Vol. 28 No. 24 - March 4, 2024


  • Truman Adds Undergraduate Option to Data Science Program


    Truman’s data science program continues to grow following the addition of a bachelor of science option starting this fall.

    Last month, the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development approved Truman’s newest bachelor’s program. Students can now get an undergraduate degree in data science. Truman is among the first institutions in Missouri to offer a bachelor’s degree in this emerging career field.

    Simply put, data science focuses on making meaning from information. Program participants learn how to collect and analyze data, as well as gain knowledge of techniques to effectively communicate insights that can be used to solve problems through informed decision making. Nearly every industry utilizes data to some extent, from businesses trying to effectively manage inventory and purchasing decisions to streaming platforms suggesting what to watch next.

    “Everyone has tons of data and they don’t know what to do with it,” said Scott Alberts, chair of the Department of Statistics and Data Science. “This program focuses on making meaning from information, including use of tools such as distributed computing and machine learning. Those skills can be used in a wide array of career fields, making this a versatile and valuable degree.”

    Data science is a field that naturally fits with a liberal arts education. Practitioners draw heavily on critical thinking and problem-solving skills associated with the liberal arts. Currently, starting salaries for data scientists typically range from $70,000-80,000 per year.  

    The bachelor of science joins a growing stable of data science options at Truman. The University already offers an online master’s degree, as well as a 15-credit certificate program for working adults seeking to add skills to enhance their careers. Because Truman has been making strides in data science for years, the course infrastructure to support a full undergraduate program is already in place.

    Truman’s Bachelor of Science in data science degree includes a minor or second major as part of the program. Complementary fields of study are computer science, mathematics and statistics, but data science students can have a concentration in most fields, including biology, health sciences, psychology or business, among others.

    “The data science options at Truman have been designed to be ‘stackable’ so students can tailor them to best fit their needs,” said Hyun-Joo Kim, chair of the Department of Computer Science. “Every class gives you a new job skill.”

    Students can start working toward a Bachelor of Science degree in data science as early as this fall. More information about data science offerings through Truman can be found online or by contacting the Admissions Office at admissions@truman.edu or 660.785.4114.
  • SAB Presents Spring Comedian Gianmarco Soresi


    Stand-up comedian, actor and creator Gianmarco Soresi will perform at 7:30 p.m. March 22 in Baldwin Hall Auditorium.

    This New York based comedian is known for effortlessly commanding a room with his animated style, blending upbeat candor with dark comedic beats, which has garnered him critical acclaim from NPR, Esquire, The Atlantic, Buzzfeed, ABC News and many more. Soresi has performed stand-up on “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” Comedy Central, Don’t Tell, “The Real Housewives of New York” and was selected as a JFL New Face in 2022.

    Soresi can be seen in the new multi-comic standup series on Netflix, “Verified Standup.” He has also acted in Billy Crystal’s “Here Today,” Netflix’s “Bonding” “Hustlers,” “The Last OG” and is the host of the popular podcast “The Downside with Gianmarco Soresi.” Liam Nelson will perform as the opening act.

    This event is free to attend and no tickets are required. Doors will open at 7 p.m. No food or drinks are allowed. Large bags and purses will be checked at the entrance. No video recording allowed.
  • Accounting Program Helps Student Realize Childhood Dream

    Jackson Sefrit has known he wanted to be an accountant since he was in seventh grade.

    Although the long line of teachers and alumni in his family came to the University for its education program, Sefrit chose Truman in part because of how well the school prepares students for the CPA exam. He has passed one section of the test and will complete the others before starting the full-time job he already has lined up in St. Louis this fall.

    During his time at Truman, Sefrit has worked as a student ambassador and a GTRA for the accounting program. Through his involvement with Beta Alpha Psi he helps members of the Truman and Kirksville community prepare their taxes as part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

    Check out this installment of “The Spotlight Series” to hear more about Sefrit’s Truman experience.
  • Collaborative Competition Offers Prizes, Career Development


    Truman will host its first inter-college hackathon March 22-24.

    TruHacks is a collaborative initiative between Google Developer Student Clubs (GDSC) and Community of College Entrepreneurs (CCE). By bringing together coding enthusiasts and business entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds, TruHacks provides a platform for participants to collaborate, share ideas and innovate together. This encourages students to think creatively, problem solve and develop innovative solutions to real-world challenges.

    “The term hack symbolizes that students are trying to create a project to solve a particular problem, not using their skills for hacking into someone’s computer,” said Rahul Chaudhari, one of the students organizing TruHacks. “This event will showcase how Truman and other university students can work on a problem within just the given time frame.”

    This 48-hour-long hackathon is aimed at uniting coding enthusiasts and business entrepreneurs from various universities and high schools in a competition fostering innovation and collaboration. The main theme – the problem set of the event – gets released during the opening ceremony. Once the question is released, the students brainstorm and try to solve the issues at hand.

    “Participating in a hackathon like TruHacks offers hands-on, experiential learning opportunities that complement traditional classroom education,” Chaudhari said. “Students gain experience working on real-world projects, solving complex problems and applying theoretical knowledge in a practical setting. The competition also helps with entrepreneurial skills such as project management, team collaboration and presentations. These skills are valuable in various career paths and industries, including technology, business, engineering and more.”

    Students have the opportunity to participate individually or as a team with up to four members. The three different categories include: beginners, for high school juniors and seniors; developers; and business. For the beginners and developers categories, participants must submit a website or app designed to address the theme of the event. Those competing in the business category only need to submit a presentation along with their pitch. Winners will be recognized across each category with prizes including gift cards and electronics. Raffle prizes include gift cards from Kirksville businesses.

    With the exception of high school students competing in the beginner category, this event will take place in person at Baldwin Hall and McClain Hall. More information, including details on registration, can be found at truhacks.truman.edu. For questions or additional assistance, contact cce@truman.edu or gdsc@truman.edu. Students can also ask question on the website under the tab: Ask Your Question Here.
  • Entrepreneur Speaker Series Features Alumnus


    Marco Ilardi will speak at 12 p.m. April 25 in the Doug & Diane Villhard Innovation Lab located in the Pickler Memorial Library, as part of the TRU-Entrepreneur Speaker Series.

    Ilardi has been a managing partner at V2 Ventures for the past six years. He has officially funded, built and sold a total of eight companies in the digital publishing, advertising technology and marketing technology industries. Ilardi is renowned for nurturing enduring relationships and fostering innovative talent. His pivotal role in launching, growing and selling successful digital marketing companies showcases his visionary insight, unwavering dedication and passionate commitment to innovation.

    Proficient in digital strategy, mobile advertising, performance-based marketing, audience development and product development, Ilardi’s impressive background also includes being the former president at Adknowledge and senior vice president at FOX Interactive Media. His dedication to empowering entrepreneurs and driving innovation firmly establishes him as a prominent industry leader.
  • Donahue and Hayes Earn Academic Innovation Awards

    Elizabeth Naranjo Hayes and Roberta Donahue with Eric Freedman, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost.

    Elizabeth Naranjo Hayes, assistant professor of Spanish and French linguistics, and Roberta Donahue, professor of health science, were the fall 2023 winners of the Truman Academic Innovation Award.

    Hayes was recognized for service-learning with SPAN 455 interpretation and translation at Milan C-2 School District. Students applied translation and interpretation skills by adding Spanish captions to a Truman promotional video, translating important documents for Milan C-2 and interpreting for Spanish-speaking parents. They realized Spanish is not just a course but rather a skill that can be used to actively impact others in a positive way and make a real difference.

    Donahue received recognition for her World Polio Day initiative. Students in HLTH 405, Global Public Health, plan, implement and assess campus participation for World Polio Day, Oct. 24, in order to build a sense of connectedness with others fighting for health equity around the world. In 2023, students provided an educational presentation about polio eradication efforts in HLTH 270 Health Systems and Consumers, developed health communication materials and messages about polio, and raised money for polio vaccines.


  • TruSisters Host Arts and Crafts Night

  • Ofstad Series to Feature Award-winning Poet


    The Ofstad Reading Series will host scholar Julie L. Moore at 7 p.m. March 6 in Student Union Building Alumni Room.

    A Best of the Net and eight-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Moore is the author of four poetry collections, including “Full Worm Moon,” which won a 2018 Woodrow Hall Top Shelf Award and received honorable mention for the Conference on Christianity and Literature 2018 Book of the Year Award. Her other books include “Particular Scandals,” “Slipping Out of Bloom” and the chapbook “Election Day.” Moore has won the Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize from Ruminate Magazine, the Editor’s Choice Award from Writecorner Press and the Rosine Offen Memorial Award from the Free Lunch Arts Alliance.

    Moore’s poetry has appeared in hundreds of journals such as African American Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Image, Missouri Review Online, New Ohio Review, Poetry Daily, Prairie Schooner, The Southern Review, SWWIM and Verse Daily. Her poetry has also appeared in dozens of anthologies, including “Becoming: What Makes a Woman,” “Every River on Earth: Writing from Appalachian Ohio,” “How Higher Education Feels: Commentaries on Poems That Illuminate Emotions in Learning and Teaching,” “Taking Root in the Heart: Thirty-Four Poets from the Christian Century” and the forthcoming “Keystone: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania.” More information about her writing can be found here.

    Moore currently resides in Indiana and is a senior online advisor and instructor of first-year composition for Eastern University’s LifeFlex program.
  • Data Science Sponsors WiDS Watch Party

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  • Workshop Helps Students Become Substitute Teachers


    The Department of Education will host a workshop at 3:30 p.m. March 6 in Violette Hall 1010 to discuss how to become a substitute teacher and the benefits that come with it. At this workshop students will find out more about the critical need for substitute teachers and get hands-on assistance with the application process. It is open to students of all majors.
  • Student Research Conference Seeks Abstracts


    Both undergraduate and graduate students are invited to submit abstracts for the 2024 Student Research Conference that will take place April 18.

    Abstract submissions are welcome for oral, poster, performance art, studio art and asynchronous virtual presentations. Abstracts need to be sponsored by a Truman faculty or staff member. Students should work with their faculty mentor before submitting the abstract. Abstracts can be submitted until 5 p.m. March 20.

    Details for this year’s event are still in progress and the website will be updated as finalized. Complete abstract guidelines are posted on the Office of Student Research website. Inquiries about the Student Research Conference can be directed to the Office of Student Research at osr@truman.edu.
  • Alpha Sigma Gamma Hosts Fundraising Pageant


    Pageant nominees from Greek and non-Greek campus organizations will compete for the title of Mr. Alpha Sigma Gamma 2024 at the live pageant at 7 p.m. March 21 in Baldwin Hall Auditorium.

    Live pageant events include interview plus formal wear, talent and swimsuit. Nominees will also compete for the title of “best legs” through a virtual donation drive. All funds generated from this event will go directly to the MO Better Foundation to improve the lives of individuals with physical disabilities in Missouri. Tickets can either be purchased in advance online for $5 and or purchased at the door for $7.
  • Leadership Recognition Program Honors People, Orgs Making Contributions


    Nominations are currently being accepted for this year’s Leadership Recognition Program.

    The LRP is designed to honor Truman students, organizations and advisors for their dedication to their peers, organizations, campus and the Kirksville community through various leadership roles during the academic year.

    Submissions for the LRP are taken online only. A link to the nomination form can be found at involvement.truman.edu/leadership-recognition-program. Multiple nominations for individuals or organizations are welcome. Details about all of the awards can be found in the nomination packet available here. Nominations will close at 11:59 p.m. March 20.

    Questions about the LRP can be directed to the program coordinator at lrp@truman.edu or orgs@truman.edu. Union & Involvement services will host the Leadership Recognition Program ceremony April 23.
  • U&I Accepting Room Reservations for Fall Semester

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    Union & Involvement Services will open priority consideration lottery requests for the fall semester from 8 a.m. March 20 to 12 p.m. March 29.

    Recognized student organizations must be in good standing in order for requests to be processed. Any submissions received after 12 p.m. March 29 will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis once lottery requests have been processed. Once the forms are updated, they can be found here. Paper forms will not be accepted.

    Contact the Union & Involvement Services Office at union@truman.edu or 660.785.4222 for more information.
  • Residence Life Hiring for Summer Positions

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    Residence Life is currently hiring for on-campus summer positions.

    The summer reslife assistant (RA) role involves being a part of a small team led by a conference coordinator. The summer team will assist with on-campus camps and conferences by ensuring keys and other facilities needs are met and assisting with check-in and check-out processes. Reslife assistants will also help prepare the residence halls for fall opening.

    The RA position is a great opportunity for students to live on-campus during the summer, experience Kirksville activities that aren’t available during the school year and gain professional experience while helping administrate the residence halls.

    Those interested in applying can do so here by 11:59 p.m. March 18. Questions can be emailed to David Boughton, residence life coordinator.
  • MAE Professional Development Series Event Focuses on Building Teacher-Student Relationships

    The next event in the Professional Development Series will take place at 7 p.m. March 20 in Violette Hall 1304. This event will feature alumna Grace Johler as a guest speaker with hosts Paige Snyder, masters of arts in education graduate research assistant, and John Jones, Truman’s education department chair. This session will focus on building teacher-student relationships. RSVP here.

  • TRU-Biz Forum Welcomes Leadership Experts

    Mark Fellows, Matthew Bacon and Tyler Morgan

    The School of Business is hosting its third TRU-Biz Forum at 3:30 p.m. March 20 in Violette Hall 1000.

    The TRU-Biz Forum invites business leaders in a variety of fields to share their expertise and insights. The upcoming forum focuses on leadership-related topics with renowned experts in the area and will be moderated by students Alex Fellows and Stephanie Renasco Guzmann.

    All students, faculty, staff and community members are welcome for inspiration and learning. Networking will follow the forum.

    Mark Fellows (’94)
    Senior VP and Head of Lead Management for Consumer Lending Business Lines, US Bank

    Brig. Gen. Matthew Bacon
    Senior Manager in Engineering, Nestlé Purina PetCare Company
    Assistant Adjutant General, the Missouri National Guard

    Maj. Tyler Morgan
    Assistant Program Manager for Program Executive Office Soldier, U.S. Army
  • Big Event Registration Under Way

    Participants from 2023's Big Event gather for a photo before completing their respective jobs.

    The annual Big Event service project will take place from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. April 6.

    The Big Event allows students to display their gratitude to the Kirksville community for their continued support and contributions to the University by performing tasks such as raking leaves, trimming bushes, washing windows and painting. Larger scale community projects with area organizations are also part of the annual event.

    Students who would like to volunteer can sign up here. Members of the community who would like to request the services of student volunteers can do so here.

    For more information, contact the SERVE Center at trumanserve@gmail.com or 660.785.7222.
  • Women’s Resource Center Partners with Campus Orgs for Fundraiser


    The Women’s Resource Center is collaborating with TruSisters and Delta Sigma Theta for an awareness event and fundraiser in support of the V-Day Movement which is a global activist effort that seeks to protect and empower women and women’s rights.

    The fundraiser is a T-shirt sale that will run until International Women’s Day, March 8. The shirts are $20 each, however donations of any size can be made as well. All of the proceeds will be donated in support of MPACC House, a transition home for displaced women and children based in St. Louis.

    Those interested in supporting the cause can use this link to donate or place a T-shirt order. After the order window closes, shirts will be shipped and made available for pick-up on campus unless a different delivery method is picked.
  • Literary Magazine Accepting Submissions

    Truman’s literary magazine, Windfall, is accepting submissions of poetry, prose and art from currently enrolled students. Submissions should be sent to windfallmagazine@gmail.com.

  • Writing Center Positions Now Available

    The Writing Center is hiring writing consultants for scholarship and work-study. Limited institutional hours are also available. Students with academic writing knowledge, interpersonal communication skills and motivation to help people help themselves are encouraged to apply. Application deadline is May 1. Any questions can be directed to write@truman.edu.

  • Applications Available for Summer Museums and Archives Internships


    Applications are now being accepted for summer internships at the following locations in Missouri:

    •    Columbia: State Historical Society of Missouri
    •    Jefferson City: Missouri State Archives
    •    Kansas City: Harry Truman Presidential Library, National World War I Museum
    •    St. Joseph: St. Joseph Museums
    •    St. Louis: Campbell House Museum, Missouri History Museum, Mercantile Library
    •    Springfield: MSU Special Collections and Archive

    The summer internships are open to all Truman students, but they are especially relevant for those considering careers in archives, museums and teaching. For more information email Jason McDonald, assistant professor of history, at jasonmcd@truman.edu.
  • Financial Aid Office Ready to Assist Students with New FAFSA Guidelines


    In the wake of massive changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) this year, Truman’s Financial Aid Office is available to help students navigate the process and receive the maximum amount of support.

    All students in need of financial assistance are encouraged to complete the FAFSA. Federal Student Aid is the largest provider of financial aid for college students in the United States. 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 2024-25 FAFSA will use 2022 tax year information with a priority deadline of April 1, 2024 for Missouri residents. It is strongly recommended to apply or renew before April 1 Details about the FAFSA can be found online at studentaid.gov.

    Truman’s Financial Aid Office is currently working on details of when aid offers will be available for new incoming students as well as current students. This year it will most likely be later this spring.

    For families that would like support to file their FAFSAs, the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development will host a FAFSA Frenzy event from 5-7 p.m. March 12 at the Kirksville Jobs Center located at 2105 E. Normal Ave. For information about other FAFSA Frenzy events throughout the state, click here.

    For more information, contact the Financial Aid Office at 660.785.4130 or finaid@truman.edu. The Financial Aid Office website also has a variety of helpful resources for students and their families.


  • Brammall Spotlighted by AHA

    Kathryn Brammall, chair and professor of history, was recently the subject of an AHA Member Spotlight by Perspectives on History, the newsmagazine of the American Historical Association. The question-and-answer piece can be found online here.

  • Krebs Serves as Guest Artist for Clarinet Day


    Jesse Krebs, professor of music, recently served as the guest artist for Northwestern State University’s 2024 Clarinet Day in Natchitoches, Louisiana, Feb. 24. He performed a recital that included Carl Maria von Weber’s “Grand Duo Concertant,” Amanda Harberg’s “Sonata” and Bela Kovacs’s “After You Mr. Gershwin!” He also taught a masterclass working with five NSU clarinet students.
  • Truman Acknowledged for Affordability

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    Truman has earned a top 10 ranking from the college search website College Consensus.

    On the list of “Top 10 Best Value Colleges for 2024” Truman came in at No. 10 and was the only Missouri school to be recognized. To calculate its lists, the site combines the results of the most respected college ranking systems along with the averaged ratings of thousands of real student reviews.

    In its summary for Truman, the site praised its “affordable in-state tuition, along with various merit-based scholarships and financial aid options,” as well as its “reputation for academic excellence, vibrant campus life and a supportive learning environment.”

Scholarship Opportunities

  • Foundation Scholarship Applications Available Now

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    Students have until March 18 to apply for any of the nearly 600 Truman State University Foundation scholarships available for the fall 2024 semester. 

    To apply for a Foundation scholarship, log in to TruView, go to the Student Tab, Scholarships, Financial Aid & Loans then Foundation Scholarship Application. Students can submit and revise their application online at any time prior to the deadline of March 18. Recipients must be enrolled full-time during the term of the scholarship to receive the full amount.

    When starting the online application process, students will automatically be considered for all Foundation scholarships for which they qualify. While some scholarships are limited by major, many general awards exist.

    These scholarships are available thanks to the private gifts of alumni and friends of the University.
  • Purdy Scholarship Seeks Campus Leaders

    The Missouri Scholarship and Loan Foundation will offer the Purdy Emerging Leaders Scholarship, named in honor of Allan Walker Purdy. Born in 1914 on a farm near Macon, Purdy 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.

    This program supports candidates who demonstrate leadership, character and academic performance. It is open to students who started higher education right after high school, as well as adult learners who are now pursuing or returning to complete a degree. Additionally, these students have a vision, are eager to make their contribution to the world and have the work ethic to bring their dreams to fruition.

    The scholarship application period runs through April 15. More information, including details on how to apply, can be found here. The scholarship amount can vary based on an applicant’s circumstances. The general range will be $2,000-$5,000 based on expected family contribution (EFC), unmet need and other factors.

    Applicants must: be a Missouri resident; be an undergraduate second-, third- or fourth-year student for the 2024-25 academic year; enrolled full-time and making satisfactory academic progress; and have a cumulative college GPA of 2.5 or higher. Recommendation from an instructor, counselor, advisor, current or recent supervisor, community leader or other similarly qualified individual is required.