Regalia: Department News

Awards & Accolades

Dr. Traci Sooter, associate professor of architecture, has been selected by the Sigma Kappa sorority to receive the 2012 Colby Award for her achievements in architecture, construction management and education.

Art & Art History
Rebecca Miller, associate professor of art, spent her 2012 spring semester sabbatical working on her new art series Protest America. She traveled to Washington D.C. in March 2012 and photographed protests outside the Supreme Court during the arguments for and against the Affordable Care Act.

Rebecca Miller in Washington, D.C. in March working on her new art series, Protest America.

Professor Tom Parker retired in May after teaching art and art history at Drury since 1980. He also served as department chair for the art program. Parker regularly exhibits his art, both in solo shows and group shows. He has been the recipient of numerous prizes and awards. His work has been seen in major museums around the country, including the Whitney Museum, the Chicago Art Institute, the Nelson-Atkins Museum, the St. Louis City Museum and the Springfield Art Museum.

Jacqueline Warren, associate professor, has recently concluded a three-month residency in San Diego, Calif. where she was invited to create a body of work in a private studio. She is planning on exhibiting the work this fall in Springfield at the Hyde Gallery. She is curating a show of “Famous Missouri Women” in November in the Pool Art Center Gallery. This exhibition includes Rose O’Neill, a twentieth century American artist who has a connection to Drury University. This exhibition will also appear in Toronto, Canada in 2013.

Behavioral Sciences
Dr. David Derossett ‘90, assistant professor of sociology, earned his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia in July. His dissertation was titled, “Crisis, Conflict and Consumption: Case Studies of the Politics and Culture of Neoliberalization in Urban Responses to Global Economic Transformations.”

Web Extra

Photo Gallery:
Reach Out to Breech Event

The Breech School of Business honored several seniors at their annual Senior Banquet in May. Corinne McEwen received the Charles R. Mercer Outstanding Student in Accounting Award, Jeffrey Brandhorst received the Computer Information Systems/E-Commerce Award, Samuel Snider received the Outstanding Student in Finance Award and the Raymond D. Thomas Award in Economics, Hillary Staab received the Outstanding Student in Management Award, and Spencer Anderson received the Outstanding Student in Marketing Award.

Dr. William Rohlf celebrated 40 years of service at Drury. He was honored by students, faculty and alumni at the April 19 “Reach Out to Breech” event and at the 2012 Breech Senior Honors Banquet.

In September, three history instructors presented at the Mid-America Conference on History. Their panel examined regional environmental history. The instructors and their titled talks are:

  • Leah Blakey, Ph.D.: History of Wildlife Patterns
  • Malynne Perry, M.A.: Impact of Pesticides on Waterways
  • Gary Tyrrell, Ed.D.: New Growth Timber: The Environmental Legacy

Center for Community Studies
As part of his sabbatical, professor Jay Garrott spent the spring 2012 semester teaching at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China and studying the urban development challenges of China’s rapidly modernizing society. These insights will be utilized in his fall 2012 architecture graduate seminar “Megacities: An Investigation of Culture and Place.”

The Center for Nonprofit Communication
Dan Prater, director of the Center for Nonprofit Communication, has been selected to present at the 2012 Philanthropy Midwest Conference in Kansas City on October 22 and 23. He will present a session on “Messages that Motivate,” helping nonprofit leaders develop strategic communications that are effective in reaching and engaging potential donors and community partners.

Advertising and Public Relations major Amanda Combs was selected as one of the top 15 American Advertising Federation students in the U.S. As a recipient of the prestigious Vance and Betty Lee Stickell Internship, Amanda spent the summer at IBM in Armonk, N.Y., as the corporation’s Global Advertising Intern. Amanda is the fourth Drury student to receive a Stickell Internship since 2005. Past Drury recipients are Mallory Noelke ’09, Mallorie Rodak ’08, and Cynthia (Nutter) Skinner ’05.

Dr. Ron Schie retired from the department of communication last May after 14 years of service. During his time at Drury, Dr. Schie launched the university’s advertising program and served as an advisor to Drury’s Ad Team. He served as the department chair for eight years.

Tippe Emmott, a Drury junior majoring in communication, won the Miss Missouri pageant last June, in Mexico, Mo. Emmott will represent the state at the Miss America pageant in Las Vegas this January. Emmott is taking a year off from college to focus on her duties as Miss Missouri.


Web Extra

Photo Gallery:
Faculty Awards and
Matriculation Convocation

Faculty Awards
Drury University recognized outstanding faculty members at the 2012-2013 Matriculation Convocation on Thursday, Aug. 23. A student and faculty committee selected recipients of these awards. The committee receives nominations from students, faculty, administrators and alumni. Dr. Robert Weddle was presented with the Faculty Award for Teaching; Dr. Jennifer Silva Brown earned the Faculty Award for Scholarship; Dr. Katherine Gilbert was honored with the Faculty Award for Leadership; Dr. Robin Miller received the Faculty Award for Liberal Learning; and Dr. Jayne White was awarded the Faculty Award for Advising.

History major Jenn Kervian was accepted into the 2012 summer program of the Washington Center in Washington D.C. She served as an information and research coordinator for ArtSee D.C.

Several faculty members of the history department presented at the 34th Mid-America History Conference in September. Dr. Ray Patton served as chair and commentator for a panel on “The Holocaust in Eastern Europe.” Dr. Leah Blakey organized a panel on “Environmental History of Missouri,” and presented a paper on “History of Wildlife Patterns.” Dr. Shelley Wolbrink organized the panel “Medieval Religious Women” and delivered a paper titled “Double Monasteries or Women’s Monasteries? Nuns, Clerics, and Lay Brothers in the Premonstratensian Houses of Northwestern Germany.”

Honors Program
Dr. Bob Robertson, associate professor of mathematics, was named the new director of the university honors program, beginning with the 2012-2013 academic year.

Interdisciplinary Studies
Dr. Hue-ping Chin, associate professor of interdisciplinary studies, has been named a 2012 recipient of a Lellon Foundation Grant for her work on Buddhist women’s communities and monasteries in China.

Dr. Patrick Moser, associate professor of French, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize this past March. He was also awarded a Carol Houck Smith Scholarship to attend the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, which was held in Vermont last August. One scholarship is given each year in poetry, fiction, or nonfiction and pays for tuition, room, and board for the conference.

Math & Computer Science
Math and computer science students recently participated in two programming contests. Amy Briggs, Synetha Collins, Kiefer Barrett, Ryan Coleman, Tyler Jenkins and Sayan Patra competed in the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest. In addition, Amy Briggs, Synetha Collins, Kiefer Barrett, Ryan Coleman, Tyler Jenkins, Zach Glossip, Brendan Birdsong and Josef Polodna also participated in the CCSC: Central Plains Programming Contest.

Dr. Scott Sigman, associate professor of computer science, was recently elected as vice president/president elect of the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges (CCSC).

The Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra (SDCO) received 3rd place in its division for the American Prize, a nationally adjudicated competition recognizing excellence in community, educational and professional ensembles. The SDCO has also begun two new programs for 2012-2013: Symphony in the Schools, helping local schools and connecting Springfield K-5 students and families with orchestral music and the SDCO Young Artist Competition, a new concerto competition for students through grade 12 in Southwest Mo. and Northwest Ark.

Dr. Stephen Bomgardner, associate professor of music, maintained an active performing schedule during 2011-2012, appearing as tenor soloist in nine performances in Virginia, Texas, and Missouri. These included a lecture recital at the College Music Society national conference, tenor soloist in Benjamin Britten’s cantata St. Nicholas, and in the role of the Counselor in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury.

Dr. Earline Moulder, Drury University organist, participated last June in a choral festival/organ tour in Paris, France and played a recital in the Dome Cathedral in Riga, Latvia.

Web Extra

Connect with Your Department:
Find more news & updates online

Political Science & Geography
Dr. Dan Ponder, professor of political science, was selected as Presidency and Executive Politics (PEP) Section Chair for the American Political Science Association meeting in New Orleans, which was held last August. He was elected to a three-year term on the PEP’s governing board and published two papers from a larger project—one in Presidential Studies Quarterly and the other as a chapter in an edited book, forthcoming from State University of New York Press. 

Dr. Brant Hinrichs was selected for the two-week I-RISE Scholars program held at Seattle Pacific University last August. Physics education research (PER) is an interdisciplinary research area in which collaborations among diverse researchers can bridge knowledge gaps and spark innovation. At the Interdisciplinary Research Institute in STEM Education (I-RISE), scholars from diverse backgrounds gathered to observe, document and reflect on an instructional setting rich enough to support many interests.

President’s Office
Last March, President Todd Parnell became the 2012 Inductee and Quill Award Winner for the Missouri Writer’s Hall of Fame. He was honored at the organization’s annual banquet.

Department Updates

Dr. Maurizio Sabini is the new director of the Hammons School of Architecture. Sabini comes from Kent State University in Ohio where he had been a faculty member since 2000. He earned his undergraduate and Ph.D. degrees at the University Institute of Architecture in Venice. He received a Master of Architecture at the State University of New York in Buffalo as a Fulbright scholar.

In addition, Traci Sooter is the new associate director, while Robert Weddle has been named assistant director.

Art & Art History
Last spring, a student art organization called Art of Space built the Nest, a project that served as a place to hang out for students, staff, and faculty. The Nest resided on the northwest corner of Sunderland Field, and was made entirely out of irrigation tubing and zip-ties. The Nest was officially unveiled during Theme Day 2012 in April.

Behavioral Sciences
Students Blake Herd and Paige Nichols won top honors in the Social/Behavioral Sciences division at the Missouri Academy of Science on April 14 at the University of Missouri.

Herd, Nichols, and several other Drury students presented two research posters based on their work with victims of the May 22, 2011, Joplin tornado. Along with Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Jennifer Silva Brown, students interviewed more than 80 victims of the tornado to assess their coping abilities.

The following students also participated in the research: Alex Duello, Bailey Greene, Morgan Merrell, Melanie Messick and Spencer Prevallet.

A study on the foraging behavior of gray squirrels in an urban environment was conducted on Kellogg Green last summer for a senior research project. Four feeders were placed on the green space to see if the squirrels would stray from the trees and gather food from the feeders. This project was led by senior biology student Kelsey Frieze.

More scholarship opportunities are available for students in the College of Continuing Professional Studies program thanks to a $50,000 gift from Springfield’s Stanley Ball. He hopes that the contribution will help make education more affordable for those who struggle to pay for college. Ball also made a $10,000 donation to Drury’s annual fund that will help fund scholarships for students in the traditional day school.


Diversity Support Services
A new diversity lounge opened up last semester in the lower Findlay Student Center. The lounge is for students and organizations to meet, study or relax. The lounge is fully furnished with a television, couches, tables and more. Lawrence Anderson, coordinator of diversity support services on campus, says the lounge is open for the Drury community.

Edward Jones Scholars
Six students out of the first class of ten Edward Jones Scholars received their diplomas in May, two more graduated in August and one more will graduate this December.

1975 Drury graduate and board of trustees member John Beuerlein and his wife Crystal ‘75 funded the scholarships for the first four classes of Edward Jones Scholars. All of the scholars minor in entrepreneurship and take part in personal and professional development programs through the Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship on campus.

“My experience at Drury has been invaluable,” said Bichlien Pham, an Edward Jones Scholar who graduated in May. “The Edward Jones Scholars group has been very supportive, and being part of such a group has provided many networking opportunities. I am so fortunate to be involved with the Scholars.”

EJC Scholars (L-R): Reginald Talley, Lori Finch, Ashley Davis, Erica Juchems, Bichlien Pham, Rachel Smith. Not pictured: Alexis Lurten, Megan Garcia-Hynds, Sean Powell and the late Alex Parker.

Dr. Sean Terry, professor of geography, will be working on a grant from the Rock n’ Renew Foundation to conduct research on renewable energy and reforestation on the big island of Hawaii during the 2012-2013 academic school year.

Dr. Greg Ojakangas was invited by NASA to present at the world’s premiere conference for space surveillance in Maui on September 11-14, 2012. Ojakangas delivered a paper over the possible rotation states of space debris and its reflection patterns. NASA wants to understand how this debris is rotating, because projections indicate that the orbital debris problem is in a critical state that is destined to make spaceflight extremely hazardous in the next few decades unless something is done.

Back to Top

Speakers & Events

Community Outreach and Leadership Development
Project Panther Service Days
Project Panther Service Days is a once per month community service activity organized through the Office of Community Outreach and Leadership Development. The goal is to provide easy access to service projects for the entire Drury community while also providing an opportunity for students to work alongside faculty, staff and alumni to address social issues and help the campus become better connected to itself, its community and its future.

Visit for more information.

Upcoming Events include:

  • November 9 and 11 Meals a Million Pack-a-thon December 13
  • Christmas Event at the Clubs

Video: Project Panther Service Days




Outstanding Women of Missouri
The Pool Art Center Gallery presents a traveling exhibition from the Missouri Women’s Council, “Outstanding Women of Missouri.” The exhibit features more than 75 Missouri women who have made a difference through their leadership, dedication and courage. Original work from twentieth century artist, poet and author Rose O’Neill will also be featured. This show will be a part of a number of events planned on Drury’s campus during the month of November honoring her legacy including the opening of The Rose O’Neill House. This show curated by Jacqueline Warren.

November 2 to December 3
Pool Art Center Gallery

Visit for the complete gallery schedule.

The Drury Theatre Department will present the musical theatre production of Curtains by Rupert Holmes. When a leading lady mysteriously dies on stage, the entire cast and crew are suspects. Enter a local detective, an avid musical theatre fan, who leads an investigation filled with hilarious comedy and show-stopping song and dance. The show is directed by Josh Inmon.

November 7-10, 2012
7:30 p.m., 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday
Wilhoit Theatre

Theatre students will tour regional high schools and middle schools for this year’s Broadway Cabaret and Shakespeare in the Schools. This year’s Shakespeare play is Much Ado About Nothing and will be directed by Drury senior Loren Casteel.

Visit for the complete schedule of upcoming theatre productions.



Back to Top