Vol. 27 No. 17 - January 17, 2023


  • Truman Welcomes New Provost, Directors

    New hires (pictured clockwise, from the upper left) Eric Freedman, Vanessa Alexander, Allison Gus and Ashleigh Harding have been selected to fill key roles on campus.

    Truman will soon have a total of four new hires on campus in key positions.

    New directors will oversee the Center for Academic Excellence, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, and the Office of Admission, while the University will also welcome a permanent executive vice president for academic affairs and provost.

    Eric Freedman has been selected as the executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. Since 2016 he has served as the dean of the School of Media Arts at Columbia College Chicago. In that role, he was a member of the Academic Affairs senior leadership team, assisting the school in college-wide strategic plans while managing academic programs in Chicago and Los Angeles. Freedman served on the academic performance solutions leadership team, the tuition assessment steering team, phased retirement task force and strategic planning steering team. Throughout his career he has gained extensive experience in faculty and staff recruitment, academic program development, resource management, fundraising and community engagement, as well as diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. Freedman has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University and Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. He will begin his duties at a start date to be determined.

    As the director of student success, Ashleigh Harding oversees the Center for Academic Excellence. An alumna of the University, she brings a wealth of Truman-specific experience to the position. Most recently, she worked in the CAE as an academic advisor and coordinator of University tutoring. Harding has also served Truman as a graduate teaching and research assistant for the Department of English and Linguistics, was a student assistant for the Special Collections and Museums Department, an academic professional development tutor for the McNair Scholars Program and a traveling admission counselor. She is a member of the National College Learning Center Association and the Missouri College Learning Center Association, and served on Truman’s Living-Learning Community Steering Committee and the Department of English and Linguistics’ Antiracist Committee. Harding began her new role Jan. 3.

    Alumna Vanessa Alexander will return to Kirksville to serve as the director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. She has spent her career in higher education in admissions-related positions focused on programming, student experience and financial aid, most recently with the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education and Drexel University College of Medicine. She previously worked for Truman as an admissions counselor before taking a similar position with A.T. Still University where she also served as the school’s Diversity and Inclusion Liaison. During her time at Truman, Alexander was a Multicultural Affairs student intern and participated in the Minority Ambassadors Program for four years. She has served the University as a Diversity Fellow and as a member of the Strategic Plan Committee in 2021. She will begin her duties Feb. 13.

    Allison Gus will be the new director of admission. She comes to Truman from the University of Colorado Denver where she has served in the capacity of graduate program coordinator, admissions and recruitment coordinator, graduate admissions specialist and most recently as the director of admissions management and outreach. She has experience working with community college and high schools to establish and maintain programmatic relationships, articulation agreements and memoranda of understanding that develop student pipelines. She is also familiar with the Slate CRM platform and its use for implementing a standardized communication plan for prospective students. Gus is a graduate of Iowa State University with Bachelor of Arts degrees in advertising and art and design. She will begin her duties Feb. 27.

    The marketing position posted in the fall will be reopened in the coming weeks and posted at trumansu.peopleadmin.com.
  • Rhonda Vincent to Perform at Lyceum Jan. 27


    Northeast Missouri’s own Rhonda Vincent will headline the next Kohlenberg Lyceum Series event at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 27 in Baldwin Hall Auditorium.

    Vincent began her music career as a child in her family’s band The Sally Mountain Show.  She picked up the mandolin at eight and the fiddle at 10, performing with the family band at festivals on weekends. Vincent first achieved success in the bluegrass genre in the 1970s and ’80s, earning respect for her mastery of the progressive chord structures and multi-range, fast-paced vocals intrinsic to bluegrass music. She recorded her first single, a version of “Mule Skinner Blues,” in 1970. Her passion for traditional bluegrass music flourished when she signed with Rounder Records, and she made her label debut in 2000 with “Back Home Again,” recorded with her band, The Rage.

    Throughout her career Vincent has appeared on recordings by Dolly Parton, Alan Jackson, Tanya Tucker, Joe Diffie, Faith Hill and other notables. In 2000, Vincent won her first string of seven Female Vocalist of the Year awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association, and in 2001, she won the Entertainer of the Year award. She is an eight-time Grammy nominee, winning the Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album in 2017. In 2020, she was inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Vincent and The Rage are the most awarded band in bluegrass history.

    Admission is free, but tickets are required. Tickets can be obtained at the ticket window in Baldwin Hall the night of the event, or they can be reserved in advance at the Sue Ross Arts Center in downtown Kirksville, the Advancement Office in McClain Hall 205, the Admissions Office and the Union and Involvement Office main desk in the Student Union Building. For additional information, visit lyceum.truman.edu, call 660.785.4133 or email lyceumseries@truman.edu.
  • Truman Athletes Earn Presidents’ Excellence Honor From NCAA


    Truman Athletics was once again recognized by the NCAA with the Presidents’ Award for Academic Excellence for Division II schools that have achieved an Academic Success Rate of 90% or higher.

    Truman was one of five members of the Great Lakes Valley Conference to earn the award and one of only four public institutions among the 44 honored schools. As a conference, the GLVC finished third with five athletics programs achieving scores of 90%.

    The Division II ASR includes transfers into a school in the calculation and removes those who transferred out while academically eligible. The ASR also includes the more than 30,000 nonscholarship student-athletes who were enrolled in the four years covered in the most recent data.

    The ASR for Truman student-athletes is 91%. For Division II athletes, the federal rate is 60%, and the general student body is 52%.
  • Tea Time Explores Student Involvement, Summer Reading and Licorice Jelly Beans

    President Sue Thomas welcomed Laura Bates, executive director of the Student Union and Campus Recreation, for the first “Tea Time with Sue” of the new semester.

    Now in her 16th year at Truman, Bates oversees the facilities, staff and students in both the Student Union Building and the Campus Recreation Center. This includes extensive involvement with major events such as Truman Week, Homecoming and organizational recruitment. During their conversation, Bates discussed the number of students who participate in Fraternity and Sorority Life and the impact those organizations have on local and national philanthropies.

    Other topics of conversation included Bates’ literary-inspired tattoos, her dogs Sophie and Jake, and her fondness for licorice-flavored jelly beans. The entire podcast conversation can be found on the Truman Spotify channel. Follow Truman on social media for video excerpts from “Tea Time with Sue.” The complete video is also posted on the Truman YouTube channel.

    Throughout the school year, President Thomas will welcome guests for one-on-one chats that shine a light on the people and things that make Truman the special place it is. New episodes will be announced in the Truman Today as they become available. Guests for “Tea Time with Sue” can be nominated at truman.edu/teatime.
  • Students Donate to United Way

    John Stewart  (right), general manager of Sodexo at Truman, Zac Burden (left), assistant director of residence life, and Ramey Weichelt, 2022 United Way drive chair, display a check for United Way of Northeast Missouri.

    Students with dining plans on campus donated more than $2,000 through meal swipes to help sponsor United Way operations in northeast Missouri.

    John Stewart, general manager of Sodexo at Truman, thanked students for their incredible generosity in supporting the people of northeast Missouri. Zac Burden, assistant director of Residence Life at Truman, managed a process for students to donate meal swipes securely online. Students with the Residence Hall Association staffed tables alongside United Way board members to encourage students to donate and learn about the member agencies and their work in the region.

    Bill Castles, executive director for the United Way of Northeast Missouri, noted that this donation will help to make possible the vital operations of various member agencies. He thanked campaign chairs Ramey Weichelt and Amanda Selby for recruiting board members to help with meal swipe donation and share information with students about how the United Way helps people in the community.

    Truman Residence Life and Sodexo have partnered in this fundraiser for decades, raising tens of thousands of dollars throughout the program’s history. This year, Truman students donated more than $2,400 to the campaign, which more than doubled last year’s total. To learn more about local United Way efforts and to get involved with fundraising visit liveunitednemo.org.
  • New App Allows for Online Dining Orders

    Sodexo is now piloting the new Everyday app that will allow faculty, staff and students to order Einstein Bros. Bagels and Starbucks online.

    The plan is to pilot this new app for the spring and do a campus-wide rollout in the fall.

    The Everyday app allows users to order online and skip the line when it is ready. Apple Pay, credit/debit card and dining dollars are the current accepted methods of payment. Using dining dollars requires a meal plan. The option to combine meal swipes and dining dollars together is not available yet, but is a function planned for the next academic year.

    John Stewart, director of Sodexo Dining Services, asks that people download the app and try it out with the understanding this is a pilot, and minor issues may arise. People testing the app last semester reported the basic ordering functionality was good, but Sodexo would like more people to use it to determine how it flows with customers at the counter and multiple orders coming in at the same time. They are asking for patience as further testing is conducted.

    Compliments and concerns with the app can be shared directly with Stewart at John.Stewart2@sodexo.com.

    The Everyday app is available at Apple App and Google Play stores. Search Everyday by Sodexo.


  • Truman Contributes to Economic Partnership

    Truman has joined a collaborative effort with the City of Kirksville and The Kraft Heinz Company to help meet workforce needs and bolster the local economy. For its role in the partnership, Truman will utilize the currently unoccupied Centennial Hall to provide temporary housing to recruited Kraft Heinz employees while they make permanent living arrangements in Kirksville. The University will also enroll all of the program participants in a one-credit course designed to aid in their transition to the area. Details regarding the partnership can be found on a Truman FAQ website. The original statement from the City of Kirksville can be found here.
  • Free Spring Planners Available

    Back by popular demand, semester planners are now available for students. They can be picked up in the Student Union Building during planned giveaway events from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Jan. 17 and Jan. 18. They will also be in the Union and Involvement Office in the Student Union Building while supplies last. Planners are provided free to students courtesy of the Alumni Office.

  • Campus Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.


  • Rec Courts Temporarily Unavailable

    The basketball courts in the Student Recreation Center are currently offline, and staff are developing alternative options in the interim.

    During winter break, extreme cold temperatures caused a pipe to break, resulting in water damage on the court. While the floor will be replaced, the actual instillation is yet to be scheduled. Several other schools in the Midwest also received similar damage during the same cold snap.

    The rest of the Student Recreation Center remains open for use, including the walking track and exercise equipment on the second floor. The multipurpose gym is also open, and building staff are working to schedule free-play options as well as meet intramural and organizational needs.
  • Celebrate National Popcorn Day Jan. 19

    Free popcorn will be available in the Student Union Building HUB from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

  • Save the Date: University Spring SPAW


    3-4:30 p.m.
    Feb. 28
    Student Union Building Georgian Rooms

    President Sue Thomas will give an address at 3 p.m., followed by Mini Strategic Planning and Assessment Workshop (SPAW) session. Additional details will be provided within the next few weeks.
  • UCS to Host Mental Health Social


    University Counseling Services will host a Mental Health Social from 5-7 p.m. Jan. 26 in the McKinney Center. The goal of this social is to build and strengthen relationships with the student and campus community. Students, faculty and staff may come to UCS to interact with CFM employees in a more relaxed environment. This will allow them to talk to and get to know the therapists and supporting staff better, to gather information about UCS services and to enjoy free hot cocoa and cookies. Students have the opportunity to learn coping skills with arts and crafts activities as well.
  • Activities Fair Provides Opportunity for Involvement

    The Activities Fair will take place from 12-6 p.m. Feb. 1 in the Student Union Building. This event is an excellent opportunity for students to find organizations to join on campus. A full list of organizations can be found here. For more information contact Union & Involvement Services in the Student Union Building 2000, at 660.785.4222 or by email at orgs@truman.edu. Registration deadline for organizations who wish to participate is Jan. 25.

  • Yoga and Stretching Offered Every Friday

    Throughout the spring semester, people will be able to join Roberta Donahue, professor of health science, for Fresh Start Fridays. This TruSolutions initiative seeks to offer accessible yoga and stretching activities to promote a balanced culture of wellness and academic focus. The sessions will occur from 2:30-3:30 p.m. every Friday in Pickler Memorial Library 308. Participants are encouraged to bring their own yoga mat. A limited number of mats will be available for those without one. For questions, contact Donahue at rdonahue@truman.edu.

  • Residence Life Hiring Student Advisors


    Residence Life is looking for students who will create welcoming environments, develop connections with students and foster a learning-centered community to apply as student advisors for the 2023-2024 school year. Student advisors will have their room and meal fees fully covered.

    Anyone enrolled in classes, has lived on campus for at least one semester once employed and maintained a 2.75 GPA, is qualified to apply. The application is open now until Jan. 20. Visit reslife.truman.edu or email reslife@truman.edu for more information.
  • Summer Jobs Available Through Truman Academies


    Preceptors are needed for the following academies:

    Joseph Baldwin Academy (June 7 - July 1 and/or July 5 - 29)
    JBA Junior (July 16 - 21)
    ATSU-Truman Healthcare Academy (June 23 - 30)

    The Institute for Academic Outreach is seeking applications for each academy for programs ranging from one to three weeks during June and July. Stipends vary based in the length of the program and nature of the work.

    To be eligible as a preceptor, applicants must be a Truman student or a May 2023 graduate, have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and not have outside commitments while working for the program(s). Individuals hired for these programs will also be required to complete a criminal background check, pre-academy trainings and pre-academy orientations.

    “To me, the best thing about JBA is the connections you make,” said Holly Peters, former preceptor. “The lasting friendships and memories I’ve made over the years have truly been what keeps me coming back each year.”

    Applications are currently being accepted, interviews will take place in February. Information about each available position can be accessed at Institute for Academic Outreach Summer Employment or by emailing Michelle Wilson at mwwilson@truman.edu.
  • Environmental Committee Seeks Project Proposals


    The Environmental Sustainability Fee Accountability Committee is currently seeking proposals for improving sustainability and environmentalism on campus. Any member of the Truman community can propose a project idea to the committee for consideration. In the past they have funded projects such as updated compost equipment, bee houses, solar power for the University Farm and reusable water bottle fillers. Proposals can be completed using this form. The deadline for proposal submission is Jan. 31. Any questions can be emailed to dwa8863@truman.edu.
  • Sodexo Bonus Bucks are Available for Purchasing Jan. 23

    Jan. 23-Feb. 3 load $100 worth of bonus bucks and get $20 free. For more information call 660.785.4197.
  • Student Loans Available Through University Foundation


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

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

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

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

    For more information on the Foundation loan program, contact the Financial Aid Office at finaid@truman.edu, at 660.785.4130 or in person at McClain Hall 103.
  • Greater Kansas City Alumnae Panhellenic Offers Scholarships


    The Greater Kansas City Alumnae Panhellenic is offering scholarship opportunities to collegiate women who are attending academic institutions in Kansas or Missouri and who are graduates of a Greater Kansas City area high school. Other requirements include a minimum GPA or 3.2 and be a full-time rising/current senior or graduate student. Applicants will also need a recommendation from a university faculty member, administrator or employer. In April 2022, scholarships were awarded for a total of $10,000. Application deadline is Feb. 1. Applications are available online at kcpanhel.com.
  • Essay Contest Accepting Submissions


    All Truman students are eligible to enter an essay contest sponsored by The Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC) for a prize of $500.

    The COPLAC Board of Directors, in memory of the contributions of David J. Prior to the advancement of the consortium and to student success in the public liberal arts sector, are sponsoring the second annual student essay prize in his name.

    The David J. Prior COPLAC Award recognizes two senior-level undergraduates whose academic careers and future goals have been shaped by the transformative power of the liberal arts and sciences experience at a COPLAC institution. Each student’s reflective personal essay will highlight one or more of the following features of COPLAC’s student-centered approach to teaching: emphasis on active learning; ethical reasoning; interdisciplinary approaches to knowledge; community engagement; critical and reflective skills; and connections between liberal learning and informed, active citizenship. Essays should focus on the value of a public liberal arts education and avoid multiple references to the particular virtues of one’s home institution.  

    David Prior’s career-long commitment to superior undergraduate teaching, his desire as a consortium leader to make the outcomes of an education at our public liberal arts institutions widely recognized, and his deep concern that all students, regardless of financial circumstances, have equal access to a high-quality education anchored in the liberal arts and sciences, will be reflected in each of the prize-winning essays.

    All submissions should be sent via email attachment to bailey@coplac.com no later than March 1.
  • Learn About Graduate Programs at Info Session

    Information sessions about each graduate program will take place both virtually and on campus. 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).

    3 p.m.
    Feb. 2
    Zoom or Violette Hall 1000
    Register here.

    1 p.m.
    Feb. 3
    Register here.

    Data Science
    3:30 p.m.
    Feb. 6
    Zoom and in-person in Violette Hall 1300
    Register here.

    Disability Studies/Applied Behavior Analysis
    3:30 p.m.
    March 2
    Zoom or Violette Hall 1000
    Register here.

    Gifted Education
    3:30 p.m.
    March 30
    Register here.
  • Free Testing for Covid-19, RSV and Influenza

    Every Friday there will be free testing available for Covid-19, RSV and Influenza available on campus. A drive-through clinic will be sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services in the parking lot at the corner of S. First and W. Randolph streets from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Testing is provided free of charge and is open to all. For more information, contact the Adair County Health Department at 660.665.8491.


  • Kambli Elected to National Board, Included in Exhibition

    Priya Kambli, professor of art, has been nominated and elected to the National Board of Directors of the Society for Photographic Education. This is a four-year term and the board is a working board with no executive director.

    Kambli’s exhibition “Assembly 2022: Time and Attention” at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Arlington, Texas, was reviewed in the Washington Post. This exhibition features 12 contemporary artists from across the country for the museum’s national biennial.

    “Assembly,” the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington’s biennial exhibition program, highlights the material and conceptual trends being explored by contemporary artists in the present moment. The artists in “Assembly 2022: Time and Attention” demonstrate a deep commitment to process and craft, which is channeled through materials and into research. Through these carefully considered approaches, they are creating work that speaks to the present moment in ways that feel both urgent and timeless. In what feels like a moment of ongoing, even perpetual, crisis they bring this focused approach to issues that are fundamental to contemporary American life, including questions of identity, history, immigration, place and belonging.

    The artists included in “Assembly 2022: Time and Attention” were selected through a multi-step process. Curators from peer organizations across the country were invited to nominate two artists to be considered and, from the group of nominated artists, 12 were invited to participate in the exhibition by Blair Murphy, the museum’s curator of exhibitions.

    “Objects of Worship” (detail), 2022 by Priya Suresh Kambli.
  • Truman Alumni Successful in Ph.D. Completion

    In data released by the National Science Foundation last fall from a survey of earned doctorates, For the undergraduate institution of doctoral recipients, Truman came in No. 15 overall for master’s colleges and universities in the “2021 Top 20 by Carnegie Class.” This is an edited table that was included in the NSF’s report that shows the top 20 universities based on college size and degrees offered for 2021 doctoral degree earners.
    In the past 10 years, Truman alumni earned 247 Ph.D.s in the fields of agriculture, biology, chemistry, physics and astronomy, computer science, and mathematics and statistics. That places the University 11th overall for STEM Ph.D.s for master’s and smaller schools, third overall for master’s schools, and first for mid-sized Masters institutions. The second-ranked school for mid-sized master’s institutions had 156 Ph.D.s earned by their alumni.
    The NSF report can be found at ncses.nsf.gov/pubs/nsf23300. The full data can be accessed through the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics’ interactive data tool by searching “earned doctorates.”


Scholarship Opportunities

  • Greater Kansas City Alumnae Panhellenic Offers Scholarships


    The Greater Kansas City Alumnae Panhellenic is offering scholarship opportunities to collegiate women who are attending academic institutions in Kansas or Missouri and who are graduates of a Greater Kansas City area high school. Other requirements include a minimum GPA of 3.2 and be a full-time rising/current senior or graduate student. Applicants will also need a recommendation from a university faculty member, administrator or employer. In April 2022, scholarships were awarded for a total of $10,000. Application deadline is Feb. 1. Applications are available online at kcpanhel.com.