Vol. 26 No. 8 - October 11, 2021


  • Non-Traditional Student Pursues Art Dream


    Most students come to college with dreams of preparing for their future careers. By the time 57-year-old Sarah Tolliver arrived on campus this fall, she already had a career behind her, and her goal after graduation is solely to pursue her passion: art.

     A non-traditional student from Ellington, Missouri, Tolliver always knew she wanted to be an artist, she just wasn’t sure what kind.

    “I’ve spent decades picking up pencils and paintbrushes and putting them down again when life got in the way,” Tolliver said. “There was a time about 20 years ago when I had a real shot at getting a career moving, and it was very clear to me that in addition to some gaping holes in my skill set, I just didn’t have the depth of knowledge or self-discipline to realize my ambitions.”

    Born in St. Louis, Tolliver and her family moved to California before she started second grade. She graduated high school in 1981 and began her college career at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. She decided on a college at the last minute and all of the dorm rooms were taken, forcing her to live off campus. At 17 years old she was not as mature as she imagined herself to be and ended up not managing her time well.

    “Some of what I learned is: my mother was right, and the road to hell really is paved with good intentions,” Tolliver said. “Making lists and writing things down in planners is great, but to succeed in college, or in life, you have to do the work.”

    After her first attempt at college, she joined the Navy in 1989, which led her to Rota, Spain, and a job in aviation maintenance administration with Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron Two (VQ-2). While in Spain, she met her husband, Randy, and they were married in Gibraltar in early 1991. After six years of active duty, she left the Navy. She and her husband moved numerous times before landing in Maryland where they bought a Victorian fixer-upper in a suburb of Baltimore.

    Tolliver spent the next 14 years renovating the house while also pursuing her art career again. During this time, she and Randy purchased a farm in Ellington where they plan to retire. For a while she traveled back and forth between the farm and Baltimore before moving to Missouri permanently in 2014.

    Tolliver heard about Truman while taking horse riding lessons. Her trainer mentioned that one or two of her former students attended Truman for the equestrian team, which is what originally caught Tolliver’s attention. After additional research she learned about Truman’s Art Department and thought it would be an excellent fit.

    Like other full-time students, Tolliver moved to Kirksville to pursue education. While she is temporarily away from her husband, one family member that made the trip was her horse, Bella. Tolliver is also a member of the equestrian team and boards Bella at the University Farm. There are several other activities on campus that interest her, but she keeps in mind the lessons she learned from her first college experience.

    “Overwhelmed equals disaster,” Tolliver said. “So, I have taken a reluctant pass on some other clubs for now, and I am jumping with both feet into Windfall, the campus literary and art magazine.”

    Tolliver said this journey alongside others who are younger has been challenging. She is aware every day that she doesn’t instantly fit in, but by and large her fellow students have been kind to her. Aside from being homesick for her husband and animals at the farm, she is liking her time at Truman. She is especially impressed with the professionalism, depth of knowledge and responsiveness of her professors.

    “I appreciate the lower student-to-teacher ratio,” she said. “There is time for meaningful discussion, and thus learning, that would not be possible in larger classes.”

    After graduation, Tolliver plans to go back to the farm and make creative expression an integral part of her life. She hopes to have mastered the skills to both execute the art she sees in her head and also find a market for it. Her preferred medium is acrylics.

    “I want instant action, instant color, instant satisfaction, and the louder and messier the process is, the happier I am,” Tolliver said.

    Although she came to Truman to learn, her life experiences can translate into lessons for others, particularly non-traditional students.

    “There is no such thing as too late,” she said. “Life is short. Choose the contentment that comes from realizing your potential.”
  • Campus Hosts New Mid-Scream Series Oct. 11-12


    Mid-Scream, a series of mini events designed to help students relax and take a break from studying, will take place Oct. 11-12.

    The School of Business will provide coloring books, colored pencils, crayons and markers from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 11-12 outside of Violette Hall 2420 and in the upper Violette Hall commons. Students can take their artwork or leave it for display. From 11:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. Oct. 11-12 Residence Life will have a goodie-bag giveaway. The Residence Life tent will be located at Ryle and Centennial courtyards. Anyone who can show they follow the Residence Life Instagram will receive a reusable bag full of swag.

    From 2-4 p.m. Oct. 11 students can stop by the quad to grab a soda and make their very own stress ball. Students can attend Popcorn with the President from 6-7 p.m. in the main lounge of Centennial Hall. There students can take a study break with President Thomas to enjoy her favorite snacks of sno-caps and parmesan cheese popcorn. Then from 7-8 p.m. students will have the opportunity to make chocolate covered pretzel sticks in BNB Hall 1226. All supplies are provided and it should only take 15 minutes to make five pretzel sticks.

    The School of Science and Mathematics will host washer toss and ladder golf for students to play from 3-4 p.m. Oct. 12 on the east side of Magruder Hall. Anyone interested in joining Provost Gooch for a one-mile loop around campus can meet at 5:30 p.m. at the bulldog statue. From 6-7 p.m. Oct. 12 President Thomas will be in the north kitchen and lounge of Ryle Hall for another study break of popcorn and sno-caps.

    There were also events offered Oct. 10. Students were able to make chocolate covered pretzel sticks, run a mile loop with Provost Gooch and take a night tour around campus.
  • Academic Affairs Sponsors Campus Think Tank


    Academic Affairs will host TruSolutions regarding campus climate from 7-9 p.m. Oct. 12 in the Student Union Building Georgian Room.

    TruSolutions is a solution-focused think tank open to any Truman community member who wishes to collaborate about campus improvement initiatives. There will be three sub-topics of campus climates to be discussed, including: health and well-being; advising; and diversity and inclusion.

    Each topic will be discussed in three mini-sessions to allow everyone a chance to contribute. Participants will have the opportunity to work in a small group with other Truman students, faculty, staff and administrators to develop improvement initiatives relevant to the climate sub-topic. Zac Burden, coordinator for residence life, student life and development, will be the moderator and will guide the groups throughout the night.

    After the event is over, Academic Affairs plans to work with other departments and committees to move forward with ideas generated at TruSolutions and plan to host this event on an annual basis. RSVP is required and can be found here.
  • Alumna and Movie and TV Writer/Producer to Participate in Virtual Event


    Television and movie writer Akela Cooper will share her experiences in the film industry through a virtual event at 7 p.m. Oct. 13 via Zoom.

    Raised in Hayti, Missouri, Cooper graduated from Truman in 2003. Since then, she has written and produced several movies and television shows including the current Warner Bros. release, “Malignant.” Her movie “M3GAN” finished production earlier this summer under Universal/Blumhouse with James Wan/Atomic Monster producing and Gerard Johnstone directing. Additionally, she is currently writing “The Nun 2” for New Line/Atomic Monster and The Safran Company.

    On the TV side, Cooper is currently an executive producer on “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” for Paramount+. In the past she has worked on Netflix/Marvel drama series “Luke Cage,” “American Horror Story,” as well as “The 100,” “Grimm” and “Witches of East End.”

    Cooper will share experiences from both her personal and professional life. The conversation will be moderated by students Eliana Moore and Rob Garner. This event is a collaboration between Center of Diversity and Inclusion and the Film Club. RSVP here.


  • COVID Vaccines Minimize Severe Spread

    In their weekly discussion, Faculty Senate COVID-19 Working Group committee members Scott Alberts and Nancy Daley-Moore discussed Truman-related cases and how vaccines may have affected them. Vaccines are believed to shorten the window of potential spread, and although vaccinated individuals can transmit the virus, evidence supports the idea that spread from one vaccinated person to another is unlikely. Breakthrough cases appear to be mild, and usually do not result in hospitalization. Students and employees are reminded to participate in the vaccine incentive program. A complete recording of their discussion can be found here.
  • Incentive Programs for Student Groups and Employees Encourage Vaccinations


    In an effort to increase vaccination rates, the University is implementing two incentive programs – one for student groups and another for employees.

    Recent surveys indicate the known vaccination rate is 65% for employees and 50% for students. While these numbers are promising, an increase in the rate would help mitigate spread in the Truman and Kirksville communities.

    Student clubs/organizations, athletic teams and residence halls are eligible to receive a cash award for their group if 85% of the registered members have verified being vaccinated with the University. Cash awards are related to the size of the organization: groups with less than 10 members can earn $50; groups with 10-19 members can earn $100; groups with 20-29 members can earn $200; and groups with 30 or more total members can earn $300.

    Club/organization official rosters will determine the total size of the group. Athletic teams will be based on official rosters. Residence halls will be based on student advisor groups.  

    While left to the discretion of the organization, the cash award may be used for things such as speakers, events, travel, organization purchases or philanthropic donations.  

    For employees, the incentive program includes the possibility of an additional two paid days off. If the University reaches a vaccination rate of 75% among all employees, Nov. 23 will be awarded as a paid day off and offices will be closed. If a rate of 85% is achieved, Nov. 22 would also be awarded.

    For students and employees to earn the incentive, vaccination verification must be provided by midnight, Nov. 1.
  • Visiting Scholar to Discuss Indigenous Wisdom


    Interdisciplinary Studies will host author and scholar Robin Wall Kimmerer for a virtual presentation on her book, “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants,” at 7 p.m. Oct. 12 in Magruder Hall 2001 and via livestream.   

    Kimmerer lives on an old farm in Syracuse, N.Y., where she tends gardens both wild and cultivated. She is a professor of environmental biology for the State University of New York. She is also the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, whose mission is to develop programs based on the wisdom of indigenous and scientific knowledge for sustainability.

    “Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses,” Kimmerer’s first book, was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing. Her other writing has appeared in Orion, Whole Terrain and many other scientific journals. In 2015, she addressed the general assembly of the United Nations on the topic “Healing Our Relationship with Nature.” As a writer and scientist, her interests in restoration include restoration of ecological communities and relationships to land.

    At the conclusion of her presentation, Kimmerer will take questions. Truman students, faculty and staff, as well as other members of the community, are welcome to join in person or watch online. Faculty supporting the Cognitive Science, Environmental Studies, Folklore and Women’s and Gender Studies minors organized this event to commemorate Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
  • Women’s Organization Sponsors Town Hall


    United WE, a women’s foundation out of Kansas City that represents all of Missouri, is coming to Kirksville 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Oct. 14 in the Student Union Building. This group is studying how the past 18 months have affected women in order to give a report to the governor who wants to look at policy changes next year. RSVP can be found here. Lunch will be provided, as well as child care. For more information, contact cchrisman@kirksvillecity.com.
  • Homecoming Events Set for Oct. 18-23


    This year’s homecoming theme is “All Roads Lead Home” and the philanthropy that all money raised will go to is Forest Lake Area Trails System (FLATS). More details on student events and other information can be found at homecoming.truman.edu. Any questions can be emailed to homecoming@truman.edu. Questions regarding alumni events can be emailed to bulldogforever@truman.edu.

    Homecoming Events
    11 a.m.-2 p.m.
    Oct. 18-22
    Pre-orders for apparel can be made here.

    Penny Buckets
    Oct. 18-22

    Oct. 19
    4-6 p.m.

    Oct. 22
    Campus Tour (Alumni event)
    11:30 a.m.
    Pre-register here.

    Campus Tour (Alumni event)
    2:30 p.m.
    Pre-register here.

    The Truman Experience (Alumni event)

    5 p.m.
    Student Union Building Georgian Room
    This includes the Golden Alumni Diploma Ceremony, the Dogs of Distinction Alumni Awards and a reception highlighting academic programs.

    Oct. 23
    Bulldog Forever Homecoming 5k Run/Walk
    8 a.m.
    Barnett Hall
    Registration starts at 7 a.m.

    Homecoming Parade
    9 a.m.
    Parade registration for groups and individual organizations is now open and can be accessed here. For those who have a car they would like to showcase in the parade, email homecoming@truman.edu.

    Bulldog Forever Tailgate (Alumni)

    11 a.m.- 1 p.m.
    Parking lots 23 and 34. Reserve a space here.

    Football vs. William Jewell College

    2 p.m.
    Stokes Stadium
  • Registration Open for Alumni Truman Experience


    As part of Homecoming, the Alumni Association will host the Truman Experience at 5 p.m. Oct. 22. This experience includes the Golden Alumni Diploma Ceremony, Dogs of Distinction Alumni Awards and a reception.
    The experience will begin by honoring the 50th reunion graduates, followed by recognition of this year’s alumni award winners, and end with a reception that will feature students, faculty and staff from across campus. Alumni will have the opportunity to reconnect with classmates and learn more about events going on around campus. Hors d’oeuvres will be available at the reception. There is no cost for this event, but registration is required.
  • Graduation Supplies Now Available Through Bookstore

    The Truman Bookstore is taking orders for caps, gowns, diploma frames, graduation announcements and more for December commencement. Orders can be placed online through the bookstore’s official vendor, Herff Jones. The deadline for free in-store pick up is Oct. 23. Pick-up date will be around Nov. 18 in the bookstore. Students can still order after the deadline date and pay for expedited shipping.

  • Learn About Graduate Programs at Info Sessions


    Information sessions about graduate programs will take place on campus. Registration for each session can be found here and closes at 5 p.m. the day prior to the event. The location for on campus sessions is Student Union Building 3201. Master’s programs offered are accountancy, athletic training, communication disorders, education, English, leadership, music, counseling (online), data science and analytic storytelling (online) and gifted education (online). For more information, contact Liz McLain, assistant director of admission-graduate and transfer.

    On-Campus Sessions

    Oct. 19
    5:30-6:30 p.m.

    Nov. 2
    5:30-6:30 p.m.

    Nov. 16
    5:30-6:30 p.m.
  • APO Sponsors Escape Room on Campus


    APO is hosting an escape room event Oct. 20-22 and Oct. 27-29 in Violette Hall 1332. From 6:15-9:15 p.m. each night, teams of up to six people will have 30 minutes to attempt to break out. The cost is $5 per person, and cash or Venmo will be accepted at the door.

    Sign up is available here. By signing up, it is agreed that no clues or answers will be shared with any participant outside of the groups. For more information, email apo.epsilon.fundraising@gmail.com.
  • CoDA Hosts Book Drive

    The Communications Disorders Association is conducting a book drive. Any new and gently used books will be accepted. They are specifically looking for books for the ages 3-18. A drop box will be located outside the CMDS classroom in Health Sciences 2203.

  • Applications Open for Greek Week Committee


    Applications for Greek Week committee are now available. These applications are for students involved in fraternity and sorority life and are interested in being part of the committee that plans Greek Week. There are multiple positions available such as public relations/court chair, an events chair, a values chair, a philanthropy chair and a lip-sync coordinator. Descriptions of these positions can be found on the Greek Week website along with applications.

    The deadline for the director position is Oct. 27 and the deadline for committee positions is Nov. 3.
  • Sigma Alpha to Host Annual Haunted Corn Maze


    The annual Sigma Alpha Haunted Corn Maze will take place at the University Farm on the following dates.

    Oct. 28

    7-10 p.m.

    Oct. 29
    8 p.m.-12 a.m.

    Oct. 30
    8 p.m.-12 a.m.

    Tickets are $7 at the gate or $5 with a student ID. There will also be $1 off with canned food donation.
  • Students Can Teach English Through Service-Learning Course


    Truman students can earn one credit hour teaching English to elementary and middle school students in Taiwan via Google Meet.

    CML 200, Taiwan Connect, is a service-learning course. Starting in the second block, it will meet every Tuesday evening (from 6:30-8: p.m. before Nov. 7 and from 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. after Nov. 7) beginning Oct. 19 in Baldwin Hall 309. The only requirement is participating students must be native English speakers.

    Students enrolled in 12-16 credits can take CML 200 at no additional cost. For more information, contact David Zhijun, assistant professor of Chinese, at zwen@truman.edu, 660.785.6016 or in McClain Hall 313.
  • President Thomas Seeks Art Submissions

    Watercolor artwork by ZuZu Smugala.

    President Thomas is requesting student artists submit artwork to present to distinguished guests and international dignitaries.

    Submissions are limited to three artworks per person.  Size must be less than 6” in every direction, 2D or 3D. Content that includes profanity, nudity or politics will not be accepted.

    Students must drop off their works between 8:30 a.m.- 5 p.m. Nov. 15-16 in the University Gallery. Judging will take place Nov. 17 and selected artists will be announced Nov. 18. Those not selected may pick up their work between 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 19 or Nov. 29 in the University Gallery.

    Thomas plans to purchase 10 items for $30 each. This call for art is sponsored by Kappa Pi Art fraternity. For more information, email ldunnagan@truman.edu.
  • Applications for Summer Museum and Archives Internships Open Now


    Applications are now being received for summer internships at the following locations in Missouri:
    The summer internships are open to all Truman students, but they are especially relevant for those considering careers in archives, museums and teaching.
    Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until all positions are filled.
    To find out what the internships entail and how to apply, direct enquiries to: Jason McDonald, Baldwin Hall 226, 660.785.7575, jasonmcd@truman.edu.
  • Faculty Workshops for Ally Available Until End of October


    The new Blackboard tool, Ally, will be officially activated for all spring 2022 courses. So far, 81 instructors have been trained and 437 fall courses have been enabled with Ally.

    Both faculty and students will benefit from this tool. Faculty will have the ability to perform accessibility checks on course content and edit materials posted in Blackboard that need improvement. Students will have the ability to choose from several course content formats such as MP3 text-to-speech, e-reader supported files and Beeline Reader files which help readers keep track of their place in text.

    Training sessions are available for faculty until the end of October. Faculty are urged to sign up for workshops in order to understand how to make course content more universally accessible and gain experience in Ally before the spring semester. Registration and schedule of available workshops can be found here.

    Many workshop dates and times have been added or changed to accommodate teaching schedules. Preregistration is required so that Ally can be enabled in participants courses to provide guided training. The Learning Technology team is also available for individual consults to address specific questions or other more in-depth needs. Other helpful links are Learning Technology’s support web page, which is being updated with information related to questions that arise during workshops.
  • FAFSA Filing Now Open


    The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be filed now for the 2022-2023 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 students to taking a loan, but it does allow for more options.

    The 2022-2023 FAFSA requires students to report income and tax information from an earlier tax year. For the 2022-2023 FAFSA students will use their 2020 tax information.

    It is strongly recommended to apply or renew before Feb. 1, 2022.
  • Students Eligible to Win $10,000 with Gould Scholastic Award

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    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 concept for this year is related to gamification and investments. As technology is explored in everyday lives, how could gamification impact or encourage appropriate investing behaviors and what are the real or potential positive and negative consequences of using gamification in this environment?  

    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.

    Papers should be submitted to Chuck Boughton, instructor in business administration, at boughton@truman.edu by Jan. 14. Submissions should be in Word format only. Local awards will be announced after the Jan. 31 submission to the Gould judges. For more information email boughton@truman.edu.
  • Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act (EADA)

    Any coeducational postsecondary institution that participates in the Federal student financial assistance programs and has an intercollegiate athletic program is required by section 485(g) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, 20 U.S.C. 1092(g) (also known as the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act, or EADA) to prepare a report containing information regarding intercollegiate athletics. The EADA Report discloses athletic program participation rates and financial support data for a 12-month period and must be made available to students, prospective students and the public. Data is available to the public at consumerinformation.truman.edu/athletics and ope.ed.gov/athletics, or upon request a paper copy will be provided.


  • Priya Kambli

    Priya Kambli, professor of art, photography and foundations, is one of 20 winners of the Creator Labs Photo Fund, an initiative created by Aperture and Google’s Creator Labs to help provide financial support to photographers during COVID-19. The 20 winning artists are recognized for their exceptional vision, as well as the strength and originality of their portfolios, and will be awarded a prize of $5,000 each to sustain their work and practice.

    Kambli also got third place for the UNSTUCK Photography Grant and will receive $2,000 to go toward her work.

  • John Ma

    John Ma, professor of biology, wrote an article, “Effects of elevated CO2 on plant root form and function: a review,” during his sabbatical last fall that has been published in the journal Plant Root.

  • Beta Alpha Psi

    Beta Alpha Psi, the international honor organization for financial information professionals, achieved Superior status for 2020-2021. This is their 18th consecutive year receiving this status.