Vol. 13, No. 30 - April 28, 2009


  • John Ashcroft to Serve as Spring 2009 Commencement Speaker

    John Ashcroft will address students as the commencement speaker for the May graduation ceremony. Commencement will take place at 2 p.m. May 9 at Stokes Stadium with Pershing Arena as the rain site.
    Ashcroft currently serves as the chairman of The Ashcroft Group, LLC, which provides confidential strategic consulting and crisis counseling to major international corporations.

    For the Truman community, Ashcroft is known as the governor who changed the mission of the University. In 1985 he signed legislation transforming Truman from a regional university to the only statewide public liberal arts and sciences university.

    Raised in Springfield, Mo., Ashcroft attended public schools until enrolling at Yale University, where he graduated with honors in 1964. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago in 1967. Prior to entering public service, he taught business law at what is now Missouri State University in Springfield. His public service career began in 1973 as Missouri State Auditor, followed by two terms as Missouri’s Attorney General.

    Ashcroft served as Governor of Missouri from 1985 through 1993. While Governor, Ashcroft was a staunch supporter of higher education. “Fortune” magazine rated him as one of the top ten education governors in the country, while “Financial World” and “City and State” magazines credited him with making Missouri one of the best financially managed states in the country.

    Ashcroft worked with the Coordinating Board for Higher Education and public institutions to ensure Missouri had one of the first statewide systems of assessment in the nation. Ashcroft was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1994. He was a member of the Senate Judiciary, Foreign Relations and Commerce Committees.

    Ashcroft served as the U.S. Attorney General from 2001-2005 where he was the Chief Executive Officer of a Cabinet agency comprised of 110,000 employees with an annual operating budget of $22 billion.

    Ashcroft and his wife Janet have three children. 

    Spring 2009 Commencement Information

    May 9, 2009
    2:00 p.m.
    Stokes Stadium
    Gate Opens at Noon

    Graduates should report to Baldwin Auditorium by 12:30 pm. Pictures will be taken in Baldwin Auditorium starting at noon.
    Following the Commencement Ceremony, the University will host a reception on the Mall near the Student Union. This reception is for all students, family members, guests, faculty, staff and administration.

  • Clapp Children’s Literacy Fund Awards Teacher and Student

    A master of arts in education student and an area teacher recently received $500 each to purchase children’s literature for their professional practices thanks to the Dr. Kay Clapp Children’s Literacy Fund.

    The Fund was endowed by School of Health Sciences and Education Dean Sam Minner and his wife Joan in 2006 to honor Clapp, a professor emeritus in the University’s department of education. 

    ChildrensLiteracyAward2009 (12 of 20).jpg
    Pictured from left, Wendy Miner, Sam Minner, Lori Nelson, Robin Chamberlin and Kay Clapp.

    A powerful proponent of literacy and children’s literature, Clapp has influenced hundreds of students and practicing teachers by her dedication and careful mentoring.

    The fund provides $500 each to a student and teacher. This year’s recipients are Robin Chamberlin, a master of arts in education intern at Uthoff Valley Elementary in the Rockwood School District and Lori Nelson, an elementary school teacher in the Macon School District.

    The awards were presented at an April 14 reception on campus.

  • Music Organizations Collaborate to Present the Famous “Carmina Burana”

    Carl Orff’s exciting “Carmina Burana” is scheduled for 8 p.m. May 2 in Ophelia Parrish Performance Hall. The first movement has appeared in hundreds of film scores and commercials. This presentation will cover the entire, 52-minute work presented in it’s “chamber” version with choir, percussion, duo pianists and soloists.

    The performance will be a collaboration of Cantoria, University Chorus and the Percussion Ensemble. They will be joined by pianists Janet Coggins and Megan Reilly; soprano Jacqueline Collett, professor of music; baritone Ronald Witzke, director of opera and voice professor from William Jewel College; and tenor Thomas Hueber, professor of music (singing the role of the roasting swan); led by conductor Mark Jennings, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities.

    “Carmina Burana” is one of the most frequently performed major works in the choral repertoire. The famous first movement is repeated at the end, creating a cyclic form. The poems were drawn from a collection of 13th century secular poems discovered in 1803 at the Benediktbeurern Abbey in Bavaria. Orff set 24 of these poems, drawing out some common themes of human nature: envy, anger, love, lust, joy and pain.

    In his settings, Orff employs vigorous and driving rhythms and beautiful melodies, uses humor and satire as well as sentimentality, and draws out an array of emotional states. The popularity of this piece attests to Orff’s success in his efforts.

    The performance is free and open to the public. Contact Mark Jennings at mdj@truman.edu for more information.

  • Truman Forensics Concludes Season with Strong Showings at National Tournament

    The Truman Forensic Union competed in its final tournament of the 2008-2009 season in nearby Springfield, Mo., April 16-20, attending the National Forensic Association Championship Tournament co-hosted by Missouri State University and Drury University. Eleven Truman competitors were among more than 1,300 entries from 68 colleges and universities that attended this year’s championships.

    Truman finished sixth overall in the nation in Lincoln-Douglas debate, falling a mere one point below the threshold for the fifth place sweepstakes cup. Freshman Christian Johns finished the preliminary rounds with a 5-1 record and reached the octafinals, or “sweet sixteen” of the tournament before being eliminated by a debater from California’s University of the Pacific. Freshman Ben Reid was just behind him with a 4-2 preliminary round record. He also reached the octafinals and was eliminated by an eventual tournament semifinalist from Western Kentucky University. The national championship went to Creighton University. Truman’s overall performance in Lincoln-Douglas debate placed them ahead of the University of Central Missouri, the University of Nebraska, Ohio State University and Emerson College, among others.

    “Having two freshmen in the tournament’s sweet sixteen is an outstanding accomplishment,” said Kevin Minch, associate professor of communication and out-going director of forensics. “It should be noted that nearly the entire team’s contingent this year was composed of freshmen. For a rebuilding year, we’re rebuilding fast.”

    Among others qualifying for nationals and representing Truman at the tournament were freshmen Rachel Cook, Andrew Grojean, Elizabeth Hatting, Melissa Kapitan, Emily Wagman, Chris Wall, Erin Williamson, and sophomores Sarah Backhaus and Barbara Gillard.

    A few weeks ago, from March 27-31, Truman completed its parliamentary debate season during the National Parliamentary Debate Association Championships at the University of the Pacific with a single team advancing to elimination rounds. Junior Mark Buchheit and senior Chris Girouard had a 6-2 preliminary round record and earned a bye through the first elimination round before being eliminated at the triple-octafinal level. Girouard was also honored as one of only five students nationally with the NPDA Academic All-American Award. This is the third consecutive year that Truman students have received this honor.

    While the team’s competitive season has concluded, their work has not ended.  Backhaus and Gillard will represent the program in exhibition debates and an international friendship tournament in Beijing and Xi’an, China, May 6-26 and graduating senior, Christopher Girouard, will represent the program on a tour of Japan this June.

    The Truman Forensic Union is open to any student interested in debate or individual speaking and interpretation events. It will be coached in the 2009-2010 season by Kristi Scholten (kscholten@truman.edu) and Russell Luce (rluce@truman.edu). Students interested in joining the program are encouraged to contact them for more information.

  • Index Recognized at Missouri Conference

    The Index, Truman’s student-produced newspaper, received several awards last weekend at the Missouri College Media Association’s annual conference.

    “Our students do a great job each week and it’s wonderful to see that their efforts are recognized as among the best in the state,” said Index adviser Don Krause, assistant professor of communication.

    The Index sports department dominated the sports writing category, with sports writer Brent Foster taking third, assistant sports editor Jack Nicholl earning second place and sports editor Blake Toppmeyer receiving first place.

    Zoe Martin, former assistant features editor and current copy editor, received two honorable mentions, one for feature writing and the other for entertainment review. Photo editor Brian O’Shaughnessy received an honorable mention for sports photography.  Joe Barker, a December 2008 graduate and former managing editor, received a second place award for in-depth news reporting.

    The paper earned an honorable mention for front page design.

  • McGahan Fund Sends Students to Conference

    Three Truman students were recently able to attend the National Student Nurses’ Association 57th Annual Convention thanks to the help of a former University professor.

    Kirsten Kimrey, Loren Lally and Ashley Swain participated in the NSNA conference in Nashville, Tenn., April 15-19. Their trip was made possible by $500 from the McGahan Family Nursing fund.

    NSNA pic1.jpg
    Pictured from left, Ashley Swain, Loren Lally, Kristin Kimrey and Kit Hadwiger, faculty advisor NSA.

    Sharon McGahan, assistant professor emerita of nursing, established the fund in 2006 in honor of her family and in support of the Nursing Students Association. McGahan graduated from Truman in 1986 with an education specialist degree and had three siblings who also graduated from the University. She became a faculty member in the nursing department in 1977 and served as an advisor for the Nursing Students Association for many years.



  • Notables

    Ryan Campbell, a junior French major from Manchester, Mo., was selected for the 2009 Walter Jensen Scholarship for study abroad. In addition to the $1,500 scholarship, Campbell will receive a one-year complimentary membership in the American Association of Teachers of French.

    Gregory Jones, professor of music,
    has been invited to present master classes and performances in Skopje, Macedonia; Pristina, Kosovo; and Tirana and Berat, Albania in June as a visiting artist. He will also be a juror for the prestigious 2009 Ohrid Pearls International Competition in Ohrid, Macedonia. This competition is sponsored by the European Union of Music and the Music and Ballet Pedagogues of Macedonia.

    Elaine McDuff, associate professor of sociology, presented a paper entitled, “Collaborative Learning in an Undergraduate Theory Course: An Assessment of Goals and Outcomes,” in a session on Alternative Approaches to Teaching Sociological Theory at the Midwest Sociological Society Meeting in Des Moines, Iowa, April 2-5.

    Sara E. Orel, professor of art history, has been invited to write the article on ancient Egyptian pottery for Blackwell’s new “Encyclopedia of Ancient History.” She will be speaking on her research in archaeological ceramics for the Truman Faculty Forum in the spring of 2010, a presentation that will be accompanied by a loan exhibition of ancient Egyptian pottery from the Royal Ontario Museum in the University Art Gallery. She was also elected to a three-year term as a Councilor in the Arts and Humanities Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research.

    Stephanie Powelson, associate professor of nursing and Brenda Wheeler, assistant professor of nursing, co-presented an oral session at the Geriatric Nursing, Education, and Clinical Simulation Conference in Durham, N.C. April 1–4.

    Arnold Preussner, professor of English, attended the recent annual conference of the Shakespeare Association of America, where he participated in a workshop on “Presenting Shakespeare: Making Public Sessions Work.”  His review of the 2008 Riverside Theatre Shakespeare Festival, Iowa City, will appear in the Spring 2009 issue of “Shakespeare Bulletin,” and covers productions of “The Comedy of Errors” and “The Winter’s Tale.”

    Music majors Eian Zellner, a freshman from Salem, Ore., and Adam Phillips, a sophomore from Union, Mo., were two of 10 students selected as winners in the annual scholarship competition of the International Trumpet Guild, the most prestigious organization in the trumpet profession. The students prepared and submitted recordings of challenging solo repertoire and etudes for the competition. Both students are under the direction of Gregory Jones, professor of music.


  • Notes

    The Truman Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) will sponsor a panel discussion and open forum "Honorary Degrees, Commencement Speakers, and the Case of John Ashcroft."  In light of recently released “torture memos” and with current heated politics at the state and national levels, many members of the University have expressed concern that Truman has invited such a controversial figure as John Ashcroft to speak at the upcoming Commencement and, further, to receive one of the first honorary degrees awarded by the University. In the spirit of academic freedom, all members of the University community are invited to this open discussion at 7 p.m. April 27 in Magruder Hall 1000. Jerrold Hirsch, professor or history, will moderate a small panel of students and faculty with the intent to hear all views. For more information contact Marc Becker at marc@truman.edu.

    Classics Club will sponsor Vergil Vigil at 7 p.m. April 28 at the University Club House. Students, faculty and community members will gather to read Book IV of Vergil’s Aeneid aloud in Latin.

    Beta Theta Pi will host a 1990’s-themed trivia night with all profits going to benefit the Adair County Humane Society. The event will take place at 7 p.m. April 28 in the Student Union Building Conference Room 3000. The entrance fee is $5 with teams of up to seven people. E-mail team roster requests to agb2782@truman.edu.

    The Student Activities Board will present a murder mystery at 7 p.m. April 28 in the Student Union Building Down Under.

    Alpha Phi Omega will sponsor “Adopt-A-Puppy” from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. April 29 on the Quad. Play with a puppy for a donation of $3. All proceeds will go to the Adair County Humane Society.

    The final physics colloquia of the spring semester will take place at 4:30 p.m. April 29 in Magruder Hall 1096. John P. Ralston from the University of Kansas will present “Exploring the Un-Quantum Universe.” Quantum mechanics was initially developed as a set of "patches" applied to a faulty operating system called Newtonian physics. A growing body of research dispenses with the historical path and views quantum theory as a generic framework for describing experimental data. Quantum theory is more simple and rational when built without traditional hero worship, concept errors and mysticism. The framework is so useful there's no need to restrict it to fussy microphysical systems. The presentation will include recent applications to areas where Planck's constant is absent, including radio engineering, cosmology, and even pharmaceutical chemistry. Snacks are provided five minutes before the talk. For more information about the colloquium series and upcoming talks, visit http://physics.truman.edu/colloquia/.

    The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) will meet at 4:30 p.m. May 1 at the University Club House, located at 516 E. Patterson. Contact Marc Becker at marc@truman.edu or call 785.6036 for more information.

    Franklin Street Singers, Truman’s premiere show choir will present their spring concert. Their final concert will be at 4 p.m. May 2 in Baldwin Hall Auditorium. A compilation of the semesters’ work will be performed at 8 p.m. May 3 in Baldwin Hall Auditorium.

    Truman Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) will sponsor the Truman Furniture BAZAAR
    from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. May 6 on the Quad. Students can buy or sell their furniture. For more information on how to sell, contact Michelle Tuttle at mmt085@truman.edu.

    The Faculty Weekly Lunch Series will host an extra session at 12:30 p.m. May 6 in the Student Union Building Spanish Room. The session will discuss the definition of service-learning and course tags indicating a service-learning course to make registration easier for students. Members of Faculty Senate and faculty utilizing service-learning are urged to attend.

    The General Honors Medal Ceremony is scheduled for 4 p.m. May 8 in the Sunken Gardens (rain site is the Student Union Building Alumni Room). General Honors in Arts and Sciences is awarded to graduating seniors who have completed five approved courses, with at least one course from each of the areas of mathematics, science, humanities and social science with a grade point average of at least 3.5 in those five courses and an overall grade point average of at least 3.5. Forms are available on the General Honors website at http://honors.truman.edu/ or from Rebecca Harrison in McClain Hall 321.

    For information about “Next-generation Jobs,” a summer program to support 18-24 year olds in jobs of the future, go online to http://transform.mo.gov/summerjobs.