Vol. 25 No. 31 - May 3, 2021


  • Truman Completes Academic Year Without COVID Disruption


    As the spring semester concludes with finals and graduation, the entire Truman community can celebrate the end of an academic year that was free of any COVID-related stoppage.

    While the 2020-21 school year was affected by the pandemic, Truman was never in a position that necessitated pausing instruction or sending the entire student body home. According to statistics tracked by The New York Times, there were more than 660,000 coronavirus cases on college campuses during the academic year. As of April 27, Truman had a total of 521 cases among students and employees since July 2020.

    Starting last summer, Truman took a number of proactive steps to limit exposure to and spread of the virus on campus. Course offerings included in-person, online and hybrid options. Classrooms were all socially distanced, plexiglass barriers were installed in areas where face-to-face interactions take place, signs promoting safe practices were posted throughout buildings, and floors were marked with stickers establishing six-foot distances as well as the proper flow of foot traffic in normally congested areas. The University also established its own contact tracing program, staffed by trained students, which helped slow the spread of the virus on campus.

    While Adair County observed a mask ordinance from late November through May 1, Truman continues to follow its own campus-wide mask policy in place since July.   

    “I was so proud of our students and employees who all committed to the public health measures necessary to keep our community safe,” said Brenda Higgins, associate vice president for student health and wellness.

    A majority of Truman cases were documented in the fall, although the largest spike of the year occurred in February with a high of 52 active cases. Since that time, the number of active cases dropped sharply, and the University twice reported zero active cases in the spring semester.

    Access to vaccines helped slow the spread among the Truman community. Survey data from Truman students in April showed almost two-thirds of the sample were already vaccinated. Since vaccinations became widely available in Kirksville, case counts have trended downward.

    The Adair County Health Department conducted several drive-through clinics in conjunction with the Missouri National Guard. Vaccines were also available through Northeast Regional Medical Center, Hy-Vee Pharmacy, Walmart and Walgreens. On two occasions in April, the University conducted on-campus vaccination clinics open to all students and employees where a total of 427 doses were administered.

    To accommodate in-person guests for graduation, Truman will host seven separate ceremonies over two days, May 7-8. Graduates are allowed two guests each, and Pershing Arena will be socially distanced for each event and sanitized in between ceremonies. Livestreams will also be available for those not in attendance.

    Although the end of the pandemic is in sight, it remains a fluid situation. The University will continue to follow CDC and other public health guidance. In anticipation of the easing of at least some restrictions, the University will take appropriate, proactive steps this summer, such as returning all of the chairs to the classrooms. A determination about whether hybrid classes will take place in-person will be made no later than June 30. All University announcements related to COVID-19 will continue to be emailed to students, staff and faculty and posted to truman.edu/coronavirus.
  • Graduation Set for May 7-8


    This year, to celebrate graduates while maintaining a COVID-friendly environment, Truman will conduct seven different ceremonies, May 7-8.

    Graduating students are allowed two guests for their assigned ceremony, and each event will be livestreamed for those unable to attend in person. An online version of the commencement program for all ceremonies is available here. All ceremonies will be available to watch live on Facebook and YouTube. The Facebook event for all ceremonies can be found here. YouTube links are listed below with each individual ceremony.

    Graduates and their family members are encouraged to use #TrumanGrad in any social media post pertaining to graduation for the chance to see their message displayed during the ceremony and featured on the commencement social media wall.

    May 7
    11 a.m.
    All undergraduate accounting, agricultural science, art, art history, biology and design degree candidates
    Watch on YouTube

    2:30 p.m.
    All undergraduate biochemistry and molecular biology, business administration, chemistry, classics and communication degree candidates
    Watch on YouTube

    6 p.m.
    All undergraduate exercise science, French, German, health science and history degree candidates
    Watch on YouTube

    May 8
    9:30 a.m.
    All undergraduate interdisciplinary studies, justice systems, liberal studies, linguistics, mathematics, modern language, music, nursing, and philosophy and religion degree candidates
    Watch on YouTube

    1 p.m.
    All undergraduate communication disorders, computer science, creative writing, economics and English degree candidates
    Watch on YouTube

    4 p.m.
    All undergraduate physics, political science and international relations, psychology, Russian, sociology/anthropology, Spanish, statistics and theatre degree candidates, as well as commissioned officers
    Watch on YouTube

    7:30 p.m.
    All master’s degree candidates
    Watch on YouTube
  • Students Perform Well in Investment Competition


    Daniel D.Nagy earned second place in the national portion of the Gould Scholastic Award competition for his paper, “Mask Up: Opportunity Awaits.”

    For more than 20 years, DST has administered the Gould Scholastic Award in honor of Robert Gould. This award recognizes outstanding university students who compose exceptional academic papers on topics related to investment management strategies, theories and trends.

    D.Nagy will receive a $7,500 award for winning second nationally. He also placed first in the local Gould Scholastic competition and took home a $250 award. Two other Truman teams received second and third place in the local Gould Scholastic Award competition.

    Eric Bruce, Brock Malone and Patrick May earned second place for their paper, “Digitization: The Future of Finance.” They will share a $150 award.

    David Shah and Seth Smith earned third place for their paper, “The New Normal: Digital Capabilities in Financial Service Firms in a Post-COVID World.” The duo will share a $100 award.
  • Student Artwork Selected for Exhibition


    Katie Welter’s work of art titled “Happy Thoughts” was selected to be on display in the National Undergraduate Juried Exhibition hosted by the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art in St. Joseph, Mo.

    The event is an exhibition open to currently enrolled students from undergraduate programs across the United States. For this fifth year, participants were eligible to submit up to three works for jury consideration. A panel of three judges from the St. Joseph arts community assigned scores to the artwork submitted. This year had the broadest groups of participants, including artists from six states representing 15 colleges and universities and 20 cities. Out of more than 200 submissions, 56 artworks were chosen from 38 artists. These artworks include paintings, sculptures, drawings, ceramics and fiber art.

    Works will be on view at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art through June 6. The museum is open Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for seniors and $1 for students. Museum members and children under six years of age are free of charge. For more information about the exhibition, call 816.233.7003.
  • Students Place Second in National Financial Plan Competition


    Thomas Bindbeutel and Gracie Trokey earned second place at this year’s National Financial Plan Competition. The duo will share a $1,000 cash prize.

    The National Financial Plan Competition is sponsored by the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants. It 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 to present throughout the competition. The competition prepares these undergraduate students in a financial services curriculum for the real world of financial consulting by asking them to transform fictional family data into a reality-based financial plan.

    “Experiential opportunities are so valuable in helping make the connections between theory and practice,” said Charles Boughton, instructor of business administration. “Students like the competitive environment and professionals have the opportunity to meet some of the best and brightest students that have aspirations of joining the industry. Congratulations to Tom and Gracie, and a heartfelt thank you to all the Association members who volunteered their time and the staff that made this event possible.”

    The competition follows three stages: an initial analysis by professional consultants to reduce the entries to six semi-finalists; a semi-finals stage that identifies the top three finalists, this year it was four due to a tie; and the finals where the top teams present to IARFC U.S. Chapter Board Members. The four finalists rose from a field of 73 students representing 10 universities.

    Bindbeutel and Trokey virtually presented their financial plans to the U.S. Chapter Board of Directors for judging on April 22, which brought the 2021 competition to a close. This was the first time Truman has participated in the competition.
  • Outstanding Students Honored for Academic Achievement


    The annual list of outstanding students has been released. The recipients are determined by their respective departments.

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Art: Studio Art
    Halle Workman

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Art: Visual Communication
    Kayla Decker

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Classics

    James J. Nicholson

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Creative Writing
    Claire Benevento

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Creative Writing
    Kaitlynn Ellis

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in English
    Caroline Lesch

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in French
    Ashley Nichole Bone

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in German
    Karis Chapman

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Linguistics
    Karis Chapman

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Music: General
    Noah Rogers

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Music: Performance
    Trenton Kranz

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Music: Pre-Certification
    Vivian Scott

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Music: with Emphasis Groups
    Adam Barker

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Spanish
    Sophia Cuni-Mertz

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Theatre
    Alexandria Barge

    Outstanding Graduate Student in English
    Julie Noringriis

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Accounting
    Caleb Bruemmer

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Business Administration: Finance
    Jessica Riegel

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Business Administration: International Business
    Emily Green

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Business Administration: Management

    Micah Linberger

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Business Administration: Marketing
    Kayla Decker

    Outstanding Graduate Student in Accounting

    Robin Cooksey

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Anthropology
    Kaitlin Lewis

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Communication: Communication Studies
    Elisabeth Shirk

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Communication: Journalism

    Ryan Pivoney

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Communication: Public Communication
    Lesley Hauck

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Economics

    Emma Rollings

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in History
    Lauren Reed

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Justice Systems
    Bryan Ritchey

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Military Science - General George C. Marshall ROTC Award
    Michael Christian

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Philosophy
    Alexandra Marie Medler

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Political Science and International Relations
    Vivian Alexandra Graham

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Psychology
    Lillian Rose Schell

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Psychology
    Jonie Welland

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Religion
    Jacob Nicholson

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Sociology
    Lesley Hauck

    Outstanding Graduate Student in Leadership

    Sara Seifert

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Agricultural Science
    Sarah Oliver

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
    Reuben Kern

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Biology

    Kay McNeary

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Chemistry
    Mahan Hadjian

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Computer Science

    Pasindu Tennakoon

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Mathematics
    Brent Koogler

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Physics

    Angelina Partenheimer

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Statistics
    Peyton Bell

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Communication Disorders
    Anna Christine Hess

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Exercise Science

    Kayla Quanstrum

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Health Science
    Kelly Decker

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Nursing
    Baylee Garrett

    Outstanding Graduate Student in Athletic Training
    Clay Thebeau

    Outstanding Graduate Student in Communication Disorders
    Gretchen Marie Sadler

    Outstanding Graduate Student in Education/Elementary
    Melissa Merkel

    Outstanding Graduate Student in Education/K-12
    Jordan Lewis

    Outstanding Graduate Student in Education/Secondary
    Elliott Leong

    Outstanding Graduate Student in Education/Special Education
    Ashley Merideth

    Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Interdisciplinary Studies
    Liam Morris Connolly


  • Education Department Organizes Ice Cream Social

    Education students are encouraged to join fellow Education Department people at 4 p.m. May 3 at the Red Barn to de-stress from finals with ice cream, yard games and prizes. RSVP here to enter a raffle for MAE swag. There will also be more prizes at the event. For more information, email ars3841@truman.edu or la6272@truman.edu.

  • Writing Center Positions Now Available

    The Writing Center is hiring writing consultants for the 2021-22 academic year. Students from all majors are welcome to apply. Scholarship, work-study and limited institutional hours are available. Any questions can be directed via email to write@truman.edu.

  • 65th Annual Finals Scream

  • Blood Drive Set for May 5

    The Truman Red Cross Club will sponsor a blood drive from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. May 5 in the Student Union Building Down Under. Those who would like to make an appointment can call 800.733.2767 or visit redcrossblood.org and enter TrumanState. Free T-shirts and COVID-19 antibody tests are available to donors while supplies last.

  • U&I Accepting Room Reservations for Fall 2021 Semester


    Union & Involvement Services will accept fall 2021 event and meeting reservation requests May 3 through 12 p.m. May 6.

    The office will only accept email requests. Any submissions received after 12 p.m. May 6 will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis once lottery requests have been processed. Requests will be processed throughout the summer and confirmations plan to be sent out prior to the start of the semester.

    University guidelines for the fall 2021 semester have not been fully solidified so continue to reserve with social distancing in mind. Updates will be provided as soon as more information is made available. Consult the room release chart to identify appropriate spaces for anticipated events. The Union will continue to serve as classroom space weekdays from 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Reservations for the Student Recreation Center will be available for request starting in the fall semester. Construction is occurring in Pershing Building and may impact availability of rooms.

    All lottery information and forms can be found here. Contact the Union & Involvement Services Office at union@truman.edu or 660.785.4222 for more information.
  • Recording of Community Discussion Regarding Chauvin Trial Now Available

    In the wake of the Chauvin trial, the University conducted a community discussion to reflect on its impacts. Truman McNair alumnus Darius Taylor moderated a panel that included alumna Dr. Danielle Cooper along with justice systems professors Arlen Egley and Elizabeth Wiles. The recording of that event is now available online at diversity.truman.edu/community-discussion-regarding-chauvin-trial.
  • Retirement Reception for Brenda Higgins

  • Retirement Reception for Debi Cartwright

  • Extended Library Hours for Finals Week

    May 3
    7 a.m.-1 a.m.

    May 4
    7 a.m.-1 a.m.

    May 5
    7 a.m.-1 a.m.

    May 6
    7 a.m.-1 a.m.

    May 7
    7 a.m.-6 p.m.

  • Rec Finals Week Hours

    May 3
    9 a.m.-10 p.m.

    May 4
    9 a.m.-10 p.m.

    May 5
    9 a.m.-10 p.m.

    May 6
    9 a.m.-7 p.m.

    May 7
    9 a.m.-7 p.m.

    May 8

    May 9

  • DPS Summer Hours

    The Department of Public Safety will be open 7:30-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. It will be closed Friday through Sunday. In case of emergency call 9-1-1. To have an officer dispatched for a non-emergency call 660.665.5621.dpslogo.jpg
  • Next Issue

    The next issue of the Truman Today will be available June 1.


  • Marc Becker

    Marc Becker, professor of history, was awarded a Summer Research Stipend by the National Endowment of the Humanities. These $6,000 stipends support continuous full-time work on a humanities project for a period of two consecutive months.
    This funding will allow Becker to gather additional material for his project, “Philip Agee and the CIA in Ecuador, 1960-1963,” by conducting research in the foreign ministry archives in Quito, Ecuador.
    Agee was a CIA case officer who became disillusioned with his role in the cold war. In 1975 he published “Inside the Company: CIA Diary,” the first uncensored exposé of CIA operations by a former case officer. Agee’s condemnation of U.S. intervention in Latin America ignited a broad debate about the role of the CIA and the moral responsibilities of its officers that permanently shifted public perceptions of the CIA.
    Becker, who recently published “The CIA in Ecuador,” plans to draw on previously assembled data to examine the veracity and limitations of surveillance accounts such as that of Agee for interpreting the ideas and actions of leftist political activists in Latin America. The research will result in peer-reviewed journal articles and a book.
    The NEH Summer Stipend program is highly competitive, with less than 10% of annual applications being funded. It is intended to support outstanding and advanced humanities research in all disciplines and fields. It funds scholars who are pursuing projects that embody exceptional research, rigorous analysis and clear writing.

  • Bill Neff

    Alumnus Bill Neff (’97) was invited by Debi Cartwright, professor of business administration, to speak to students in her Brand Management and Strategic Marketing class. Neff is a vice president of bags and apparel at Yeti and was formerly at UnderArmour. The recording of his presentation can be found here.

  • Daniel Mandell

    Daniel Mandell, professor of history, participated in the roundtable discussion on “Indigenous Sovereignty,” at the virtual annual meeting of the Organization of American Historians. The OAH on demand events are only available for another month to those registered to attend the conference, but the video recording of the discussion will also be available to watch here.

  • Summer Pennell

    Summer Pennell, assistant professor of English education, was recently honored as a recipient of the Divergent Award for Excellence in Literacy Advocacy recognizing individuals using digital spaces to advocate for literacy, students and equity in all facets of academia, given by the Initiative for Literacy in a Digital Age.

  • John James Quinn

    John James Quinn, professor of political science and international relations, had an article accepted for publication in The Journal of Asian and African Studies. It is entitled: “Ethiopian Foreign Policy: A Weak State or a Regional Hegemon?” and was co-written with Seyma Akyol, a doctoral candidate at the University of North Texas.

  • Communication Disorders Graduate Students

    Truman Communication Disorders graduate students won second place in a statewide “Quest for the Cup” trivia bowl. The competition was part of the Missouri Speech-Language-Hearing Association annual convention, which took place virtually this year. Nine programs total participated. Graduate students Katie Krull, team captain Savanna Ott, Amy Pattee and Gretchen Sadler brought home the second-place prize. This marks multiple consecutive years of placing in the top three in the state for Truman’s CMDS program.


COVID-19 Updates

  • COVID Numbers Remain Low Thanks to Vaccine and Good Practices


    In their weekly meeting, Faculty Senate COVID-19 Working Group committee members Nancy Daley-Moore, Christine Harker and Scott Alberts looked back at the academic year and discussed what the fall semester might be like.

    Through April 27, Truman recorded a total of 521 cases among students and employees. Since the beginning of March, the University active case total has remained in the single digits, twice reaching zero reported cases for the week. The group credited the willingness of the Truman community to find and get vaccinations for the ability to complete the school year without interruption. Approximately 70 percent of the campus has been vaccinated, and the CDC recently released new guidelines for what fully vaccinated individuals can safely do.

    What the fall semester will look like is still unknown and will be contingent guidance from the CDC and other health care professionals. The University will continue to assess the situation and post any announcements regarding the fall semester at truman.edu/coronavirus.

    A recording of the final Faculty Senate COVID-19 Working Group meeting of the semester can be found here.
  • A.T. Still University to Host COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic May 4

    A.T. Still University-Kirksville Family Medicine will host a COVID-19 vaccine clinic from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. May 4. Gutensohn Clinic, located at 800 W. Jefferson St. The one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be administered to patients age 18 and older at no cost and by appointment only. Participants will be required to follow CDC guidelines, including wearing a mask and social distancing.   

    Email covidvaccinesignup@atsu.edu to request a time or call 660.626.2191. A consent form and directions will be sent to those inquiring by email. For additional information, call 660.626.2191.
  • Curbside Vaccine Scheduled for May 5

    The Adair County Health Department has scheduled another curbside vaccine clinic for 2-4 p.m. May 5 at 1001 S. Jamison in Kirksville. The clinic is open to all individuals age 18 and older who live or work in Missouri and who have not yet completed their COVID-19 vaccine series.

    The Moderna vaccine requires two doses. Those who receive their first dose May 5 will be administed their second dose June 2 at the same scheduled time. If unable to appear at the same location for second dose on June 2, do not sign up for May 5 event. Those who are receiving their second dose May 5, must have received their first dose on or before April 7.

    Anyone who has received any vaccine other than for COVID-19 within the past four weeks prior to the May 5 event should not sign up.
    Participants must be wearing masks and should wear short-sleeved shirts for easy access to the upper arm. After receiving the dose, everyone is required to remain in the parking lot for 15 minutes to be monitored for reactions to the vaccine.

    Residents interested in receiving the vaccine should sign up using the Sign-Up Genius link on the Adair County Health Department website homepage or Facebook page. Those who do not have internet access may register by calling 660.730.6100 or 660.730.6200.
    Registrants will need to present a completed COVID-19 Vaccination Consent form before receiving the vaccine. The form can be accessed via the health department website. Forms will also be available at the curbside event.

    Although there is no charge for the vaccine, Medicare beneficiaries are asked to bring their Medicare or Medicare Advantage cards to the event.
  • Local Vaccine Providers


    All Missouri residents are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccines.

    Adair County Health Department
    Call 660.665.8491.
    Click here for information about vaccine clinics.

    Scotland County Hospital
    Call 660.342.6295 and leave a message to get scheduled.

    Vaccine Navigator
    Register at covidvaccine.mo.gov/navigator to get notifications and figure out eligibility. 



Scholarship Opportunities

  • Purdy Emerging Leaders Scholarship

    The Missouri Scholarship and Loan Foundation will offer the Purdy Emerging Leaders Scholarship, named in honor of Allan Walker Purdy.

    Purdy was born in 1914 on a farm near Macon and was the first in his family to attend a four-year college. He worked in the University of Missouri’s College of Agriculture before becoming the campus’s first director of scholarships and student financial aid.

    The scholarship is designed to provide merit-based scholarships to emerging leaders who are outstanding students and have a need for additional resources for higher education. The scholarship amount can vary based on an applicant’s circumstances. The general range will be $1,000-$5,000 based on expected family contribution (EFC), unmet need and other factors.

    Applicants must be a Missouri resident, typically a 2.5 or higher cumulative GPA, a U.S. Citizen, and a sophomore, junior or senior attending a Missouri public four-year university or the State Technical College of Missouri. Deadline to apply is June 30, 2021. Applications should be submitted online through Scholarship Central at moslf.org. To access more information about this scholarship, click here, or contact the Financial Aid Office at 660.785.4130.
  • 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