Vol. 28 No. 31 - April 29, 2024


  • Forensics Earns Multiple Awards at Nationals


    Truman forensics team earned multiple awards at the National Forensic Association national speech and debate tournament at Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, April 18-22.

    Out of 61 teams competing at the tournament, the individual events team placed third in President’s Division II sweepstakes for medium-sized entries and earned an overall 14th place finish in open speech sweepstakes. The debate team placed fifth. This was the team’s best combined showing in debate and individual events at nationals since 2004.

    Senior political science and international relations majors Alicia Stout and Elijah Baum placed among the top 16 debaters in Lincoln-Douglas debate, breaking into the octafinal round. Out of a total of 91 debate competitors at the tournament, Stout was eighth speaker and Baum was the 20th place speaker, highlighting both of their strong, in-round argumentation and delivery against opponents.

    Speech team members made it to various out rounds at the tournament. Senior political science and international relations major Ella Schnake made it to the semifinal rounds (top 12) in extemporaneous speaking, impromptu speaking and duo interpretation with sophomore chemistry major Briggs Maynor. Schnake cleared all seven of her entries to elimination rounds making her the first student to accomplish this in all of Truman forensics’ history.

    Quarterfinals denoted the top 24 competitors in speech events. Schnake made it to quarterfinals in dramatic interpretation and rhetorical criticism. Sophomore criminal justice and social issue advocacy major Alexis Peterson was in quarterfinals for rhetorical criticism, impromptu speaking and persuasive speaking.

    Octafinalists encompassed the top 48 speakers in an event. Senior interdisciplinary major and pre-MAE student Jillian Humke was an octafinalist in duo interpretation with Schnake. Schnake was also in an octafinal for prose interpretation and Peterson was in octafinals for both after-dinner speaking and informative speaking.

    Sophomore communication major Aiden Breesawitz was elected by the student body as the 2024-2025 NFA-LD Representative. Breesawitz will work alongside the other national student representatives next year to make the activity more inclusive and equitable.

    “The team has really had a tremendous year, beginning with our early successes in the fall with qualifying all the debaters for nationals by mid-October, continuing with our win in individual events sweeps at our state tournament in February,” said Ben Davis, director of forensics and professor of communication. “Seeing students have so many successes at nationals this past weekend makes all the hard work and time we put into this activity worthwhile. I’m glad these students are being seen and heard and learning that their voice matters.”

    The forensics team meets weekly in Barnett Hall during the school year to prepare for local, regional and national tournaments. The team’s competitive season ends with NFA, but starts again in the fall with a pre-semester workshop for returning and incoming team members. Anyone interested in joining the team can contact Davis at bdavis@truman.edu.
  • Truman Team Wins Major Award in DataFest Competition

    (Pictured left to right) Dane Winterboer, Severin Hussey, Nathan Bresette and Evan AuBuchon attend the American Statistical Association DataFest.

    Statistics and data science students won the top award in the American Statistical Association DataFest, April 5-6.

    DataFest is a nationwide competition for undergraduates with the goal of analyzing a big data set provided by a corporate or non-profit sponsor. It provides students with an opportunity to learn valuable skills that can help prepare them for the job market.

    Truman participated in the ASA DataFest Mid-Mo competition, hosted by the University of Missouri-Columbia, and was represented by team “GIF” or .gif. Out of 20 teams from four universities, Truman’s team won the top award, best in show.

    At the competition, students received a large dataset and were given less than 24 hours to create a video that tells a story from the data, complete with statistical analysis and interesting visualizations. Teams were asked to explore student success using data collected from online psychology textbooks and quiz tools. Students were given six tables of data, totaling more than two million rows of data across 100 total variables. The completed videos were reviewed by a panel of real-world experts who selected winners in several categories.
    The team included: Evan AuBuchon, junior statistics major; Nathan Bresette, junior statistics major; Severin Hussey, sophomore statistics major; and Dane Winterboer, junior statistics major.

    In addition to gift cards and other prizes, students were awarded student membership in the American Statistical Association.
  • Quiz Bowl Attends National Competition

    Fred Garvey (left) and Donal Ryan compete at Duke University for the Academic Competition Federation Nationals.

    Truman's quiz bowl team attended the Academic Competition Federation Nationals at Duke University in North Carolina, April 20-21.

    This is the first time the team has qualified for nationals in more than 10 years. The quiz bowl team disbanded sometime after COVID, but was revived last year and has since attended several tournaments. This year’s team was comprised of: junior Donal Ryan, environmental science major with museum studies minor; junior Fred Garvey, math major; and freshman AJ Adwell, biology major. Ryan and Garvey were the only two that attended nationals. Aside from nationals, the team aims to attend two competitions in the fall and three in the spring.

    “We had some good games this year that ended with victories, but we also had our fair share of losses as some of these teams are pretty tough,” said Ryan. “Despite the losses I do say 'good buzz' or 'nice' when opponents get stuff that is impressive. Something I enjoy is that many teams also do the same for us. Most teams are friendly, and that is one of the reasons I enjoy playing.”

    Most quiz bowl tournaments are comprised of 20 tossups and bonuses each game. A tossup is a longer question. Bonuses are available to whomever gets the tossup and are collaborative, unlike the tossup. The bonus has three parts, each worth 10 points. The standard length for a tournament is 10 games. National’s tournaments are usually longer with ACF nationals having a guaranteed 17 games in a span of two days.

    “I think quiz bowl is beneficial because it encourages learning,” said Ryan. “Many topics come up from things learned in class, but I also gain knowledge from other quiz bowl questions I have read in the past and stuff I have looked into on my own time. It feels pretty good to get a question on something I have researched or read about.”

    Students interested in joining quiz bowl or learning more about it can contact Ryan at dpr7246@truman.edu.
  • Alumna to Provide Commencement Address


    Alumna Kia Noelle Johnson will be the commencement speaker during graduation ceremonies, May 11.

    Johnson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is director of the Atlanta satellite of The University of Texas at Austin's Arthur M. Blank Center for Stuttering Education and Research, a clinical research institute with the mission to change the world for people who stutter.

    Johnson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in communication disorders from Truman in 2000. She went on to earn a Master of Science degree in speech-language pathology from Howard University and a Ph.D. in hearing and speech sciences from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

    A certified speech-language pathologist through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), Johnson is an expert in developmental stuttering with a focus on culturally and linguistically diverse individuals and communities. Aside from teaching undergraduate and graduate courses at various universities, she conducts and presents her peer-reviewed research at local, national and international conferences and has first-authored and co-authored many scholarly publications.

    Johnson has served the professions of audiology and speech-language pathology through volunteer roles as a member of the ASHA board of directors and past national advisor to the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association. She currently serves as the immediate past chair of the National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing board of directors and is a member of the ASHA Board of Ethics.

    Throughout her career, Johnson has mentored countless undergraduate and graduate students, with a particular interest in guiding underrepresented students interested in academic research careers. She has been recognized by professional associations and academic institutions for her contributions to the professions in teaching, scholarship and leadership. The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Howard University recognized Johnson with the Distinguished Alumna Award, and the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine honored her with the Judith S. Gravel Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences.

    During her time at Truman, Johnson was involved with the Ronald E. McNair Scholar Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She and her husband Deric Dejuan Johnson, also a Truman graduate, have three children, Sydney, Chase and Deric Josiah.
  • Phi Beta Kappa Welcomes New Members

    Truman’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa initiated 21 students, April 21. Pictured, front row, left to right: Melody Kay Zakarian, Naomi Xela Quedensley, Daphne Jane Zakarian, Anna Colette Cooper and Emma Caroline Whittenburg. Second row: Matt Robert Hartmann, Jessica Lee Jacobs, Justin Alexander Caringal, Zoe Ann Vetter, Wes Cole Henshaw, Bryan David Garth, Micaela Rose Reiss and Adam Franklin Bishop.

    The Delta of Missouri chapter of Phi Beta Kappa inducted 21 students as members, April 21. Founded on Dec. 5, 1776, it is the nation’s oldest liberal arts and sciences honors society. Truman’s chapter was chartered in 2001 as the fourth granted to a Missouri institution of higher learning.

    2024 Phi Beta Kappa Inductees
    Adam Franklin Bishop
    Kira Nicole Boegeman
    Justin Alexander Caringal
    Krishna Saurabh Chebolu
    Anna Colette Cooper
    Bryan David Garth
    Matt Robert Hartmann
    Wes Cole Henshaw
    Jessica Lee Jacobs
    Riley David Necker
    Pranavi Govind Pitchyaiah
    Naomi Xela Quedensley
    Micaela Rose Reiss
    Ella Rose Schnake
    Luciana LaVon Scuderi
    Mackenzie Elizabeth Sweeney
    Zoe Ann Vetter
    Zeyu Wang
    Emma Caroline Whittenburg
    Daphne Jane Zakarian
    Melody Kay Zakarian
  • Students Place at Midwest Entrepreneurship Competition

    The Community of College Entrepreneurs attended the Midwest Entrepreneurship Competition. Picture from left to right: Jared Sacquitne-Darrington, Tomas Orjuela Munoz, Hinako Kaneda, Hana Sheto, Saron Gebremichael, Nahom Jember and Bridget Morris.

    Five Truman students with the Community of College Entrepreneurs attended the Midwest Entrepreneurship Competition in Omaha, Nebraska, April 19-20. The five that attended were Tomas Orjuela Munoz, Hinako Kaneda, Nahom Jember, Saron Gebremichael and Hana Sheto, along with Bridget Morris, president of CCE, and Jared Sacquitne-Darrington, vice president of CCE. In the pre-revenue competition, Munoz took first place with his idea of “Reclaim.” Kaneda took third place with her idea, “Lingua.” In the post-revenue competition, businesses that have already started and have made $600 or more in profit, Jember placed second with his business, “Value.”
  • Planetarium to Screen Star Wars Movie in Celebration of May the Fourth

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    The last Kohlenberg Lyceum Series event of the season, “Films and Finger Foods,” will screen “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” at 6 p.m. May 4 in the Del and Norma Robison Planetarium.

    A prequel to the original Star Wars trilogy, in this film former scientist Galen Erso lives on a farm with his wife and young daughter, Jyn. His peaceful existence comes crashing down when the evil Orson Krennic takes him away from his beloved family. Many years later, Erso becomes the empire’s lead engineer for the most powerful weapon in the galaxy, the Death Star. Knowing that her father holds the key to its destruction, Jyn joins forces with a spy and other resistance fighters to steal the space station’s plans for the Rebel Alliance.

    This event is free and open to the public. Because seating is limited and food is provided, the courtesy of an RSVP is requested by clicking here, or by contacting the Office of Advancement at 660.785.4133 or lyceumseries@truman.edu.


  • Campus Blood Drive to Take Place April 29


    Momentum Campus Ministries, the Lutheran Student Fellowship and the Baptist Student Union, in partnership with the American Red Cross, will host a campus blood drive from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. April 29 in the Student Union Building Down Under. Pizza, cookies and refreshments will be provided to participants.

    Summer months are correlated with a decrease in blood drive participation. With a shelf life of less than 50 days, having blood on-hand to use for transfusions and emergency medical procedures is critical and can help save lives. Register here to participate in this drive.
  • Ag Class to Sell Produce Grown on the University Farm

    AgSc 306: Market Gardening will be selling produce grown at the University Farm from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. April 30 in front of the Student Union Building.

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  • School of Social and Cultural Studies Celebrates Faculty

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  • Writing Workshop to Focus on Fulbright Application


    The Fulbright Committee will host a writing workshop from 3:30-4:30 p.m. May 1 in McClain Hall 208. Students graduating by the end of the 2024-25 academic year who plan to complete a Fulbright application in the fall of 2024 should start their application immediately. The campus deadline is Sept. 2. The workshop with provide advice and the chance to work with a faculty mentor on developing the application. Questions can be directed to Meg Edwards, associate professor of political science and international relations.
  • Education Department Hosts First Technology Night

  • Library to Upgrade System Platform

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    Pickler Memorial Library is launching the new FOLIO platform May 22. FOLIO will be a fresh foundation on which the library can build new and innovative services.

    Work is already underway to move MOBIUS and Pickler Memorial Library to the FOLIO library platform. As part of the migration, MOBIUS will temporarily suspend requesting through the MOBIUS catalog and on-site borrowing at other MOBIUS libraries. Requesting will be re-enabled May 22 when the new catalog launches.

    Starting May 7, online access to library accounts will be unavailable until the new system is in place. Reading history will not migrate to FOLIO and must be printed before May 7 in order to keep it.

    For more information about the migration, visit the library’s website. Any additional questions can be directed to the Library Service Desk at 660.785.4533 or one of the research and instruction librarians.
  • Office of Student Research Seeks Proposals

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    The Office of Student Research will be accepting Grants-In-Aid of Scholarship and Research (GIASR) applicants, as well as Conference Travel Scholarship applications, for fall 2024.

    Conference Travel Scholarship applications are for students presenting the results of their research or creative scholarship at a conference taking place January-June 2025. Students must have completed or be currently involved in a faculty-mentored research experience and plan on presenting at the conference. The scholarship will cover up to $500 of conference registration, lodging and travel expenses.

    GIASR applications are available for research and creative scholarship conducted in fall 2024. Grant applicants may request up to $750 and can cover student stipends, supplies and travel to conduct research.

    Complete guidelines for the Conference Travel Scholarship and GIASR applications can be found at the Office of Student Research website. Applications for both funding opportunities are due by 11:59 p.m. May 1. Questions regarding the applications can be directed to osr@truman.edu.
  • Steel Band to Perform Spring Concert


    Truman Steel will perform at 7:30 p.m. May 3 in Baldwin Hall Auditorium.

    They will perform a mix of traditional and modern music, including calypsos, socas, sambas, reggaes and carnival panorama compositions, on original steel drums designed and tuned by renowned Port-of-Spain artisan, Mappo Richardson.

    Established in 2011, Truman Steel is Truman’s first performing world music ensemble. It is part of an intercultural perspective learning experience within the Department of Music open to all students, including the course offering MUSI 190/390: Steelpan Music of Trinidad & Tobago.  

    The ensemble is directed by Michael Bump, professor of music. For more information email mbump@truman.edu.
  • University Farm Sponsors Mushroom Production Workshops

    The University Farm will host two free outdoor mushroom production workshops from 12-3 p.m. May 4. Students will learn the basics of outdoor mushroom production and inoculate their own mushroom log to take home. For more information contact Bob Johnson, assistant professor of agricultural science, at bjohnson@truman.edu.

  • Faculty and Staff Honored at Service Recognition Celebration

    Approximately, 112 current and retired employees will be honored for their years of service and their commitment to the University with a Service Recognition Celebration, May 15. A list of the 2024 honorees can be found here.

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  • Governor to Visit Campus for Book Signing

    Gov. Mike Parson’s northeast Missouri “No Turnin’ Back” book signing event will take place from 12-1 p.m. May 7 in the Student Union Building Alumni Room. “No Turnin’ Back” authored by Dr. Jim Jones, focuses on Parson growing up in Wheatland, Missouri, to being in the highest political office in the state. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and Gov. Parson will be available to sign books as time allows. More information can be found at mikeparson.com.

  • Study Abroad in Africa

    In May 2025 AFR 300: Conservation and Management of Large African Mammals will be open to all majors that are passionate about wildlife and want to experience conservation in action. The course includes 11 days in South Africa. Students will receive 10 days of hands-on work and instruction with Parawild Safari operating in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. The course will also include a tour of Kruger National Park, one of the largest wildlife reserves in Africa.

    No prerequisites are required for this three-credit adventure. The course also fulfills the intercultural perspective and biology electives. Email Stephanie Fore, professor of biology, with any questions or visit studyabroad.truman.edu.

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  • Calling for Commencement Volunteers

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    The University will celebrate and honor spring graduates at 2 p.m. May 11 at Stokes Stadium. Several volunteers are needed to help pass out programs and direct people to the disability and available seating.  

    Volunteers are asked to arrive at the stadium by 12:40 p.m. for directions prior to the doors opening at 1 p.m. Shortly after commencement begins, volunteers are free to leave or stay for the ceremony.
    Anyone willing to volunteer, or anyone with questions about volunteering, can contact Nancy Asher at nasher@truman.edu or Kaytee Wood at kwood@truman.edu, or call 660.785.4145. For those who volunteer, more detailed information will be sent closer to the actual date.
  • Applications Open for Summer Housing


    Students needing to stay on campus during the summer can now fill out the summer housing registration.
    Summer students will be housed in West Campus Suites. For preferred eligibility for summer housing, students must either:

    •    Be enrolled in a summer course, and in good financial standing with the University AND/OR
    •    Be enrolled in a fall course as a continuing student, and in good financial standing with the University.

    Summer housing registration is available here. To secure housing, students should sign up online no later than May 6. Visit truman.edu/residence-life for more information.
  • Registration Open for Summer Classes

  • U&I Accepting Room Reservations for Fall Semester

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    Union & Involvement Services will continue to accept room reservations for the fall semester on a first-come, first-served basis. Recognized student organizations must be in good standing in order for requests to be processed. Forms can be found here and emailed to union@truman.edu. Paper forms will not be accepted. Contact the Union & Involvement Services Office at union@truman.edu or 660.785.4222 for more information.
  • FAFSA Filing Now Open

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    Students can file or make changes to their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2024-2025 school year at studentaid.gov.

    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 2024-2025 FAFSA requires students to report income and tax information from an earlier tax year. For the 2024-2025 FAFSA students will use their 2022 tax information. Details about the FAFSA can be found online at studentaid.gov.

    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.
  • Fulfill Language Requirements Over the Summer

  • Chinese Department Hiring Teaching Assistants and Tutors

    The Chinese Department is seeking to hire Chinese teaching assistants and language tutors for scholarship and institutional jobs available in fall 2024. Native Chinese speakers or individuals fluent in Chinese are encouraged to apply. Questions can be directed to zwen@truman.edu.

  • 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.
  • Retirement Reception for Miner, Lochbaum and Ryan


Scholarship Opportunities

  • 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 May 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.