Vol. 25 No. 16 - January 11, 2021


  • Partnership Creates Path to Engineering Degree


    Through a newly established program, students can supplement their Truman degree with a bachelor’s or even a master’s degree in engineering from Washington University in St. Louis.

    Truman has partnered with Washington University on a 3+2 and 4+2 dual degree program that allows students to complete an undergraduate education in both the liberal arts and engineering. Students in the program spend three years at Truman completing their Liberal Studies Program requirements, as well as some or all of their major requirements. After earning at least 90 credits, students then transfer to Washington University for two years of study in an engineering program. Upon completion, students receive two bachelor’s degrees, one from each institution.

    Students also have the option to remain at Washington University for an additional year in order to complete a master’s degree in engineering.

    “This new program will allow students to earn degrees from two of Missouri’s premier institutions for higher education,” said Tim Walston, dean of the School of Science and Mathematics. “This unique pairing of a public liberal arts university with a private research university will provide an affordable option and prepare students to excel in future careers by drawing on the strengths of both schools.”

    The dual degree program is open to students from all majors, however, Truman degree programs in the STEM fields provide coursework that aligns best with engineering requirements. Students are encouraged to work with their advisor to establish a degree plan for completing all the requirements for a Truman degree. Truman residency and major capstone requirements for graduation are waived for students in this program.

    Washington University offers majors in: biomedical engineering; chemical engineering; computer engineering; computer science (not intended for Truman computer science majors); electrical engineering; environmental engineering; mechanical engineering; and systems science and engineering.  

    In order to participate in the dual degree program, Truman students must meet the following criteria: completion of 90 credits toward a Truman undergraduate degree; an overall GPA of at least 3.25; an overall GPA of 3.25 in math and science coursework; completion of all Truman Dialogues requirements; a letter of support from a faculty member in the Truman School of Science and Mathematics; be in good academic standing; not under review for any student conduct code violations; and be able to demonstrate English language proficiency as determined by Washington University.

    For more information about this dual degree program click here or contact Walston or Ian Lindevald, chair and professor of physics. Details on Washington University’s engineering programs can be found here.
  • Student-Athletes Earn Award for Academic Success


    Truman was one of a record 42 NCAA Division II schools to earn the Presidents’ Award for Academic Excellence.

    The accolade is bestowed on institutions that have a 90% or higher Academic Success Rate in data released by the NCAA. Truman is one of six public institutions among the 42 on the list. Five other GLVC schools made the cut with William Jewell, Maryville, Rockhurst and Lewis joining Truman.  

    “This award is a testament to what our top priority is for coaches and student-athletes,” said Jerry Wollmering, director of athletics. “We are proud of the work that our student-athletes put in, both in competition and in the classroom, and proud of our coaches in recruiting top-notch students that know education and a degree from Truman State University are valuable.”

    The Academic Success Rate is the percentage of student-athletes who graduate within six years of initial collegiate enrollment and includes virtually all Division II student-athletes.

    Unlike the federal rate, the Division II ASR includes nearly 34,000 non-scholarship student-athletes and accounts for those who transfer to a Division II school after initial enrollment elsewhere, while removing student-athletes who leave school while academically eligible. The national ASR for the four cohorts of student-athletes who entered college from 2010 to 2013 is 74%.

    Division II student-athletes continue to graduate at a higher rate than the general student body. Even when using the less-inclusive federal graduation rate, the 2013 entering class of student-athletes graduated at a rate of 62%, compared with 53% for the general student body.
  • Truman Students Excel on CPA Exam


    Truman students’ first-time pass rate on the CPA exam is among the highest in the nation.

    A newly released report from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy indicates Truman’s first-time pass rate on the 2019 CPA exam ranked fourth in the nation out of 272 medium-sized programs. The University’s rate ranked 14th out of the 758 institutions with 10 or more reported candidates.

    Truman candidates passed 83.2% of exam sections taken with an average score of 82.6. Nationally, the pass rate was 58.6% with an average score of 73.3. Truman students especially excelled on the Regulation and Business Environment and Concepts sections of the exam. Student performance on the CPA exam was among the top 2% and evidence the University’s curriculum and focus on student learning continues to provide high value.

    Truman is one of only 190 universities worldwide accredited in both business and accounting by AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. AACSB accreditation is the internationally recognized, specialized accreditation for business and accounting programs at the bachelors, masters and doctoral levels.
  • Class Promotes Mindfulness Approach for Students


    Students in the TRU 100: FOCUS class spent much of the fall semester helping develop ways to be successful and productive, and sometimes the answer can be as simple as taking a deep breath.

    The practice of mindfulness emphasizes cultivating a healthy, non-judgmental and present-moment orientation toward experience. It has been scientifically linked to improved life satisfaction, enhanced cognitive performance and better interpersonal relationships, and it can be easier than most people realize.

    “Being mindful doesn’t have to be something mysterious or Zen-like,” said Eric Dickson, assistant professor of music and instructor for the FOCUS course. “Anything we do can be done mindfully, so long as we are mentally present for the experience. For example, when you are walking to class, know that you are walking to class.”

    As part of the Truman Symposium, FOCUS was one of nine courses for first-year students, each designed with a specific purpose. If there was ever a semester where new students could benefit from mindfulness practices, it was fall 2020. In addition to the regular emotions associated with starting college, these incoming students began their careers during a global pandemic and during a tumultuous election year. FOCUS preceptor Bradley Greathouse helped students realize a small amount of care can go a long way.

    “Even if just for five minutes, practicing mindfulness can have a dramatic impact on your day,” Greathouse said. “I personally use meditation to break through the barriers of burnout and fatigue.”

    As useful as the information in the FOCUS course was, it was not limited solely to the students enrolled. All symposium courses feature action components. Students in FOCUS took lessons from their classes and incorporated them into events throughout the semester that were open to anyone.

    Among the many outreach components developed by students were weekly meditation sessions, as well as mindful activities available in the library’s Wellness Zone. Students also created a mindful campus walk with an audio track that guides participants as they experience the beauty of campus. A sleep aid playlist helps users wind down from their day and fall asleep more easily. A mindful music experience took place in November, and student-designed posters highlighting different ways to manage and mitigate stress were displayed around campus.

    “My hope is that these projects will contribute positively to the culture of mental health and wellness on campus,” Dickson said. “They help students see how their experiences can be shaped by their own mental habits, and they provide them with a few tools to help them cope with stress and anxiety.”

    The global pandemic will continue to affect lives of college students for the immediate future, and even after it is gone, there will always be papers to write, tests to study for and group projects to complete. Fortunately, the work of the FOCUS course can still help students. A comprehensive list of resources created by the class was added to the University’s Wellness Index.

    While the FOCUS course ended with the fall semester, Dickson is teaching a similar one-credit seminar – IDSM 352: Living Mindfully – during the spring semester.
  • New Admissions Director Prepares for Innovative Recruitment


    Ryan Myzak began his duties as Truman’s director of admissions, Nov. 30.

    With more than a decade of experience in higher education recruitment, Myzak plans to rely on data analysis, personalization and signature experiences to help the University find and welcome new students to campus.

    “Navigating the challenges facing higher education is what motivates me to work in admissions every day,” Myzak said. “I am excited to innovate in admissions to meet the needs of changing demographics, rise to the challenge of a new education climate in a ‘post-pandemic’ world and to continue to advance Truman’s unique mission for the state of Missouri.”

    Myzak’s enrollment management experience includes designing prospect campaigns, strategic planning and assessment, data mining and analytics. He has experience with multiple customer relationship management software including Slate, Salesforce, Hobsons Radius and Dynamix.

    In his most recent role, Myzak was the assistant director of United States admissions operations for American University of Rome, Italy, where he designed and developed a strategic recruitment plan for undergraduate and graduate students in the Americas. He also helped overhaul external admissions channels, implement texting software and modernize communication channels.

    Myzak served in a variety of roles with the California University of Pennsylvania, lastly as the director of undergraduate and international admissions. He assisted with the creation, implementation and assessment of the school’s strategic enrollment plan and helped contribute to new student enrollment growth for four consecutive years.  

    After receiving Bachelor of Arts degrees in history, German and economics from Berry College in Georgia, Myzak earned a Master of Education degree in higher education administration from Northeastern University in Boston. Among his research interests at the time were rural student populations and applied organization theory. He is currently working toward a Doctor of Education degree from Texas Tech University.

    Myzak succeeds Tara Hart, who was named vice president of enrollment and student development at Union College in Kentucky.
  • Men’s Basketball Championship Challenge Exceeds Goal

    More than $100,000 in financial support was generated for the men’s basketball team during a recent fundraising challenge.

    Members of the men’s basketball 1978-79 Hall of Fame and championship team provided $50,000 to ignite enthusiasm and additional financial support for the program. The challenge allowed gifts and pledges to the program from Nov. 1-27 from alumni, parents and friends to be matched. The entire $50,000 of matching funds were utilized, and the challenge exceeded more than $100,000 in total support.

    “On behalf of the entire program, I want to express our gratitude for the outpouring of support,” said Jeff Horner, head coach. “It was amazingly generous of the ’79 team to provide this opportunity for the program, and it was really cool to watch the Bulldogs of all eras, along with family and friends, join together in pursuit of this goal.”  
    The ability to make sure all the matching funds were used was spearheaded by volunteer support. Bill Woodall (’79) agreed to serve as a “captain” for the coordination of communication with the University. A number of other individuals agreed to serve as “captains” for the challenge. They reached out to individuals in their sphere of influence to encourage support of the campaign and connectivity to the program. The captains for the Championship Challenge were:
    Bob Stephens (’57)
    Jim Magruder (’73)
    Bill Woodall (’79) 
    Jimmy O’Donnell (’98) 
    Jason Reinberg (’00)
    Dusty Bruner (’02)
    Mike Carlson (’13)
    Zach Fischer (’16)
    Cole Myers (’16)
    Cory Myers (’16)
    Billy Daniel (’17)
    Taurin Hughes (’19)
    Mary Beth Scott (Parents)

    The basketball team aims to continue building on their own championship success from last season, and are near the midway point of their 2020-2021 schedule. Anyone interested in supporting of the men’s basketball program can make a secure gift online, here.
  • MLK Honored with Series of Events


    All are invited to celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. in the month of January.

    Everyone is welcome in Kirksville, and these festivities celebrate students, neighbors and community members from diverse races, ethnicities, religions and other cultural backgrounds who work, study and live in Kirksville and who make it truly amazing. This citywide campaign and community celebration aims to combat hate, intolerance and racism and show that residents are welcomed and accepted for who they are.

    The goal of this initiative is to collect donations to provide as many diverse books as possible to classrooms in local schools. All children deserve to see themselves reflected in books in their classrooms, and all children deserve a window into the lives of those whose experiences have been different. In addition, donations will be collected for the Pantry for Adair County.

    There will be virtual and in-person multicultural – unity and social justice themed – activities for children and families, as well as an art display and a social justice musical performance. Learn more about how to get involved at youbelongherekv.wixsite.com/Kirksville.


  • New Semester, Same COVID Guidelines


    The Faculty Senate COVID-19 Working Group, composed of Nancy Daley-Moore, Scott Alberts and Christine Harker, discussed Truman’s return for the spring semester during a recent Zoom meeting.

    All of the campus protocols from the fall semester remain in effect. Masks are required in all campus building, and the City of Kirksville adopted a similar mandate for all businesses in the community. Everyone on campus should still remain physically distance when possible, wash their hands often and limit travel to and from Kirksville. Students should also cooperate if they are called by contact tracers and observe quarantine guidelines if they are asked to do so. All of these steps add a layer of protection to limit exposure to and spread of COVID-19 on campus.
  • Mental Health Toolkit Available Online

    As a JED Campus, Truman is committed to promoting mental health and wellness. Staying Engaged with Mental Health: A Student Toolkit is now available on the Truman website. It offers students helpful tips for self-care as well as resources for identifying signs of struggle and steps to take for help. Other references are available at wellness.truman.edu, including information on Truman’s partnership with The Jed Foundation.

  • Rec Offers Fitness-Wellness Programs


    The Fitness-Wellness Program class schedule begins Jan. 11, with full class descriptions available online.

    New to the weight room? Consider signing up for TruStrength, the free weight room orientation.

    Looking for a personalized training program? Sign up with one of the nationally certified personal trainers.

    Want to learn some exercises on your own before coming over to the REC? Try looking through the Helpful Videos and Photos section of the website.
  • Students Awarded Grants for Scholarship and Research


    The following projects are recipients of the Grants-in-Aid-of-Scholarship and Research

    “Effect of Cloud Cover on the Brightening of the Night Sky in Missouri”
    Student: Andrew Gentry
    Mentor: Vayujeet Gokhale
    “Decaying Grounds”
    Student: Natalie Gruber
    Mentor: Lindsey Dunnagan
    “Army reservists and work/family life balance: An exploratory study”
    Student: Jenna Leong
    Mentor: Carol Cox
    “Connection to the Individual Narrative in 2020”
    Student: Madilyn McClain
    Mentor: Lindsey Dunnagan
    “Investigation of Potential Inhibitors of Amyloid Aggregation as it Relates to Alzheimer’s Disease”
    Student: Alexandra Platt
    Mentor: Bill Miller

    “A school connectedness program for student social-emotional knowledge and skills”
    Student: Rylee Shertzer
    Mentor: Carol Cox
    “The Homefront: Kirksville During the Great War, 1914-1919”
    Student: Travis Stahlman
    Mentor: Jason McDonald
    “Computer Simulations to detect Dark matter particles in the Solar System
    Student: Murtuza Taqi
    Mentor: Tim Wiser
    “Development and Suitability Analysis of College Community Centric Service Offerings”
    Students: Victor Wei and Abduboriy Abdurakhmonov
    Mentor: Kafi Rahman
    “Tuba Electronics”
    Students: Emma Palumbo and Theo Greer
    Mentor: Charles Gran

    “Relations Among Personality, Behavior, and Conversation Outcomes
    Students: Rachel Whaley, Lydia Helfrich and Morgan Ireland
    Mentor: Jeffery Vittengl
  • Rec Program Pits Truman Against Other Schools

    Truman has joined the Recreation Movement as a fun and easy way to compete against more than 80 other universities by logging wellness activity minutes each day. Sign up using a Truman email and log up to 120 minutes per day using the most appropriate category provided. Truman is currently ranked No. 22 of 85 schools across the country. This program will continue through the entire spring 2021 semester.

    As an added bonus, students can find and participate in live fitness and instructional classes and pre-recorded classes. Help earn Truman another No. 1 ranking to be proud of by participating and encouraging other Bulldogs to join. #RecMovement photos and videos using on social media.
  • Scholastic Competition Offers More than $10,000 in Prizes


    Junior and senior students could win up to $250 from Truman, and $10,000 nationally, through the Robert L. Gould Scholastic Award competition.

    SS&C, a financial technology company, sponsors the annual Robert L. Gould Scholastic Award to recognize outstanding university students who produce academic papers on topics related to investment management strategies, theories and trends. The prompt for this year’s award is:

    The human response to the COVID-19 global pandemic has been extraordinary in as much as it has required from our society and what it has revealed of us as people. This response has accelerated the acceptance of digital engagement. How do you see financial services companies engaging with their clients in the short-term post-COVID world and going forward over the next five years? Specifically: how do you see financial service companies using digital capabilities to engage and connect with their customers; and what implications and changes in engagement models or emerging digital capabilities of today will be assumed as standard across financial services in 2025?

    In addition to the national award, the University will offer cash prizes to the top three papers from Truman students. Locally, first place will earn $250, second place will receive $150 and third place will get $100. All three will be submitted to the SS&C for the national competition.

    Paper submissions should be directed to Chuck Boughton, instructor in business administration, at boughton@truman.edu by Jan. 17. Submissions should be in Word format only. Local awards will be announced after the Jan. 31 submission to the Gould judges.

    Questions about the competition can be directed to Boughton.
  • Rec Hours for MLK Holiday

  • Art Gallery Display Offers Interaction


    “Megan + Max + You” will be on display in the University Art Gallery, Jan. 19-Feb. 26.

    Artists Megan Pobywajlo and Max Wagner make still life photographs that combine the languages and techniques of commercial photography with mindful play. To make their photographs they take turns choosing objects and colors, shapes and scale, light and shadow to create a shared vision.

    Members of the Truman community are invited to share their still life photographs for a chance to be included in the exhibit. Details can be found at meganmaxyou.cargo.site.

    Pobywajlo and Wagner will participate in an artist talk at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 22 via Zoom. Those interested in participating can sign up here.
  • TLS Spring Recruitment Begins Jan. 25


    Tau Lambda Sigma is a service organization dedicated to promoting the ideals of uniqueness, sisterhood and charity through service in the community and other philanthropic interests. Out of respect for the health and safety of current and potential new members, TLS will host a virtual recruitment process. For more information, visit tls.truman.edu and @taulambdasigma on Instagram.

    Information Night
    7 p.m.
    Jan. 25
    Facebook/Instagram Live

    Service and Sisterhood Night
    7 p.m.
    Jan. 26

    Interview Night
    7 p.m.
    Jan. 27

    Invite Only
    Jan. 28
  • FAFSA Can be Filed for Next Year


    The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be filed now for the 2021-2022 school year at studentaid.gov.

    Even though a student may not qualify for grants or work study, all students are considered for the Federal Direct Loan (no co-signer required). Filing the FAFSA does not commit a student to taking a loan, but it does allow for more options.

    The 2021-2022 FAFSA requires students to report income and tax information from an earlier tax year. For the 2021-2022 FAFSA students will use their 2019 tax information.

    It is strongly recommended to apply or renew before Feb. 1, 2021.
  • Summer Jobs Available Through Truman Academies

    Students can apply now for positions with Truman summer academies.
    The Institute for Academic Outreach has summer positions available for Joseph Baldwin Academy, JBA Junior and ATSU-Truman Healthcare Academy. Each academy is in search of preceptors and night monitors.
    In order to be a preceptor, applicants must currently be a full-time student at Truman and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 at the time of application. Preceptors are expected to be supportive of the University goals, responsible, enjoy working with high-ability teenage students and be high-energy individuals.
    Applicants should prepare a letter of interest which should include: the skills they possess that will assist them when working with high-ability teenage students; related work experiences; and why they are interested in the summer academy for which they apply. Applicants will also need to complete the online application and provide a current resume.
    Applications are due Feb. 5. Information about each available position and the online application can be accessed at tiacademies.truman.edu/employment.
  • Now Hiring Student Ambassadors

    Click here for more information about becoming an ambassador. The photo above was taken before the pandemic.
  • Parks Named Bookstore Manager

    Jessica Parks is the new Truman State University Bookstore manager. She previously worked as the executive director and founder of Take Root Cafe. She is also a member of the Kirksville City Council and currently serves as mayor pro tem. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and human rights, as well as a master’s degree in multicultural education. In her free time, Parks and her family run a small farm and grow their own fruits and vegetables.



  • Notables

    Thomas Bindbeutel and Gracie Trokey are one of six teams to advance to the semi-finals of the IARFC National Financial Plan Competition. Sponsored by the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants, the competition is open to undergraduate university students who are enrolled in a financial services curriculum. From a fictional case narrative, the students are requested to craft a financial plan for judging. The competition progresses through three stages, ending in three teams of students presenting their plan in person at the IARFC Annual Meeting. Finalists will be selected in February with dates and times for final presentations to be determined.  

    Nancy Daley-Moore, assistant professor of health science, was named as the first Education Champion in the COVID Stops with Us Recognition Program. COVID Stops with Us is a group of local organizations and individuals committed to promoting safe practices in the Kirksville area to prevent further spread of the coronavirus. In December, the group began its weekly recognition program to highlight the work of those in the community committed to making a positive impact. Each week, three “champions” – one for the medical field, the education sector and the community at large – are acknowledged for their efforts. Daley-Moore was nominated for her work with Truman’s contact tracing program, which played a large role in the University’s ability to complete the fall semester without disruption. Nominations are ongoing and can be made here.

    Ka-La Harris, director of Blanton-Nason-Brewer and Dobson Halls, was awarded the Outstanding New Professional Award by the Pan African Network within ACPA, College Student Educators International. The award recognizes “African American/Black Student Affairs Professionals who have excelled in the areas of citizenship, innovation, leadership and distinguished service to others,” specifically those “student affairs professionals with no more than three years of experience within the profession.” Harris was nominated by her ACPA mentor, Taylor Smith of Hampton University in Virginia. Harris is in her second year as a hall director in Residence Life.

    Jeff Horner, men’s basketball head coach, was named Coach of the Week from Hoopdirt.com during the week of Nov. 30. Other winners that week were Gonzaga’s Mark Few at the D1 level, Cliff Carroll of Mary-Hardin Baylor at the D3 level and Greg Tonagel of Indiana Wesleyan at NAIA. Horner will be eligible for the Coach of the Year award presented at the end of the year.

    Priya Kambli, professor of art, has been chosen by the Missouri Arts Council as the recipient of the Missouri Arts Award for Individual Artist, the state’s highest honor in the arts. Honorees are recognized for their profound and lasting contributions to Missouri’s artistic and cultural legacy. The Missouri Arts Council described Kambli as an “internationally recognized photographer whose art is suffused with themes of loss, love and memory across generations of family, inspired by the archive of family heirlooms, artworks and photographs she brought with her to the U.S. when she migrated from India at age 18.” More information about Kambli’s work can be found at priyakambli.com.

    Dylan Peeters was named GLVC Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 7-13. He set a new career high with 21 points in the Bulldogs’ victory over Lindenwood, Dec. 12, and he grabbed 11 rebounds for his third double-double of the season. He is currently third on the Bulldogs in points with 12.8 per game and leads the team with 11.8 rebounds per game; which remains top 10 nationally. His three double-doubles also ranks him tied for the lead nationally. This is the first time Peeters has won the award.

    Glenn Wehner, professor emeritus of animal science, was inducted into the American Gelbvieh Association (AGA) Hall of Fame in December. A notable figure in the Gelbvieh cattle community, Wehner developed the first Gelbvieh herd at Truman and introduced hundreds of students to the breed. He also assisted the AGA and the American Gelbvieh Foundation over the years, serving on numerous committees and on the AGF board of directors as treasurer. Wehner also played a key role in developing the AGA’s 50-year history book.

    Truman Athletics was named a finalist for the 2021 Division II Award of Excellence, which recognizes initiatives in the past year that exemplify community engagement and student-athlete leadership. One finalist was picked from each of the division’s 23 conferences, and six additional finalists were picked as at-large honorees. A committee of athletics administrators determined this year’s finalists, and the national Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee selects the winner, to be announced at the NCAA convention, Jan. 15. Truman’s submission was the Top Dog Challenge homecoming competition with the University of Indianapolis. SAAC hosted a cornhole tournament and raised donations for charity with a pie-in-the-face contest. Truman won both portions of the Top Dog Challenge with a total of 1,578 donors and $7,852 split between The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri and the Adair County Human Society. As a finalist, Truman SAAC receives $500 for future initiatives or community engagement events.