Vol. 27 No. 31 - May 8, 2023


  • Barger Named 2023-2024 Presser Scholar

    Brett Barger (middle) celebrates receiving the Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award with the help of University President Sue Thomas and Jesse Krebs, professor of music.

    Brett Barger, a clarinet performance major from Lee’s Summit, Missouri, has been named the Presser Scholar for the 2023-2024 academic year.

    The Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award is given to an outstanding music major at the end of their junior year. The recipient is one who has grown individually and who has contributed earnestly to the success of the Department of Music.

    As a student at Lee’s Summit West High School, Barger studied clarinet privately with Mrs. Rebecca Casleman and was chosen four times to perform in the Missouri All-State Band. In 2019 he was selected to the Tanglewood Music Festival Clarinet Workshop where he studied under Dr. David Martins of the Tanglewood Institute.

    At Truman, Barger studies clarinet with Jesse Krebs, professor of music, and performs as principal clarinet of the University Orchestra and Wind Symphony I. He also participates in the Truman Clarinet Choir and Statesman Marching Band. In addition to his performance schedule, Barger has maintained a strong academic and research record.  

    Barger’s professional affiliations include Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, where he has served two consecutive terms as the Upsilon Phi Chapter’s alumni relations officer. He is also a member of the International Clarinet Association. Recently, he was selected as a finalist for the 2023 ICA Orchestral Audition Competition and will compete in the final round at this summer’s ClarinetFest Conference in Denver, Colorado.

    Other recognitions include an honorable mention in the 2022 Missouri Music Teachers Association Collegiate Woodwinds Competition, runner up in 2020 MMTA Competition and winner in the 2021 MMTA Competition. Barger has also been selected twice to perform at the FSDA Chamber Music Festival in Abruzzo, Italy, where he has studied with Maestro Andrea Massimo Grassi of the “Accademia Teatro alla Scala.”

    As part of the award, Barger receives financial support of $4,000 from The Presser Foundation which works to fund the musical arts in their many dimensions and manifestations while striving to serve a broad and diverse community of musicians, educators and music lovers.
  • “Tea Time” Talks Freshman Year and Deserted Island Preparation

    University President Sue Thomas welcomed Tai Woods for a recent episode of “Tea Time with Sue.”

    A psychology major from St. Louis, Woods is completing her freshman year at Truman. She is a member of the Student Activities Board, TruSisters and the Association of Black Collegians. Woods shared her journey to Truman, including how she and her family fell in love with the campus when they visited. Coming from a large city, she appreciates Kirksville is not as “loud” as her hometown, and she particularly enjoys how Truman’s smaller class sizes have allowed her to get to know her professors.

    Already an active member of campus, Woods shared several items that remain on her Truman bucket list, which includes participating in club volleyball, taking a role in a play, joining an a cappella group, serving as a peer mentor and studying abroad. The discussion also included a surprise regarding what items to take to a deserted island.

    The entire podcast conversation can be found on the Truman Spotify channel. Follow Truman on social media for video excerpts from “Tea Time with Sue.” The complete video is also posted on the Truman YouTube channel.

    Throughout the school year, President Thomas will welcome guests for one-on-one chats that shine a light on the people and things that make Truman the special place it is. New episodes will be announced in the Truman Today as they become available. Guests for “Tea Time with Sue” can be nominated at truman.edu/teatime.
  • New Student Rep Appointed to Board of Governors


    Ella Schnake of Raymore, Missouri, has been appointed as the student representative to the Truman Board of Governors.

    Schnake is a senior political science and international relations/pre-law and sociology major. She is active in the Truman Speech and Debate Team, having earned two national championship titles in interviewing and impromptu speaking at the Pi Kappa Delta Biennial National Tournament in March 2022. She is president of Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Fraternity and Delta Zeta Sorority and serves as a Truman student ambassador.

    Schnake was appointed to the Board in April 2023.
  • Truman Featured Among Princeton Review’s “Best Value Colleges”


    Truman is once again included on The Princeton Review’s Best Value Colleges list for 2023.

    Out of more than 650 colleges and universities surveyed for the 2023 list, only 209 were selected. The company chose the colleges featured on the list based on those that earned the highest return on investment ratings in this year’s analysis. They tallied the ROI ratings based on more than 40 data points that covered academics, affordability and career preparation.

    Truman was also listed among the top 50 best value public universities and ranked third among the top 20 best public schools for financial aid.

    The Princeton Review’s full list for the best value colleges for 2023 can be found here.
  • Welbourne Selected as COPLAC Winner


    Iva Welbourne, senior agricultural science major and environmental studies minor, has been selected as one of the winners of the David J. Prior COPLAC Award.

    This award recognizes two senior-level undergraduates whose academic careers and future goals have been shaped by the transformative power of the liberal arts and sciences experience at a Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges institution.

    Welbourne’s winning essay shared her perspective on why a public liberal arts education matters and how she connected the liberal arts at Truman through agriculture, horticulture, writing, studio art and the Peace Corps. Her full essay can be found here.

    While at Truman, Welbourne has participated in two undergraduate research projects. One working to de-stigmatize insect-based protein sources and the other in conjunction with the city of Kirksville to survey trees and educate the public on urban forestry.

    After graduation Welbourne will be participating in the Peace Corps volunteer program as a forestry and environment extension agent in Senegal.


  • Alumnus and Global Health Care Advocate to Provide Commencement Address


    Truman alumnus Dr. Andrew Dykens, associate professor of family and community medicine at the University of Illinois Chicago, will provide the address during commencement ceremonies, May 13.

    As a core member of the UIC’s Center for Global Health, Dykens supports its mission to reduce health disparities and improve the health of populations and individuals around the world. In addition to his work as a medical doctor and professor, Dykens is a National Institutes of Health funded researcher whose interests include developing scalable cervical cancer control and prevention programs in low- and middle-income countries. He currently serves as the director of the Global Health Equity Implementation Research Network at UIC’s Center for Global Health.

    Dykens is the founding director of the Capacity Strengthening Platform at the Consortium of Universities for Global Health, a global initiative that aims to facilitate institutional partnerships focused on strengthening health care training capacity by connecting local resources to meet community needs.

    A desire for global wellness has long been a passion for Dykens. After graduating magna cum laude from Truman with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology in 1997, he spent two years with the Peace Corps serving as a community health and sanitation volunteer in the West African country of Mauritania.   

    Dykens graduated from the University of Missouri School of Medicine in 2004. While completing a family medicine residency at the University of Illinois Chicago, he also earned a master’s degree in public health.

    During his time at Truman, Dykens was a member of the wrestling team. He also was actively involved in Blue Key Honor Society and Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society.

    Dykens and his wife, Lauren, have two children, Sevilla and Eliana. In addition to spending time with his family and friends, he enjoys traveling, playing volleyball and singing with his girls. He also is competitive in the initial and final 100 meters of an occasional triathlon.

    Commencement is scheduled for 2 p.m. May 13 at Stokes Stadium. Additional details can be found online at truman.edu/registrar/commencement.
  • Comm Hosts End of the Year Social

    The Communication Department and Lambda Pi Eta will host an end of the year social event from 12-2 p.m. May 10 at the Red Barn Pavilion. Yard games, music, senior celebrations and barbecue food such as hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, potato salad, cookies and veggie options will be available. This event is for all communication majors, minors, faculty and staff. RSVP here.

  • May Interim Hours for UCS and SHC


    University Counseling Services will remain open during May Interim 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The Student Health Center will be closed during May Interim.

    Summer hours for SHC and UCS will be 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and will begin May 30. UCS will have remote services available during May interim and summer hours across multiple states including Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Texas.

    To schedule an appointment, call 660.785.4182 or email studenthealth@cfmcares.com. More information can be found at truman.cfmcares.com.
  • Faculty and Staff Honored at Service Recognition Celebration

    Approximately, 132 current and retired employees will be honored for their years of service and their commitment to the University with a Service Recognition Celebration, May 16. A list of the 2023 honorees can be found here.

  • “Films and Finger Foods” Presents “Living Worlds”


    The Kohlenberg Lyceum Series presents the second “Films and Finger Foods” at 7:30 p.m. May 20 in the Del and Norma Robison Planetarium.

    This event features a premier showing of “Living Worlds,” a full-dome film that follows narrator Daveed Diggs on a journey through space and time to discover the surprising ways life and Earth evolve in tandem. Vayujeet Gokhale, associate professor of physics, will present as the guest speaker before the film.

    Snacks will be served at 7 p.m. in Magruder Hall prior to the show. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Tickets can be reserved by calling the Advancement Office at 660.785.4133 or online.
  • Fulfill Language Requirements Over the Summer

  • The Teacher Store Aids New Educators


    The Teacher Store is a resource center where retiring teachers can donate their classroom supplies they have collected through their careers. These materials are free and available to current undergraduate students and current graduate students, especially pre-MAE and MAE, at Truman. This store was started so that beginning teachers could use these donations instead of spending their own money on classroom supplies. The store is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays in Violette Hall 2325. For questions or donations, contact the Education Department here.
  • Flexible Payment Plan Gives Students Options


    New changes to the flexible payment plan will help students stay on track with tuition and spread out their balance throughout each semester.
    Under the flexible payment plan, tuition is billed in full and paid for in installments. The first 25% payment is due by the end of the first week of class. In the fall and spring, tuition is paid in four monthly installments of 25% each. Summer term billing can be addressed in two installments. The new plan has established due dates for each of the installment payments.
    The flexible payment plan is available to all Truman students. Because changes have been made, students currently taking advantage of this payment option will need to re-enroll in the flexible payment plan, as well as those who would like to opt-in to the plan for the first time. Students who were previously removed from the flexible payment plan for unpaid balances now have the opportunity to start again with a clean slate.  
    Signing up for the flexible payment plan is easy, and it can be completed on TruView in just a few minutes. Details on how to sign up can be found here. Students who choose not to sign up for the flexible payment plan by Aug. 25, 2023 will automatically remain on the standard plan, which requires payment in full by the end of the first week of classes.
    Questions about the flexible payment plan can be addressed to Student Accounts at 660.785.4074, staccts@truman.edu or in person at McClain Hall 105.
  • Appreciation Drawing Offers Cardinals Tickets for Faculty and Staff

    As appreciation for faculty and staff, the Advancement Office is giving away St. Louis Cardinals tickets. Available tickets are for the game at 6:45 p.m. May 30 against the Royals and the game at 6:45 p.m. Aug. 15 against the Athletics. Two sets of two tickets are available through the drawing. The deadline to enter online is May 15. Be advised that in accepting this prize, the value of the tickets is reported as income and is subject to applicable income taxes.

    There will also be a faculty and staff appreciation reception with light refreshments from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. May 10 in the Sunken Garden.
  • Next Issue

    The next issue of the Truman Today will be available May 30.


  • CCE Students Attend Midwest Entrepreneurship Conference


    The Community of College Entrepreneurs attended the Midwest Entrepreneurship Conference in Omaha, Nebraska, April 14. Students got the opportunity to network with successful CEOs and attend a Startup Career Fair.

    The following day, they competed in three divisions and won seven of the nine awards. Nahom Jember took first place in the post-revenue track with his business, Value, a program to connect students abroad to colleges in the United States. Tomás Orjuela Munoz took first place in the pre-revenue track with his application, BN STAR Social Dancing, and Abinadab Merid and Jillian Pry took second and third place.

    Other members stayed up the night prior to compete in the Startup Wars game simulation where Hinako Kaneda, Esther Lee, Valeria Rivera and Bridget Morris took first, second, third and runner up.
  • Phi Beta Kappa Welcomes New Members


    Fourteen students were inducted into Truman’s chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa honors society, April 23. Phi Beta Kappa recognizes students who have demonstrated academic excellence in the liberal arts and sciences and embody the society’s motto, “Love of Learning is the Guide of Life.”

    2023 Phi Beta Kappa Inductees
    Emma Burke
    Eileen Finley
    Joshua Grandstaff
    Diana Heckert
    John Hobbs
    Danielle Illy
    Hannah Kirchner
    Ross Lohman
    Andrew McDonald
    Micaela Merrill
    Padraic Riordan
    Alyssa Shellabarger
    Murtuza Taqi
    Carolyn Wehmeyer
  • Daschke Publishes Chapter

    Dereck Daschke, professor of philosophy and religion, received the publication of his chapter, “‘It’s the Song that Cures’: Healing, Music, and Ayahuasca in Brazil’s Santo Daime Churches” in the collection Indigenous and African Diaspora Religions in the Americas from University of Nebraska Press. The chapter is based on the work in his 2015 sabbatical and explores the healing effect of the ritual use of song in the ayahuasca ceremonies of the Santo Daime churches in Brazil.

  • Business Students Win Research Competition

    Truman’s business administration student team of Manda Egbert, Kristina Burgess, Elijah Weis and John Dames was selected as the winning team for the 2023 Insights Association Student Research Competition. This annual competition for college students focuses on using insights in driving business impact. This year’s research question was “How Are Rapidly Rising Prices at Grocery Retail Impacting the Way Consumers Shop Differently Across Generations?”