, independent, friendly and intelligent.
“We love getting this type of feedback from our students,” President Dianne Lynch said. “We appreciate The Princeton Review for taking the time to better understand what makes Stephens such a special place.”
The Princeton Review is an educational services company that provides test-prep courses and other student resources.
Stephens College, founded in 1833, is the second oldest women’s college in the country.
Date Tail

Stars back in action

The Stephens Stars athletics teams are busy getting ready for their respective seasons.


There’s a noticeable difference between the 2012 and 2013 Stephens’ soccer teams. Last year, first-year head coach Xander Kennedy began fall practice with seven student-athletes. Fast forward a year and Kennedy started his two-a-day practices last week with 19 players.

“We are certainly making progress,” Kennedy said. “I’ve been able to push these young women a lot harder than last year, and I feel like we are going to be in soccer shape in time for our first match.”

The soccer team opens its 2013 campaign with a home contest at Cosmo Park against Spring Hill (Ala.) Friday, Aug. 30, at 4 p.m. The Stars, who return 10 players, will continue their busy home stretch with matches against University of the Ozarks (Ark.) and Central Baptist (Ark.) Sept. 6 and 7.


In contrast to soccer’s front-loaded home schedule, the Stephens volleyball program won’t play on the newly refinished Deb Duren Court at Silverthorne Arena until Sept. 27. At that time, the Stars will have four consecutive home matches. Volleyball will begin the season with exhibition matches against Cottey College and Wentworth Military Academy on Friday, Aug. 30.

The squad returns three starters from last season including sophomores Madison Reale (St. Louis, Mo.) and Emily Manczuk (Odessa, Mo.), and lone senior Jenna Zmyslony (Barnum, Minn.). Also bringing a wealth of experience to the court will be junior setter Samantha Phegley, a transfer from MCC-Longview, where she garnered NJCAA All-American honors in 2011 and All-Region honors in 2012. Second-year head coach Rose Obunaga added seven freshmen to the fold, which is the largest incoming freshman class in program history. 

Cross Country

Stephens welcomed a new member to the athletics staff with the hiring of head cross country coach Travis Cook on Aug. 1. Cook, a former cross country and track and field athlete, lettered in both sports at Centralia High School. Prior to transferring to the University of Missouri, Cook participated on the track and field team at NAIA’s Central Methodist during the 2007-08 season. The first-year head coach recently finished his Master of Education in Counseling Psychology at Mizzou with a specific emphasis in sports psychology.

Tentatively, the Stars have penciled in meets at Central Missouri (Sept. 14), Missouri Southern State (Sept. 24), Central Methodist (Oct. 12) and St. Louis College of Pharmacy (Oct. 26), along with the American Midwest Conference meet on Nov. 8.
Date Tail

Stephens launches First Year Experience

Stephens College has launched a new initiative that aims to help students better understand how their academic studies fit into their lives outside of the classroom.

It’s called the First Year Experience and will combine discipline-specific studies with group activities, service projects and tips on how to succeed in college.

“We want to show students that the academic part of college is not completely separate from the social part,” said Dr. Tara Giblin, Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences.

“We want faculty and staff to create some activities so they can see the overlap between team building and academic coursework and content—it’s about connecting their discipline to something larger.”

FYE courses will be writing intensive to prepare students for college-level expectations. Each year, the courses will fall under an overarching theme, with the inaugural theme being “Society and Self.”

This year, all of the FYE courses will explore the relationship between an individual and her surroundings and how one person can impact a larger group.

Students had the option of selecting one of eight FYE courses, including classes specifically focused on cinema, fashion, art and leadership. Honors-level students will spend the semester examining the role of media and self in society.

One FYE course, “Passion Projects: Women and Creativity,” will examine the lives of women in arts, business, agriculture and health care and how they addressed issues of inequality and cultural expectations. When they’re finished with the course, students will be able to demonstrate a growing understanding of how women make a difference in society.

“What U Wear: Fashion, Culture & Identity” will explore the cultural and sociological aspects of apparel and appearance. Ultimately, the course aims to foster an appreciation of diversity for how people have dressed and appeared throughout history.

In “Artifacts, Trash or Treasure,” students will be introduced to the idea of material culture. Students will learn the basics of psychoanalytical, archeological, cultural and economic theories to better understand ancient and modern artifacts.

In “LeaderHerShip: Women’s Professional Journey,” students will assess the challenges and strengths of female leaders; and in “Society, Self and Cinema,” students will examine how documentary and narrative filmmaking can affect social change.

Throughout the seven-week experience, freshmen groups will also participate in service projects in the community. In September, all classes will watch the movie “Bully” and discuss common themes.

The FYE program aims to be a “new, interesting and engaging starting point for all incoming freshmen,” Giblin said. “We believe this is the perfect way to introduce students to not only the academic side of Stephens but also to our commitment to service and to making sure women are equipped with the self-understanding and confidence they need to find their place in society.”
Date Tail

Student interns at Columbia magazine

Laura Dresser ’14 enjoyed seeing her byline grace the pages of Inside Columbia magazine this summer, where she interned as a writer, blogger, photographer and fashion stylist.
But as much as she liked seeing her name in print, Dresser especially liked knowing she was giving readers information they could use. One article told Columbians about a new coffee shop in town. Another gave new moms ideas on how to decorate the nursery. And another provided healthy skin care tips. Many of the topics were new to Dresser, requiring her to do the research required to be an informed journalist.
“I was educating people, but I was learning alongside them,” she said.
And that education paid off—Dresser had several readers express gratitude for the stories.
fashion communication major, Dresser has several interests. She likes writing, but she also likes the process of staging photos—finding the garments, putting together the outfits, gathering props and making sure the models’ hair and clothing are just right. This fall, fashion photos she styled and set up this summer are expected to be published in a six- to eight-page spread.
For her coffee shop piece, which ran online in June, Dresser was in charge of all of the photos. She not only arranged the setting, she also took the photographs. The results? Amazing detailed shots of colorful coffee cups and the shop’s unique décor.
Dresser had previous fashion styling experience from a class she took at the London College of Fashion, where she studied abroad last summer. But the magazine internship provided her first real look at the inner workings of a publication.
“It was great to experience things firsthand and to be able to learn from those experiences," she said. “And it was nice actually seeing a project from start to finish.”
Dresser will get more real-world experience this school year, too, when she joins the staff of Creative Ink, a student-run marketing firm on campus. As part of the creative team there, she’ll contribute her opinions and ideas to branding, advertising and other marketing campaigns.
“At Stephens, you really get to explore your interests in a hands-on manner,” she said. “I do these amazing projects that allow me to explore different interests and see what I really enjoy.”
Date Tail

Student works as Saks buying intern

Amelia Carter ’14 is getting an up close look at the fashion industry this summer as a buying intern at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York.

“This experience overall is absolutely amazing and the best opportunity I have been given in my career yet,” she said. “The best benefit for me is being able to do the actual work and to see the way things are done in the buying office.”

Carter, who is studying Fashion Marketing and Management at Stephens, is working for Saks Direct in Designer Ready to Wear. There’s no typical day, but she’s completed purchase orders from market appointments, prepared vendor selling reports and has been able to attend a few market appointments. 

“There have been many cool experiences during my internship, but I would say my top one is going to market with the buying team,” she said.

The best market appointment was with British luxury line Belstaff, she said. She accompanied a divisional merchandise manager and was able to take pictures of the merchandise and weigh in on the purchases and outfits.

“I couldn’t believe my buyer allowed me to actually assist him in the appointment,” she said. “I loved every bit of that experience!” 

The work is also showing Carter how her classroom studies apply to real-world situations. “All of those spread sheets, case studies and retail math tests were all worth it,” she said, praising Assistant Professor Courtney Cothren for her courses. “It feels good to know that I am finally able use the skills and knowledge I have developed.”

When she’s not working alongside buyers, Carter is attending classes as part of Saks’ Executive Excellent Program where she continues to study retail math and life in the corporate world. Saks administrators, including CEO Steve Sadove and Michael Burgees, President of Saks Direct, have also spoken to the intern class.

“Each leader provided great insight about the company and career growth,” Carter said. Saks’ Summer Internship Program is designed to attract and develop talented college students, Leah Willingham, the Manager of University Relations, said in a statement. “Since the formation of our University Relations team in 2010, our on-campus presence has grown tremendously, and year after year, the quality of candidates continues to impress us,” she said.

That’s how Carter found the opportunity. After learning about the program through the University Relations team, Carter said she was “all for it. It sounded like a great opportunity to grow my career.”
Date Tail

The Collections

Watch The Collections from April 2013.


Date Tail

Cast of Traces in the Wind performs at Embassy of the Czech Republic

The Stephens College cast of “Traces in the Wind” returned to Washington D.C. Jan. 17 for another performance of the tone poem of remembrance.

This time the group appeared before the Embassy of the Czech Republic to which Dr. Gail Humphries Mardirosian, dean of the School of Performing Arts, has strong ties.

“Traces in the Wind” was developed 1 ½ years ago by Mardirosian, who worked with various Stephens theatre and musical theatre students on the piece. Tom Andes, instructor of music, composed original music and worked with Mardirosian to develop the lyrics. The group gave a performance last spring at Stephens before traveling to Washington D.C. for a showing at the International Psychoanalytical Association’s conference at American University.

The piece is based on writings from three Czech survivors of Terezin, a Nazi transit camp located 45 miles outside of Prague.

“The words of three extraordinary women who were betrayed, humiliated, deprived of normal living conditions, incarcerated, and experienced the depth of psychological and physical abuse and, yet, survived, were used as the matrix for the presentation,” Mardirosian said. “It seemed as if each of these exceptional women had used their art as some form of sustenance and it gave them some renewal, at least for the soul.”

 Mardirosian said it’s impossible for her to fully comprehend the circumstances under which the women suffered.

 “Yet, as an artist, there was such a compelling empathy generated from reading their writings,” she said, “that I felt an extraordinary desire to share their words.”

 The stories presented include those of Charlotte Delbo, portrayed by Katherine Moore ’17, Rosie Glazer, portrayed by Clara Bentz ’17 and Eva Kavanova, portrayed by Lauren Hardcastle ’16.

Abilene Olson ’17 performs as the narrator; Jayme Brown ’17 serves as production stage manager and dramaturge; and Jamie Casagrande ’17 designed the costumes. Brandi Coleman, visiting artist, developed the movement. Pam Ellsworth-Smith, associate professor of vocal arts, served as vocal coach. Dialect coach was Paula Cavanaught Cater. Script consultant was Barbara Oliver Korner.

Mardirosian’s work with Czech theatre began in 2000 when she was invited by the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences, an international nonprofit organization promoting Czech and Slovak cultural and intellectual contributions, to present the American debut of a play written by a famous Czech playwright, Josef Topol.  This led to many subsequent performances and presentations sponsored by the Embassy and performed in Washington D.C., as well as invitational lectures at various universities in the Czech Republic and Slovakia and Bohemia Hall in New York City.

 In addition, Mardirosian’s work with the Embassy of the Czech Republic represents an important connection to her personal life.

 “My mother was Czech and Slovak and this work connects me to my roots in so many ways,” she said. “I am also driven by a conviction to theatre for social justice.”



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
Close Button Right Button Left Button

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