Vol. 28 No. 1 - August 21, 2023


  • Packed Lyceum Series Provides Cultural Opportunities


    This year’s Kohlenberg Lyceum Series will bring a full slate of free in-person events to campus.

    One of the University’s oldest traditions, the Kohlenberg Lyceum Series provides a unique opportunity to broaden the cultural experience for students and the community by bringing speakers, dance troupes, musicians and other performers from all parts of the world to the Truman campus.

    Soul-inspired roots rock band The Mighty Pines will kick off the series, Sept. 9. The St. Louis-based group is known for creating vast musical landscapes with layered harmonies and thoughtfully crafted instrumentation. The performance will be a homecoming for alumni bandmembers Neil Salsich (’11), John Hussung (’11) and Gerard Erker (’09). Salsich was recently featured on season 23 of NBC’s “The Voice.”

    Beatlemania will return to Baldwin Auditorium Oct. 6 with a performance by Liverpool Legends. Members of this internationally acclaimed Beatles tribute band were handpicked by Louise Harrison, sister of the late George Harrison. Liverpool Legends have performed around the world, playing sold out shows in Mexico, India, Israel, Ecuador and England, and at historic venues including the Rose Bowl and Carnegie Hall. They have their own theater in Branson, Missouri, where they perform throughout the year. Spanning hits from the entire Beatles catalog, this performance will also include the return of alumnus David Tanner (’95) who portrays Paul McCartney.

    This season’s schedule includes two installments of the popular “Films and Finger Foods” events incorporated into the series last year. The classic Vincent Price horror film “House on Haunted Hill” will be screened Oct. 28 in the Del and Norma Robison Planetarium. Price performed at Truman more than any other university in the country, and he established the Vincent Price Theatrical Performance Scholarship, a legacy that continues to support Truman students today. A second “Films and Finger Foods” event is scheduled May 4 for a movie to be announced.

    Dancers from the St. Louis Ballet will take to the stage Dec. 2 to perform selections from the holiday classic “The Nutcracker.” With choreography by Gen Horiuchi and music by Tchaikovsky, “The Nutcracker” features company dancers, professional character actors and students from the school of the St. Louis Ballet.

    In partnership with the Black History 101 Mobile Museum, the series will host a lecture by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recording artist Professor Griff in February at a date to be determined. As a co-founding member of the revolutionary hip hop group Public Enemy, Griff draws on his exemplary life of service and an impressive 20-plus-year musical career to captivate audiences with his universal call for social responsibility within both the hip hop community and larger culture.

    The Grammy Award-winning Kansas City Chorale will perform March 5. For more than 40 years, the Chorale has provided audiences with a high caliber of choral artistry, performing a diverse repertoire of new and traditional music. Under the leadership of conductor Charles Bruffy, the choir has earned international recognition for artistic merit and been praised for its refined sound, phrasing and flawless intonation. Alumni Frank Fleschner (’05) and Daniel Hansen (’13, ’15) are current members of the Chorale and slated to return for the performance.

    All performances will take place at 7 p.m. in Baldwin Hall Auditorium unless otherwise specified. Tickets are available two weeks prior to each event and can be picked up on campus in the Union & Involvement Office in the Student Union Building, the Advancement Office in McClain Hall 205 or the Admissions Office in the Ruth W. Towne Museum and Visitors Center. Tickets are also available downtown at the Kirksville Arts Association.

    This season all Kohlenberg Lyceum Series events are provided free of charge thanks to the generous support of local sponsors, the Friends of the Lyceum program and the Truman State University Foundation. Friends of the Lyceum receive exclusive benefits including reserved seating, special parking and a commemorative gift of the season based on the level of their donation.

    For more information, visit lyceum.truman.edu or call 660.785.4133.
  • New Innovation Lab Offers Dedicated Space for Academic and Creative Projects

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    A unique campus resource will make its debut with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2 p.m. Aug. 30 in Pickler Memorial Library.

    The Doug and Diane Villhard Innovation Lab is a dedicated space created to help all members of campus reach their academic goals, explore creative pursuits and work on passion projects.

    Located in the northeast corner on the first floor of the library, this newly renovated space features: flexible furniture that can be reconfigured for groups of various sizes; collaborative writing surfaces; and networked computers with creative software. A design lab in the space will provide hands-on experiences in problem solving and critical thinking, which current and prospective students will find essential for class projects and in future work environments. The design lab will include a Lego wall and offer materials that can be easily disassembled, altered, expanded or even recycled with minimal expense and effort.

    Another section of the lab will house a multimedia studio. This space will provide assistance and resources for students who want to take innovative projects to the next level. It will also be used for training to equip students to use a variety of advanced technologies and digital resources. The ability to produce podcasts will be a feature of the lab, and video conferencing equipment will allow students an opportunity to connect and collaborate with remote partners.  

    The naming of this lab was funded through a generous six-figure gift from alumni Doug (’94) and Diane (’95) Villhard. The Villhards have a long history of supporting entrepreneurship and innovation at Truman. For the past eight years they have supported a variety of efforts, including the annual Bulldog B.I.T.E. Pitch competition.

    As a campus-wide resource the space will allow the University to successfully facilitate collaboration and cross-disciplinary learning. It also will create a pathway for instructors, from all disciplines, to direct class efforts to these spaces and conduct information/exploration sessions.

    All members of the Truman community are invited to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which will be followed by a reception and opportunity for attendees to visit interactive stations in the lab.
  • Multiple Outlets Include Truman Among Best Colleges

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    As the new school year begins, Truman has been acknowledged as one of the best colleges in the country according to two different outlets.

    Money included Truman on its “Best Colleges in America 2023” list. Truman earned 4.5 of a possible 5 stars in Money’s rating system, which was calculated by factoring quality of education (30%), affordability (40%) and outcomes (30%).

    After initially evaluating more than 2,400 institutions, Money narrowed the list to 736. To make the cut colleges had to: have at least 500 undergraduate students; have sufficient, reliable data to be analyzed; not be in financial distress; and have a graduation rate that was at or above the median for its institutional category (public, private or historically black college or university), or have a high “value-added” graduation rate (a score in the top 25% of graduation rates after accounting for the student body). Schools that met the requirements were ranked on 26 factors in the three categories of quality, affordability and outcomes.

    Truman was one of five Missouri public four-year colleges included on the list. Compared to its Show-Me-State peers, Truman had the lowest estimated full price for the 2023-24 school year, as well as the highest graduation rate.   

    Truman also earned nods on two popular rankings available on money.com/best-colleges. The University comes up on the list of “Best Public Colleges,” described as nationally competitive public colleges that provide an excellent value for in-state students. Truman also comes up on the list of “Best in the Midwest.”

    Another familiar outlet to highlight Truman is the Princeton Review with its recent publication of “The Best 389 Colleges: 2024 Edition.”

    Unlike college rankings that focus exclusively on academics, and that are derived solely from institutional data and college administrator “peer” reviews, The Princeton Review rankings, tallied in multiple categories, are derived from student reports of their experiences. Schools in this book comprise 15% of America’s four-year colleges and universities. The profiles have information on admission and aid application requirements, enrollment, acceptance rates and student body demographics.
  • Sigma Delta Pi Receives Awards at Conference in Spain


    Truman’s Rho Rho Chapter of Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, was named an “Honor Chapter” for its outstanding activities in 2022-23 at the 105th Conference of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP), in Salamanca, Spain.

    Truman has earned this distinction for 30 consecutive years which represents the longest continuous “Honor Chapter”-run in the 104-year-history of Sigma Delta Pi. The first award was received in 1993 under co-advisers Lucy Lee and Michael Buzan.

    Each summer, the 634 chapters of Sigma Delta Pi nationwide are asked to submit an annual report detailing their numerous activities and projects from the academic year. Based on these reports, the National Executive Committee chooses approximately 10-15 “Honor Chapters” annually. This recognition is based upon the caliber of chapter projects that reflect the Sigma Delta Pi mission of honoring excellence in the study of the Spanish language, contributing to cultural understanding and upholding the goals of the society.

    Truman’s chapter was also awarded the national Ignacio and Sophie Galbis Award as outstanding chapter of the year. Stacy Davis, Truman’s SDP chapter advisor, and Amanda Smith (’23), SDP’s former president and recent Truman graduate, had the opportunity to be at the conference to accept the award.

    While at the conference, Davis and Smith attended numerous research sessions and learned multiple ways to enhance Truman’s chapter of Sigma Delta Pi for future years. While in Spain, Davis was awarded a travel grant from the Spanish government, and Smith won the prestigious Gabriela Mistral award from SDP.

    Smith also presented about the chapter’s best practices in front of numerous college students and professors from various parts of the world. During this presentation, Smith focused on Rho Rho’s cultural presentations, chapter events, community participation, fundraising and social media usage. She served as the president of the Rho Rho chapter during the 2022-2023 academic year and was originally selected to present at this conference in October 2022. She was one of only five students from around the country who was selected to present on behalf of SDP.
  • Chinese Program Welcomes Fulbright Grantee


    Truman’s Chinese program is excited to welcome this year’s Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) grantee, Hui-Chiao Wang, as a new instructor for the 2023-2024 academic year.

    As an experienced language educator from Taiwan, Wang is passionate about teaching the Chinese language and dedicated to promoting Chinese culture. She possesses a unique perspective and deep cultural understanding, which she aims to utilize in fostering cross-cultural connections. Her rich experience in language education will enhance students’ learning journeys, allowing them to develop a profound appreciation for the Chinese language and culture.
    Apart from teaching, Wang has plans to organize various Chinese cultural activities that will be open to all interested students on campus. Among these activities, students can look forward to exploring the flavors of Taiwan’s renowned bubble tea, immersing themselves in the joyous celebrations of Chinese traditional festivals and discovering the art of Chinese music and calligraphy. These culturally enriching experiences will not only broaden students’ horizons but also foster a sense of unity and mutual understanding among learners from diverse backgrounds.

    Wang’s dedication to promoting cultural exchange will undoubtedly create an inclusive and dynamic space within the program.
  • Barnes and Batzer Receive Academic Innovation Awards

    Michael Barnes and Ben Batzer with Eric Freedman, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost

    Michael Barnes, associate professor of accounting and graduate program director, and Ben Batzer, assistant professor of English education, each earned the spring 2023 Academic Innovation Award.

    Barnes was recognized for using structured group assignments as an alternative approach to traditional group work. In addition to providing clearer individual performance expectations, structured group assignments delegate group performance roles to facilitate better coordination and communication.

    Batzer was recognized for “The Truman State Stories,” which invites students to write a journalistic profile. They study model essays from national newspapers and magazines, interview someone from the Truman community, write their own feature article, and then work in teams to edit, compile, digitize and publish a class anthology of their work.
  • Buildings on Campus Celebrate 100 Years

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    Ophelia Parrish Building

    As the semester begins, Kirk Building and the Ophelia Parrish Building will commemorate their 100th anniversaries.

    The Ophelia Parrish Building was originally constructed in 1923 with major expansions in 1939 and 2002. The building’s namesake was the first faculty appointment made by University president John R. Kirk when he named Parrish supervisor of the demonstration school. This was an elementary school operated on campus by the faculty as a practice school for its student teachers. In 1903, when the decision was made to consolidate all the departmental libraries into one central college library, the Board of Regents selected Parrish as the first full-time librarian and gave her the assignment of organizing the new facility. Parrish passed away in 1915, and when a new model school was built in 1923 it was named in her honor.

    Today, the Ophelia Parrish Building is Truman’s cultural hub, serving as the home of the art, music and theatre programs. One of the oldest edifices on campus, it has served a few distinct roles for the University since its construction, and it continues to honor Parrish more than a century after her passing.

    Kirk Building, one of the school’s most historic buildings, is named in tribute to John R. Kirk, the second-longest tenured president in University history. An alumnus of the University, Kirk became the school’s fifth president in 1899. Throughout the next 26 years, Kirk expanded programs and led the movement to change the school’s status from a normal school to a full-fledged teacher’s college.

    Originally built in 1923, Kirk Building was renamed in his honor in 1959. For generations of alumni, it is remembered as the social center of campus since it was the site of games, assemblies and events.

    With financial assistance from the state of Missouri, Kirk is being renovated to house a new Student Success Center. The center will employ a collaborative service model in which individual student service departments do not simply co-locate and deliver their services nearby to one another; but rather, work in coordination to meet students’ needs from entry to exit. The Student Success Center will be comprised of: the Career Center; Tutoring Services; the Student Health Center; Counseling Services; Student Access and Disability Services; the Center for Academic Excellence; the Communication Lab; and the Writing Center.


  • Truman Week Activities Continue


    Aug. 22
    Welcome Back Donuts
    7:45-8:45 a.m.
    Barnett Hall, McClain Hall and Pershing Building

    Aug. 23
    Popsicles by the Fountain
    11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

    Aug. 24
    Welcome Back Snacks in Academic Buildings
    10-11 a.m.

    Aug. 25
    National Banana Split Day
    12:45-4:15 p.m.
    HUB in the Student Union Building
    Free banana splits.
  • Activities Fair Provides Opportunity for Involvement

    The Activities Fair will take place from 12-5 p.m. Aug. 30 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.

  • Bike Sale Scheduled for Aug. 31


    Truman will host a bicycle sale at 9 a.m. Aug. 31 at the Military Storage Building on Florence Street, across from the tennis courts.

    The bikes will be sold to faculty, staff and students. A Truman ID must be presented to register for a buyer number. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. Buyers will be limited to purchase one bike per person. There are approximately 31 bikes for sale and one razor scooter.

    Bikes will be sold for $20 (includes tax). Payment must be made by cash or check at the sale site. Bikes will be sold “as is” with no guarantees, refunds or liability from Truman.
  • Downtown New Student Welcome Set for Sept. 10

    All new Truman students are invited downtown for a Kirksville welcome, 5-7 p.m. Sept. 10. Businesses, churches and organizations will have tables set up with items for students presenting a Truman ID.

  • Sodexo Bonus Bucks are Available for Purchase

    Bonus bucks will be available to purchase Aug. 21-31. 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.
  • Fraternity and Sorority Sign-up Now Open


    Sign-up for Truman’s Fraternity and Sorority Life Recruitment is open now through the first week of September.

    Sorority recruitment will be Sept. 5-11 and fraternity recruitment will be Sept. 7-15. Recruitment sign-up can be found here. Fraternity and Sorority Life will host an interest bbq at 5 p.m. Aug. 27 on the quad. The rain site will be the Student Union Building Georgian Rooms. Questions regarding recruitment can be emailed to fsl@truman.edu. More information can also be found by following @trumanfsl on Instagram.

    Those interested in joining a National Pan-Hellenic Council organization can attend an info night at 3 p.m. Aug. 27 in Baldwin 114 to learn more about the chapters and opportunities to join.

    The Fraternity and Sorority Life community makes up approximately 20% of the student body. In the 2022-2023 school year, FSL organizations raised more than $93,000 for philanthropic groups both in the Kirksville community as well as nationwide. The past few years, the Fraternity and Sorority Life community has had a higher overall-cumulative GPA than the general Truman community. Additionally, FSL organizations performed a combined 8,000 hours of service through events such as highway cleanups, The Big Event and more.
  • Esports Hosts Open Tryouts


    The Truman esports program is hosting open tryouts Aug. 26-27. Current competitive game titles are “Rocket League,” “League of Legends” and “Super Smash Bros.” Information on location and specific times for tryouts will be provided to those who sign up here.

    The esports program is looking to build off a successful first year of competition in the 2022-2023 academic year, where they secured three national divisional championships.
  • Yoga and Stretching Offered Every Friday

    Throughout the fall semester, members of the Truman community 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 9:30-10:30 a.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.

  • Pop-Up Pantry Provides Food Packs for Students


    The Truman Food Pantry, in conjunction with the Pantry for Adair County, will host pop-up pantry events from 1-4 p.m. Sept. 14, Oct. 5, Nov. 9 and Dec. 7 in the Student Union Building Down Under. Students are encouraged to check out the food available, as well as select personal hygiene items, at no cost.

    There are no income eligibility requirements for use. The food pantry is organized based on consumer choice and allows students to make their own pack or have one prepared for pick up. The Truman Food Pantry is available to all Truman students.
  • Promote Events with Campus Resources


    Campus organizations sponsoring on-campus events are encouraged to submit information to the Truman Today as well as the master calendar. The Truman Today is emailed to all students, faculty, staff and some off-campus subscribers, making it an excellent tool to publicize an event. The majority of the content in the Truman Today is also utilized on social media platforms and is likely to be shared with others. Various content and events from the Truman Today will also be posted on TruView. Truman Today submissions can be emailed to pr@truman.edu or by filling out the submission form found here.

    The Truman Publications Office can also assist in the creation of posters or fliers to help promote campus events. Publications request for a work order can be found here.

    For all other questions, email pr@truman.edu.
  • Upward Bound Hiring for Fall


    Truman’s Upward Bound program is currently accepting applications for fall employment.

    Upward Bound is a grant-funded college preparation program for income-eligible area students that hires Truman students to assist high school juniors and seniors with tutoring, workshops and the overall college application processes.  

    Students are compensated for all hours spent training, preparing, traveling and working with students. This position is good experience for those interested in education, social work or related fields.

    Positions require regular weekly availability, one to three days per week between 2:30-6:45 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Applicants must be juniors, seniors or graduate students. Applications are available online and review of applications begins immediately.
  • ITS Offers Extended Schedule for Virtual Office Hours

    The Learning Technologies and Instructional Design team will host extended virtual office hours from 2-3 p.m. Mondays, 10-11 a.m. Tuesdays, 3-4 p.m. Wednesdays, 1:30-2:30 p.m. Thursdays and 9-10 a.m. and 4-5 p.m. Fridays through the end of August. These will not be workshops, but open time to drop in and ask targeted questions about specific items such as Brightspace or content layout.
  • Class Offers Employees Insight into How Truman Functions


    This fall, interested faculty and staff members can take “Truman 101: How Truman Functions” free of charge in order to help develop a greater understanding and shared knowledge of how the University operates as a liberal arts and sciences institution in Missouri.

    While every person at Truman plays an important role in achieving Truman’s mission, it is not uncommon for individuals to have little knowledge about how their work fits within the broader University framework and how the University, both as individual units and as a whole, functions.  Having this foundational knowledge can support individuals in achieving their personal goals at Truman while also strengthening the University’s pursuit of its mission.

    In this course, students will learn about: the state of public higher education in Missouri and the impact on Truman; Truman’s organizational structure and associated operations; essential functions of the University; and how Truman is greater than the sum of its parts.

    To register: log in to TruView; in the search bar, type “Employee Training”; click on “Employee Training & Compliance”; click on the second bullet, “Register for Faculty/Staff courses.”

    Class will meet in person at 10:30 a.m. Thursdays in McClain Hall. A complete schedule can be found below.

    Week 1, Aug. 24
    Truman is All of Us and None of Us
    Sue Thomas

    Week 2, Aug. 31

    Enrollment Management (Recruitment, Retention, Funnel, Enrollment Cliff)
    Tyana Lange
    Week 3, Sept. 7
    Budgets & Appropriations (Education & General vs. Auxiliary)
    Dave Rector

    Week 4, Sept. 14
    Academic Affairs
    Eric Freedman

    Week 5, Sept. 21

    Advancement: Fundraising & Alumni Relations
    Ernie Hughes

    Week 6, Sept. 28
    ITS: Systems and Software
    Donna Liss

    Week 7, Oct. 5
    Dave Rector

    Week 8, Oct. 12
    Mid-Term Break        

    Week 9, Oct. 19
    Student Engagement & Marketing
    Tyana Lange

    Week 10, Oct. 26
    Shared Governance
    Kathryn Brammall, Kerrion Dean, Colleen O’Reilly, Sue Thomas

    Week 11, Nov. 2
    Employee Types and Workloads & Higher Education Law
    Melissa Garzanelli, Amy Clendennen

    Week 12, Nov. 9
    Data Access and Availability, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) & Clearinghouse          
    Nancy Asher, Jonathan Vieker

    Week 13, Nov. 16
    Emergency Procedures & Clery Act
    Sara Seifert

    Week 14, Nov. 23

    Thanksgiving Break  

    Week 15, Nov. 30
    Academic Organization
    Eric Freedman, Kevin Minch

    Week 16, Dec. 7
    So That’s How It Works!
    Sue Thomas

    Finals Week, Dec. 14
    Sue Thomas and Guests
  • Baldwin-McClain Bridge Update

    Replacement of the bridge between Baldwin and McClain halls began this summer. While the project was scheduled for completion before the school year started, a lack of availability for new steel beams has led to a delay. Final completion is expected sometime this fall when the appropriate materials can be delivered and installed.


  • Hirsch Attends Symposium

    Jerrold Hirsch, professor emeritus of history, was a speaker and panelist at the symposium, “Rewriting America: Reconsidering the Federal Writers’ Project 80 Years Later,” which took place June 16 at the Library of Congress in Washington, D. C.

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  • Ling Book Released

    Huping Ling, professor emerita of history, recently had her new book, “Asian American History,” released by Rutgers University Press.

    “Asian American History” places Asian immigration to America in international and domestic contexts, and explores the significant elements that define Asian America. It also presents the myriad and poignant stories of a diverse body of Asian Americans, from illiterate immigrants to influential individuals, within a broad and comparative framework, offering microscopic narratives as well as macroscopic analysis and overviews.

    It is an updated and easily accessible textbook for high school and college students, as well as anyone who is interested in Asian American history.

  • Sendón Publishes Article

    Óscar Sendón, associate professor of Spanish, recently had his article “Las vidas de Alonso de Contreras: la forja del arquetipo del soldado español del Siglo de Oro” published in the Bulletin of Hispanic Studies. The article explores different approaches and interpretations regarding the life of Captain Alonso de Contreras active during the Early Modern period.

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