Vol. 25 No. 1 - August 17, 2020


  • Unique Semester Calls for Unity, Respect

    Zac Burden, student life and development coordinator for Residence Life, mayor of Kirksville and Truman folklore enthusiast, gives a brief look at how the University has overcome challenges in the past and why Truman will be successful during the current school year.

    Many students, faculty and staff have returned to campus this semester, in some cases, for the first time in months. While in-person classes are resuming, it is important to remember things are not entirely “back to normal.”

    Truman has already taken a number of steps to prevent exposure to and spread of the coronavirus, including: hand sanitizing stations throughout campus; the placement of plexiglass barriers in many in-person locations; social distancing of classrooms; controlled entrance and exit points in many high-traffic areas; and increased sanitation protocols; among others. The University’s complete guide for returning to campus can be found on the Fall 2020 website.

    Individuals can do their part by: wearing a mask; maintaining social distance whenever possible; washing their hands often; doing a daily symptom check; and avoiding campus if they have any symptoms.

    If the entire campus community takes a responsible approach, Truman can successfully complete the semester in person.

  • First Gen United Helps Students Navigate College

    Kerstin Peterson and Tyler Beauregard are active members of First Gen United, a low-commitment, dues-free organization that helps first-generation students succeed at Truman.

    Many students choose to attend Truman because of the opportunities they can explore as undergraduates. For Tyler Beauregard, a mathematics and computer science double major, that includes studying the intersection of computational complexity and the expressive power of mathematical languages. Fellow student Kerstin Peterson, a biochemistry and molecular biology major, has spent time in the lab researching a protein that may play a role as an alternative for cataract surgery. Before long both Beauregard and Peterson will likely have doctoral degrees and be trusted voices in their respective fields. Their potential contributions to research and the betterment of humanity are full of promise, but the world was very close to not having their future insights. As first-generation college students, Beauregard and Peterson have overcome obstacles many may have never considered, and they are doing their best to help similar students following in their footsteps.

    Peterson is a founding member of First Gen United, a low-commitment, dues-free organization designed to help students who might not otherwise have a resource to guide them in their college experience. Beauregard joined his freshman year and now serves as the organization’s president.

    “I was very concerned about coming to college,” he said. “First Gen United has been so meaningful to me. Not only has the organization helped to answer all of my questions about college and about being a first-gen student, they’ve also provided a space for me and other first-gen students to feel included and even celebrated.”

    Peterson knows firsthand the appeal of an organization where students can ask questions, and it was why she helped charter First Gen United on campus. For even the best-prepared students, starting college can feel overwhelming.

    “A lot of my concerns were centered around where to go if I needed help with something. Since my parents did not go to college, I could not ask them about specific university policies or processes,” Peterson said. “First Gen United does a nice job of talking about these resources in an approachable way and provides the connection in a comfortable and confidence-boosting way.”

    First-generation students might be more prevalent than most people realize. At Truman, they account for roughly 21 percent of the student body. Figuring conservatively, that’s several hundred students, far less than the actual membership of First Gen United, and its one reason Peterson and Beauregard want more people to be aware of their organization.

    “There are a lot of first-generation college students at Truman, and I feel like if we can reach out to more of those students, we could build an even stronger community,” Beauregard said. “A goal I have is to continue to strive toward making our community a space which is open to all first-generation students and focusing on ways to make our organization relevant and inviting to first-gen students of all backgrounds.”

    First Gen United is free and open to any first-generation Truman student. There is no formal recruitment process, and joining is as simple as attending a meeting.

    “If you show up at any point throughout the semester, you will be greeted with open arms. First-generation students are amazing, and they provide different perspectives to the university world. They are unique and important.” Peterson said. “We would love to start out the semester with new members. First Gen United is a fun and open organization. If you are looking for a place of acceptance where you feel supported in your situation, First Gen United is the place to go.”

    Students who would like more information about First Gen United can visit the organization’s Facebook page or contact members by email at tsu.fgu@gmail.com.
  • Truman Recognized on Elite List of Best Buys


    Truman is one of 10 public schools chosen in the “Fiske Guide to Colleges” Best Buys of 2021.

    For 37 years, the “Fiske Guide to Colleges” has chosen a select group of schools noted for quality academic offerings and affordable cost for its annual best buy list. The 2021 guide includes 20 schools – 10 public and 10 private – it deems as best buys. These are schools that, in the judgement of the editors, offer “outstanding educational value as determined by academic quality in relation to the net cost of attendance.”

    Truman has been included in the “Fiske Guide to Colleges” for six consecutive years and 12 times total.

    This year’s best buy list includes colleges and universities throughout the United States. Truman was the only Missouri school to be included among the Fiske best buy schools.

    “Fiske Guide to Colleges” Best Buys of 2021
    Arizona State University
    University of Florida
    University of Iowa
    New College of Florida
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Purdue University
    SUNY–College at Geneseo
    Texas A&M University
    Truman State University
    University of Washington

    Centre College
    The Cooper Union
    Drew University
    Goucher College
    Oglethorpe University
    Olin College of Engineering
    Rice University
    St. Olaf College
    Vanderbilt University
  • Ribbons Welcome New Students


    Truman students might notice some familiar colors on campus this fall.

    As a show of support for incoming students, ribbons celebrating the colors of their high school alma maters have been placed across campus.

    The ribbons, representing the 260 different high schools from which the new students hail, were installed during the summer. They can be found on lamp posts, railings and other structures around campus.

    “For our students, their high school experiences helped them get to Truman, and we want to celebrate and remember that,” said Tyana Lange, vice president of enrollment management and marketing. “They are Bulldogs now, and hopefully they love the purple and white just as much as they did their high school colors.”

    The endeavor is an expansion of a project the University participated in during the spring. In May, Truman partnered with the Kirksville Area Chamber of Commerce and local business to celebrate local graduates. Purple and white ribbons representing Truman, along with orange and black for Kirksville High School, adorned lamp posts and trees throughout the community to honor students who had their senior years disrupted.

    Students are encouraged to find ribbons representing their high school and share a picture on social media.
  • Dining Services Altered, Take-out Option Available


    Sodexo has made some adjustments to its service in order to provide students multiple dining options and limit their possible exposure to the coronavirus.

    Ryle Hall and Centennial Hall will offer extended service hours and meal pick-up services throughout the fall. The first half hour during lunch and dinner will be utilized for carry-out only. Sit-down and carry-out options will be available throughout the remainder of the meal period.

    Missouri Hall dining will be closed during the semester. This decision was made because fewer students will be living on campus this semester, and it allows Sodexo to more easily conduct altered protocols in response to coronavirus concerns.

    The capacities of the dining halls have been adjusted in consultation with CDC guidelines and the Adair County Health Department, and multiple safety protocols have been instituted for the well-being of students, faculty and staff. All dining areas and service areas will be sanitized regularly and monitored by attendants. Social distancing signs will be in place, as well signs to manage the flow of traffic, and all Sodexo staff will wear masks as well as other necessary personal protective equipment.
    Once the capacity of a dining location is full guests have the option to do a carry-out order or wait for seating to become available. Sodexo is asking those who choose to dine in to observe a 30-minute window so everyone can be accommodated and staff can sanitize before and after each guest.

    All self-service items will be served by a Sodexo staff member to prevent any cross contamination. Reusable bottles or containers will not be allowed in dining halls in order to limit the risk of potential outbreak.   
    To see the Sodexo hours of operation, visit truman.sodexomyway.com/dining-near-me/hours.
  • JBA Earns Praise for Virtual Efforts, Prepares for Next Year


    Joseph Baldwin Academy experienced its 35th successful summer, despite complications presented by the ongoing pandemic.
    In April, The Institute for Academic Outreach decided to convert JBA to an online format, rather than outright cancelling as many other academies across the nation did.
    Utilizing Zoom, Blackboard and Google, JBA hosted 82 students in four different classes, July 6-24. Students attended class in the mornings, and activities in the late afternoons. They also received a daily newsletter, the JBDaily, keeping them updated on events, guest speakers and activities. Students were able to interact with each other via Zoom, working on group projects, sharing interests and hobbies, and participating in Blackboard discussions.
    Of the students responding to the end-of-academy survey, 90 percent ranked the quality of instruction by their professor as “excellent,” with the rest ranking it as “good” or “very good.” As expected from highly talented middle school students, they also provided insightful feedback on how the online academy could be improved, should the need arise in the future to return to an online version of JBA.

    “This summer posed a lot of difficulties with very little time to prepare,” said Jared Young, coordinator of summer academies. “Our faculty members and support staff managed to develop an engaging, enriching program the students enjoyed, and we are prepared to build on that, no matter what is in store for us next summer.”

    The Institute for Academic Outreach is already working on plans for all summer academies to return to campus in 2021. Nomination materials will be sent to schools next month. With much still unknown about what the next 12 months hold for education, the Institute is prepared to operate JBA in an online format again, if necessary. Regardless of circumstance, there will be JBA 2021. To promote the guarantee of a gifted summer academy for middle school students, the Institute is utilizing the tagline “We’re Ready” in materials to be sent to schools and families.
    In order to best serve the students who missed out on the opportunity to attend an on-campus academy during 2020, The Institute plans to automatically nominate every age-eligible student from last year’s applicant pool to the 2021 academies.

    Anyone interested in learning more about JBA, including information on nominations and the application process, can visit jba.truman.edu or contact the Institute at tiacademies@truman.edu or 660.785.5406.
  • Faculty Promoted, Awarded Tenure


    During the June 13 meeting, the Board of Governors approved recommendations for promotion and tenure effective at the beginning of the 2020-21 academic year.

    Promoted from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor and Granted Academic Tenure:
    Jose Carreno-Medina, Spanish
    Jocelyn Cullity, English
    Margaret Edwards, political science
    Arlen Egley, justice systems
    David Charles Goyette, theatre
    Chetan Jaiswal, computer science
    Stacey Kaden, accounting
    Michelle Kleine, communication
    Victor Marquez-Barrios, music
    Amanda Medlock-Klyukovski, communication
    Sarah Mohler, English
    Curran Prendergast, music
    Jocelyn Prendergast, music
    Promoted from Associate Professor to Professor:
    Jamie D’Agostino, English
    Ilene Elmlinger, communication disorders
    Sergio Escobar, Spanish
    Elisabeth Hooper, biology
  • GLVC Postpones Majority of Fall Sports


    The Great Lakes Valley Conference’s Council of Presidents voted to postpone the majority of the 2020 fall intercollegiate athletics season until the second semester, due to ongoing concerns of the coronavirus.

    The decision was made based on guidance from the league’s athletics directors and an extensive review of the recommended testing and safety measures developed by the NCAA Sport Science Institute.
    The fall sports of football, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball will have regular-season competition and GLVC championships conducted in the second semester, while the sports of men’s and women’s cross country will still be permitted to compete this fall with the 2020 GLVC Cross Country Championships slated for Oct. 24. Men’s and women’s golf and tennis will also be allowed to compete in their non-championship segments in the fall and continue their season into the spring when their respective championship seasons begin.
    In addition, several winter sports are scheduled to begin their 2020-21 seasons as early as September. The sports of men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and men’s and women’s indoor track and field will be permitted to compete as scheduled, while the conference has established Oct. 1 as the deadline to determine the competition start date for the sports of men’s and women’s basketball.
    The spring sports of baseball and softball will be permitted to have only intrasquad competition on campus in the fall.
    The distinction between the sports stems from the sport classification put forth by the NCAA Sport Science Institute, based on a consensus by the NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel and the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine COVID-19 Working Group. Bowling, golf, swimming and diving, tennis, and track and field were classified as low contact risk sports, while baseball, cross country and softball were deemed medium contact risk. The NCAA believes low and medium contact risk sports can successfully implement physical distancing and universal masking practices during all sport activities; however, the level of risk in cross country and track and field are dependent upon the student-athlete’s proximity to other unmasked individuals. The sports in which those safety practices are deemed highly unlikely by the NCAA, including basketball, football, soccer and volleyball have been classified as high contact risk sports.
    The GLVC’s scheduling committee will soon begin to determine second-semester, regular-season schedule models for all affected sports with health and safety, as well as institutional facility, personnel and cost-containment measures in mind. In addition, dates and locations for all GLVC championships will be announced at a later date.


  • Student Loans Available Through University Foundation


    Students with financial needs that may interfere with their ability to continue their education can seek assistance through the Truman State University Foundation Loan Program.

    Foundation loans can come in the form of short-term loans, long-term loans, access loans and cultural loans. Applications go through the Financial Aid Office and are repaid directly to the University. Banks and outside lenders are not involved in the process.

    To be eligible for a Foundation loan students must be enrolled on a full-time basis and be in good academic standing. Students also need to demonstrate an ability to repay the loan in a timely manner. Deferments of up to five years are available for cultural and long-term loans, provided the student is enrolled on a full-time basis.

    In addition to scholarship assistance, the loan program is an example of the immediate impact of donations to the Truman State University Foundation. Gifts from alumni and friends allow Truman to provide assistance directly to students as they pursue their education.

    For more information on the Foundation loan program, contact the Financial Aid Office at finaid@truman.edu, at 660.785.4130 or in person at McClain Hall 103.
  • SAB Information Night

    The Student Activities Board will host an information session at 7 p.m. Aug. 25 in the Student Union Building on how to become a member. SAB will also have a Zoom option available that can be accessed from sab.truman.edu.

    Follow SAB on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat.
  • McNair Program Application Open Now


    The McNair Program supports and prepares underrepresented students for graduate studies. Paid summer research internships, funds for graduate school visits and conferences, and seminars and academic counseling are just a few of the benefits the program has to offer.

    Applications are open now with a priority deadline of Sept. 15. RSVP for a virtual McNair information session here.

    Aug. 18
    5:30-6 p.m.

    Aug. 19
    6-6:30 p.m.

    Aug. 21
    6:30-7 p.m.

    Aug. 24
    4:30-5 p.m.

    Sept. 2
    6:30-7 p.m.

    Sept. 4
    5:30-6 p.m.

    Sept. 9
    5-5:30 p.m.

    For more information visit mcnair.truman.edu or follow the program on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
  • REC Fall Fitness Schedule

    REC Center fitness classes begin Aug. 17, and a Zoom class is available. In-person class capacity has been reduced to 14, so participants are encouraged to arrive early to guarantee a spot. Click here for the full schedule.

  • Student Research Call for Proposals


    Virtual Midwest Regional URSCA
    The Office of Student Research is seeking applications for students interested in presenting at the Virtual Midwest Regional Undergraduate Research, Scholarly and Creative Activity (URSCA) Conference. This conference is sponsored by the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC) and hosted by Truman. Ten abstracts highlighting different disciplines across campus will be selected to represent the University at the Virtual URSCA, Oct. 2-3. Students applying to present at the Virtual URSCA should be able to dedicate time Oct. 2-3 to participate in the virtual conference.
    Grants-in-Aid of Scholarship and Research
    The Office of Student Research is accepting Grants-in-Aid of Scholarship and Research (GIASR) applications for research and creative scholarship conducted during the fall. Grant applications may request up to $750 and can cover student stipends, supplies and travel to conduct research. A virtual GIASR proposal writing workshop for students will take place from 3:30-5 p.m. Aug. 24. Register here by Aug. 23 to attend the workshop.
    Complete guidelines for the Midwest URSCA and GIASR applications can be found at the Office of Student Research website. Applications for both opportunities are due by 11:59 p.m. Aug. 28. Questions can be emailed to osr@truman.edu.
  • Homecoming and Family Day Cancelled for Fall 2020


    As part of the ongoing efforts of the University to limit exposure to and spread of the coronavirus, in-person Family Day and Homecoming activities for fall 2020 have been cancelled.

    Family Day and Homecoming are typically two of the largest annual on-campus events. CDC guidelines still advise against large gatherings, and it is not logistically feasible to plan multiple events which would allow participants to maintain proper social distance.

    The Student Affairs and Alumni offices are continuing to explore options for engagement on Family Day and Homecoming respectively. Possible Family Day options could include: virtual events, expanded care package options or other creative ideas. In lieu of in-person Homecoming activities, virtual events might consist of: a 5K, tailgate, trivia and the Bulldog Forever Forum for alumni leaders. Details on any alternative activities will be posted on the University website.

    Truman is taking a number of steps to limit exposure to and spread of the coronavirus. In addition to in-person classes, many will be offered in alternative or hybrid delivery methods. The semester schedule has been altered to allow students to conclude in-person classes prior to Thanksgiving Break, thus eliminating extensive travel and potentially increasing the risk of exposure. Details on the fall semester are available at truman.edu/fall2020.


  • Notables


    Jiba Dahal, assistant professor of physics, co-authored a paper in the July 2020 issue of the Journal of Material Science and Application.

    Daniel Mandell
    , professor of history, recently talked about his new book, “The Lost Tradition of Economic Equality in America,” on the podcast “The Rogue Historian.” Mandell also penned “Fight for Economic Equality is as Old as America Itself,” – a short summary of his book, plus a couple of policy recommendations – for The Conversation, an online journal whose motto is “Academic rigor, journalistic flair,” published Aug. 4. The piece has since been republished by the Houston Chronicle and Seattle Post Intelligencer, as well as some other newspapers and news republishing sites.

    Liz Jorn, instructor in health and exercise sciences and faculty athletics representative, was selected as an NCAA Division II Women Leaders X grant recipient. The NCAA Division II office and Women Leaders in College Sports announced each conference has been allotted seven individual memberships and participation in the NCAA/Women Leaders Division II Governance Academy. This program is led by the NCAA Division II office and assisted by Women Leaders staff. It includes a presentation from multigenerational workplace expert Lindsey Pollak, as well as an opportunity to learn about NCAA Division II Governance and committee service. As a DII grant recipient, Jorn receives a one-year Women Leaders in College Sports membership. Women Leaders X will take place Oct. 11-12. She was also elected as vice chair for the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) Steering Committee at the conference meeting in May.

    The Truman volleyball team was among 1,313 schools across all divisions that won Academic Honors from the AVCA. To win the award, the team must maintain a team GPA of 3.30 for the academic year. Since the award’s inception in 1992-93, Truman has won it 13 times and has now won the award three straight years. This is the sixth time the team has won the award under coach Ben Briney.

Scholarship Opportunities

  • Nationally Competitive Scholarships and Fellowships


    Each year Truman nominates students for national fellowship opportunities who have shown outstanding academic performance and exceptional service accomplishments. The application process is very rigorous and highly competitive, but the University provides support as students prepare for and then apply to these prestigious scholarships. Listed below are several of the major national fellowships and their websites. More information about these fellowships is available at www.truman.edu/majors-programs/more-learning-opportunities/fellowships.

    For Graduate Studies
    Fulbright Grants
    Research grants and teaching assistantships for a year abroad

    Rhodes Scholarships
    Grants for two years of study at Oxford University

    Marshall Scholarships
    Awards for two years of study in any British university

    Mitchell Scholarships
    One year of graduate study or research in Ireland or Northern Ireland

    Gates Cambridge Scholarships
    Awards for an advanced degree or second bachelor’s degree at the University of Cambridge

    For Undergraduate Studies
    Goldwater Scholarships
    Up to $7,500 annually for tuition, fees, books, room and board for science and mathematics majors

    Harry S. Truman Scholarships
    For senior year and post-graduate study leading to a career in public service

    Udall Scholarships
    For students interested in careers related to environmental issues or for Native Americans and Alaskans interested in careers related to health care and tribal public policy

    Carnegie Endowment Junior Fellowships
    For students interested in international affairs to work as research assistants to the Endowment’s senior associates in Washington, D.C. for a full year

    Boren Scholarships
    To study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests