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Drury’s Summer Scholars program begins third year with its largest class

For Immediate Release: June 28

Contacts:

  • Mark Miller, Director of Media Relations, Office: (417) 873-7394, Mobile: (417) 839-2886, e-mail: markmiller@drury.edu
  • Bill Noblitt, Executive Director of University Communications, Office: (417) 873-7469, Mobile: (417) 429-7293, e-mail: bnoblitt@drury.edu
  • Dr. Bruce Callen, Drury Professor of Physics, Office: (417) 873-7546, e-mail: bcallen@drury.edu
  • Charlyn Ingwerson, Drury Instructor of English, Office: (417) 873-6928, e-mail: cingwerson@drury.edu
  • Dr. Peter Meidlinger, Drury Professor of English, Office: (417) 873-7469, e-mail: pmeidlin@drury.edu
  • Dr. Mark Wood, Drury Professor of Chemistry, Mobile: (417) 693-9938, e-mail: mwood@drury.edu

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 28, 2010 —The third straight year of Drury University’s Summer Scholars program for African-American teenagers will get underway on July 5. For two weeks, more than 50 Springfield high school and middle school students will get to experience college life.

Beginning Monday, July 5, Drury will welcome more than two-dozen seventh and eighth grade boys and girls from Pipkin Middle School for five days. Then on Sunday, July 11, ninth and 10th grade Central High School students will come to the Drury campus and stay until Saturday. The students will attend classes in language arts, photography, science and theatre; listen to guest speakers; and attend local cultural events.

“This program is consistent with Drury’s mission to enrich the community and build an ethnically diverse campus,” says Dr. Mark Wood, professor of chemistry. “We were extremely proud that the Summer Scholars program played a role in Drury receiving the Educational Partnership Award from the Springfield chapter of the NAACP.”

The Summer Scholars program was founded in July 2008 by three Drury professors --Drs. Bruce Callen, Peter Meidlinger and Wood--to give 15 African-American middle school boys a residential college experience. This year, the number of students has more than tripled, thanks in large part to the inclusion of female students in 2009.

All of the middle school students who will attend this summer participated in a bimonthly book club during the school year with Drury students, the three founding professors and Charlyn Ingwerson, a Drury English instructor, who joined the Summer Scholars in year two. All of the attendees from 2008 and 2009 have been invited back, and organizers plan to welcome the Summer Scholars back each year to follow their school careers.

Drury professors Greg Booker (Art and Communication), Rebecca Miller (Art), Dr. Chris Panza (Philosophy) and Robert Westenberg (Theater) will also teach in the program this year. In addition, African-American leaders from throughout the community will lead seminars on local history, life and entrepreneurial skills and African-American music. They include Francine and Wesley Pratt, president and vice president of the Springfield Chapter of the NAACP, Camielle Famous, a Missouri State graduate student, and Richard Todd Payne, professor of voice at Missouri State University. In addition, four financial services professionals from Springfield-based BKD, an accounting and advisory firm, will teach the students about financial literacy.

“We are trying to expand the range of issues we touch on with the Summer Scholars,” says Dr. Bruce Callen, Drury professor of physics. “We began with the idea of helping these students to succeed in college. Really, we want them to succeed in life.”

A majority of the funding for the program comes internally from Drury University. Springfield Public Schools pays for the resident advisers’ salaries, and a grant from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services will help feed the teens during their stay at Drury.

The only cost to the students in the Summer Scholars program is a $25 fee that is waived for students willing to do work on behalf of the program.

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