L.E. Meador Center Scholarship
The L.E. Meador Center for Politics and Citizenship launched in 2015 thanks to a generous endowment in honor of the late professor L.E. Meador. The mission of the Center is to connect the community of scholars at Drury University with city, state, national and global communities. As part of the program’s outreach to help students, scholarships are offered for local community engagement, research and study away or study abroad opportunities.
Since 2015, five Drury students have been awarded funds from the study abroad/away scholarship program. In spring 2017, political science majors Ann Njoki and Christina Faoro spent time at The Washington Center in our nation’s capital.
Njoki worked with the organization Mentors, Inc., a nonprofit that provides mentoring and support to public and charter high school students in the D.C. area. The overall goal is to improve graduation rates and students’ outlook for the future. She also attended weekly classes and conducted grant research at the Washington Center Foundation.
Njoki says one of her favorite things about the internship was walking down the streets of D.C. and seeing people her own age making an impact. “There are a lot of interns my age in D.C. I loved going for happy hour and engaging in a political debate with someone I didn’t know. I loved sharing a newspaper with someone in the Metro, and I mostly loved that there was always a peaceful protest somewhere, even though sometimes I did not understand why.”
Meanwhile, across town, Drury senior Christina Faoro spent 15 weeks of her time working as a legislative affairs assistant at Churches of the Middle East Peace. Her 20-minute walks to work would often take her by the Supreme Court building and the Capitol. Her daily duties included compiling information about a member of Congress for the Legislative Affairs Director and collecting articles highlighting important events that occurred in Israel and Palestine. Those stories would then be compiled into a newsletter and sent to the organization’s constituents. Faoro says she had the opportunity to meet with a few members of Congress and see how politics work in action.
Although she was over 1,000 miles from Drury, Faoro says support from the Drury community was always there. “Even though I was not actively on Drury’s campus, I still had the input and advice of my Drury professors supporting me through my educational development. This opportunity in some ways taught me more about myself and my desires for my future than two years in classes have. This experience is something that I would recommend to anyone who is looking to grow and engage in the ‘real world’ while still having the help and support of the Drury community.”
Political science senior Johan Englén split his spring semester between working in the Kansas State Legislature and studying abroad in Germany. While at the legislature, Englén worked closely with Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley researching and writing briefs on policies affecting criminal justice reform.
Englén says being the intern for one of the floor leaders had its perks. “I got to see some things other interns didn’t get to see. I watched interviews for the State of the State address. I was also on the Senate floor for an important and closed tax veto override bill.”
Following this internship in Kansas, Englén hopped on a plane to spend the remainder of the spring and summer semesters studying abroad at Leuphana University in Lüneburg, Germany. He credits the Meador Center with affording him the ability to travel abroad via the study abroad scholarship.
In addition to the study abroad/away scholarship, the Meador Center also offers scholarships for student research projects and local community engagement. Applications are accepted for fall, summer and spring semesters.
Smith-Glynn-Callaway Medical Foundation Grant
Drs. Megan Ealy (biology) and Carina Collins (chemistry) collaborated to write a grant proposal during the spring of 2017 to the Smith-Glynn-Callaway Medical Foundation (SGCMF) to support their research plans at Drury. The mission of the SGCMF is to promote education and research in medicine and the ancillary professions in the Ozarks. By the end of May, Ealy and Collins received the exciting news that their proposal was funded in the amount of $12,500 toward the purchase and installation of a cell culture system needed for their research. The cell culture system will support the laboratory coursework and biomedically-related research for undergraduate students in the natural sciences at Drury University. In providing a state-of-the-art cell culture system, Drury students will have opportunities to engage in biomedical research and receive training in cell culture and sterile techniques.
Dr. Megan Ealy attended Ball State University in Indiana, where she received a B.S. in Biology. She then joined the University of Iowa for her graduate school career, where she studied the genetics of a form of hearing loss called otosclerosis under the guidance of Dr. Richard Smith. For her thesis work she conducted human genetic studies to try to identify the genetic components of otosclerosis. Ealy received a Ph.D. in genetics in 2011 and decided to continue studying hearing. In 2012, she started her post-doctoral work at Stanford University in the laboratory of Dr. Stefan Heller. During her post-doctoral training, Ealy conducted human stem cell research aimed at producing the cell types found in the inner ear. During her post-doctoral experience, she realized that while she enjoys doing research, her passion lies in teaching and mentoring students.
Dr. Carina Collins comes to Drury most recently from the University of Wisconsin- Madison where she was a postdoctoral research associate in the lab of Dr. Marisa Otegui. While at UW-Madison, Collins studied how specific domains in the plasma membrane of plant cells can regulate signaling events during plant development. Collins received a Ph.D. in biochemistry in 2015 from the University of Missouri in Columbia, where she studied in the labs of Dr. Scott Peck and Dr. Antje Heese to understand the biochemistry of the innate immune system in plants. Collins is a Missouri native and earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry at William Jewell College. During her time at Drury, Collins’ research will focus on the biochemical regulation of proteins that function in plant innate immunity. She believes that students can learn a lot about the human immune system by studying the immune system of plants and is looking forward to teaching and mentoring her students this fall.
Documenting the Solar Eclipse
Drs. Greg Ojakangas and Bruce Callen were tapped to be one of 68 teams to work with the National Solar Observatory’s Citizen Continental-America Telescopic Eclipse (CATE) Experiment to document the sun’s inner corona during the eclipse in August. Along with Drury students Ryan Wedermyer and Katelyn Morrison, they travelled to Hermann, Missouri to be in the path of the eclipse totality and make their observations. The Citizen CATE project aimed to capture images of the eclipse using a network of telescopes operated by citizen scientists, high school groups and universities. Volunteers used 68 identical telescopes, software and instrument packages spaced along the 2,500-mile path of totality. Each site produced more than 1,000 images, and the resulting dataset consisted of an unprecedented 90 minutes of continuous, high-resolution images detailing the sun’s inner corona—a region of the solar atmosphere typically very challenging to image. “I had been waiting for this for 38 years,” says Ojakangas, whose previous work with NASA provided a connection to the Citizen CATE project. “I still get goosebumps almost every time I think of it!” “An eclipse of this nature is a rare occurrence,” Callen said. “The chance just to witness it three hours from where I live and work was exciting enough, but the chance to contribute to a big national effort that will possibly advance our understanding of the sun was a great opportunity.” The Citizen CATE project has been several years in the making. Teams had no more than two minutes and 40 seconds —the time of the total eclipse as seen from the Earth’s surface— to capture their images.
New Music Education Program at Drury
The Department of Fine and Performing Arts offers an innovative new bachelor of music education (BME) degree that comprehensively prepares students for certification to teach all music specialties: general, choral and instrumental. This single track program is one of the few such programs in the Midwest.
Cabool Campus Relocates
Drury’s College of Continuing Professional Studies campus in Cabool moved to the Missouri Ozarks Community Health building. The MOCH clinic offers new learning opportunities for students, especially those studying in health-related fields, by taking advantage of onsite community partnerships.
Studio Visit Magazine
Professor Rebecca Miller, Associate Professor-Art & Art History, had work selected from her series, “Protest America,” included in the winter issue of Studio Visit Magazine. More than 1,000 artists entered work into the juried competition.
E-Sports Club’s First Tourney
Drury’s new E-Sports Club participated in their first intercollegiate tournament in April. The team competed against 201 other universities and colleges across the nation in the Tespa OTG Skirmish. The DUES team was able to defeat two higher-ranked teams, Western Kentucky University and Miami Dade College, earning a spot in the 64 single elimination bracket tournament, though they were ultimately defeated by the Johns Hopkins University team in the single-elimination round.
Reimagining Hazelwood Cemetery
Eight Drury architecture students helped Springfield envision the future of Hazelwood Cemetery, the largest municipally-owned cemetery in the state of Missouri, by assisting in a community-based visioning process to identify a long-term plan for the cemetery.
Spanish Majors Translate Care Manual
Drury’s Spanish majors translated Jordan Valley Community Health Center’s Prenatal Care Manual from English to Spanish. This granted the students real-world language experience while helping the community.
French Culture Immersion Program
Seven French majors/minors spent four weeks studying in a French language and culture immersion program at the Institut de Touraine in Tours, France over the summer. During this challenging program, all students were required to take 22 hours of intensive French courses per week.
Competitive Behavioral Science Research Programs
Three Drury behavioral science students were accepted into very competitive research programs to study brain behavior relationships over the summer. Inga Nordgren conducted research at the Medical University of South Carolina, Andy Sivils studied at Yale University’s School of Medicine in the Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit, and Elizabeth Horne conducted computational neuroscience research at the School of Medicine and Engineering at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Remembering Dr. Robin Schraft
Beloved professor of theatre Dr. Robin Schraft passed away in October. He was an important and loved member of the Drury community and is sorely missed.
Student Presents at National Physics Conference
Jake Nass, a mathematics major and physics minor, presented a poster of work he contributed to at the annual national summer meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and the annual national Physics Education Research Conference (PERC) in Cincinnati, Ohio. The title of the poster was “Social Positioning and Consensus Building in ‘Board’ Meetings with Disagreements.”
Drury/Rolla Technical Institute Articulation Agreement
Drury’s College of Continuing Professional Studies (CCPS) and the Rolla Technical Institute/Center (RTI/C) have signed an articulation agreement that awards a 30-hour block of credit to RTI/C students upon the successful completion of the national paramedic registry exam. This provides a clear path for students to earn an Associate of Science in Emergency Medical Science. “Forging agreements with Drury University is a win-win for our institution, our community and most importantly, for our career and technical education students,” says Matt Duncan, director of career and technical education at RTI/C.