Envisioning the Future of C-Street
The Hammons School of Architecture’s Center for Community Studies (CCS) led a visioning exercise in February to help define the future of 3.5 acres of land on Commercial Street currently owned by The Kitchen, Inc.
CCS students and faculty members helped stakeholders envision conceptual ideas for renewal of the site during an intensive workshop, which was open to the public. Drury architecture students will study options for redevelopment and present design possibilities to stakeholders in the coming months.
The study will center on The Missouri Hotel, originally opened as the Greene Tavern Hotel in April 1930. With The Kitchen’s decision to sell its Commercial Street properties and relocate, the property along Commercial Street from Benton to Jefferson Avenue, and south along Jefferson for a block and a half, is on the market.
Drury’s CCS is the interdisciplinary research and academic outreach component of the Hammons School of Architecture. The center’s mission is to assist the regional community in exploring and promoting innovative planning, design and development practices that respond to the challenges of our contemporary and future society, and foster a healthier and sustainable habitat for our global community. The center has worked with more than 60 communities across the region over the last 15 years. Visioning projects inside the City of Springfield have included the West Central Neighborhood Route 66 corridor and a center city housing study.
New Arts Administration Leadership
Rebecca Miller, associate professor of art and art history, will assume the leadership of the Arts Administration program beginning in the fall. Miller brings considerable artistic credentials to the role, as well as a commitment to creating career paths for students who want to link their love of the arts with additional interests in administration—in marketing, public relations, business and strategic planning.
Arts administration is a growing field that requires creative yet business-minded leadership. The interdisciplinary program successfully merges the arts with business in an integrated and meaningful way. Students majoring in arts administration are required to also major in an additional area of primary interest, such as art, music, theatre or business, or minor in two areas. Students are primed to manage live theatres, museums, galleries and festivals; to pursue cultural entrepreneurship endeavors; and to enter the television, film and recording industries.
As director of the program, Miller will create a student advisory group in addition to an advisory group composed of faculty from areas essential to the program and community members associated with area arts organizations.
Fresh Honors Program
During the 2015-2016 academic year, Drury welcomed 20 new students into a revamped honors program under new director Dr. Richard Schur.
After a comprehensive review of its curricula, Drury identified more than 70 honors courses that emphasize student-directed learning. In these classes, students pose solutions to scientific, social and cultural problems; engage in service learning projects throughout the region; complete research projects; and dig deeply into scholarly literature. The program spans a student’s entire academic career at Drury and caps off with an in-depth senior project of their own choosing. Faculty members mentor students as they explore their academic interests and passions throughout their participation in the honors program.
Rather than relying solely on past academic performance, the best candidates for the revamped honors program are those students who exhibit character traits that lead to long-term success.
“We want students who are ambitious, independent, hardworking, curious and socially engaged with the world around them,” Dr. Schur says. “We believe that those are the attributes that both help a person succeed in the honors program and succeed in life.”
Drury has also focused on improving the student experience for honors students. Upperclassmen have founded a new Honors Student Association. The group hosts regular dinners for honors students, plans weekend trips, and comes together to attend local theatre shows and films. Honors students can also live together on campus in Living-Learning Communities during their freshman year.
Admission to the program is competitive and selective. For this year’s class, the average ACT score for admitted students was 30, with an average high school GPA over 4.0.
New Master Program
Drury now offers a Master of Nonprofit and Civic Leadership for professionals seeking to enhance their skill sets in the nonprofit and civic sectors. The degree is a unique offering in a community where nonprofit organizations employ about half of all private workers and play an integral role in tackling pressing issues such as poverty, healthcare and education. The program aims to enhance the quality of life in the Ozarks by preparing emerging and mid-level leaders for executive service in these key institutions.
The degree takes full advantage of Drury’s highly interdisciplinary approach to education, bringing together academic resources from across campus and drawing upon the university’s longstanding commitment to civic engagement. It also harnesses the expertise of leaders from the Ozarks’ political, economic and cultural spheres, who will act as guest lecturers and mentors as well as facilitate exclusive internship opportunities. A key element of the program will be collaborative efforts between students and Drury’s Center for Nonprofit Leadership, which conducts research, training and networking for nonprofits in the region under director Dan Prater.
The program consists of 10 courses that focus on areas such as leadership, strategic planning, advocacy, resource management and governance. Designed with working professionals in mind, courses are offered in a format that blends online and seated evening classes.
“There is no other graduate program in the region that emphasizes effective leadership while harnessing the power of the nonprofit sector to enhance life in our community,” says Dr. Charles Taylor, professor of communication and director of the new program.
New Majors in Animation and Game Development
Drury introduced two closely linked majors this academic year: animation and computer science – game development.
Students majoring in animation have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Drury’s newly built animation lab and work with Steven Carpenter, an Emmy award-winning animator whose work has appeared in several major Hollywood productions including Star Trek: Voyager and Dungeons & Dragons.
Students in this interdisciplinary program will develop their creative capacities by working alongside students in a variety of majors, including architecture, writing and multimedia production. In their coursework, they learn to craft visual stories with the latest animation software and tools. They are also strongly encouraged to complete an internship to enhance their experience and fulfill one of Drury’s engaged learning requirements.
Students majoring in computer science – game development will earn a Bachelor of Science when they graduate. This program is designed for those who wish to find positions as game developers or pursue graduate work in either computer science or a related digital media program. The coursework in the program includes a core of computer sciences courses, plus 15 hours of computer science coursework in game development. Students must also complete coursework in media arts and mathematics.
New Program for Nursing Students
This year, Drury partnered with the Cox College of Nursing and Health Science to offer a Bachelor of Science in nursing that can be completed in four years. Students receiving the dual degree will have all the benefits of a professional nursing education coupled with Drury’s strong liberal arts foundation. Completing studies in the liberal arts will provide nursing students with strong writing and speaking skills, as well as an enhanced understanding and appreciation of diverse individuals and cultures. These skill enhancements are complemented by involvement with the Drury Health Service Corps, which allows nursing students to volunteer at Jordan Valley Community Health Center and help medically underserved individuals in Southwest Missouri. The goal of coupling the Drury curriculum and experiences with clinical education at Cox College is to develop students into high quality nursing professionals who have the skills to gain employment and advance their careers.
Students enrolled in the dual degree program maintain the privileges of being a Drury student for the four years they are in the program, including access to Drury financial aid and scholarships; advising and mentoring from both Drury and Cox College faculty; participation in Drury Health Service Corps; participation in Drury activities, and access to Drury facilities and services; and opportunities for membership in Drury honor societies, including the health science honor society.
Autodesk Publishes Instructional Series
Associate Professor of Architecture David Beach’s instructional series “BIM to Fabrication for Conceptual Design” was published by Autodesk. During their Autodesk Design Academy website’s soft opening this summer, Professor Beach’s series was the most visited project on the site.
New Director of Institutional Research
Drury named Dr. Justin Leinaweaver, assistant professor of political science, as Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness. Dr. Leinaweaver will take the lead in developing and implementing approaches that will support enrollment efforts, inform policy decisions and improve academic programs. He will oversee the collection and interpretation of a wide range of data that will assist the Drury community in identifying and understanding internal and external trends, opportunities and challenges.
SIVA 2016 Visiting Artist Fellows
Drury’s Summer Institute for Visual Arts (SIVA) confirmed its 2016 visiting artists. Mary Walling Blackburn, Nina Bovasso, Felipe Castelblanco and Ian Giles will help emerging and aspiring artists work toward a Master of Studio Art and Theory.
Drury architecture students placed third in a design competition sponsored by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, and first in a competition among schools in the seven-state Central States region of the American Institute of Architects.
Tom Parker Scholarship
This year, the SIVA program introduced a new scholarship, established by Earl and Mary Jane Pool in honor of Tom Parker, emeritus faculty and founding director of SIVA. The $10,000 scholarship is awarded to one full-time, degree-seeking student toward tuition costs over the course of the program.
DU 4-State Video Conference (4SVC) 2015 brought more than 200 high school students together in a two-day competition that included events in commercial production, editing and writing.
“Peter and the Wolf” Revamped
Drury’s theatre, music and education departments performed “Peter and the Wolf” for elementary school students at the O’Reilly Family Event Center in February. Drury students and faculty have brought the classic children’s symphony to life for local youth for more than 40 years. The 2016 presentation had a new look and feel thanks to a gift from the Bob Barker Endowment Fund for the Study of Animal Rights—the performance now reflects messages of humane education about wild animals.
Art for Life Interrupted
Professor of Architecture Nancy Chikaraishi produced original pieces for Atlanta- and Houston-based Core Dance for its production “Life Interrupted.”
A new $20,000 scholarship will be awarded to a student at the end of his/her first year. The student must have plans to become a teacher. The scholarship will be funded by Robert M. Cox ’67, member of the Drury Board of Trustees, in honor of his mother and aunt.
Criminology Court Program
Alumni, faculty and students in the criminology program are providing substance abuse and mental health-related treatment services for veterans who have been arrested for felonies in Barry, Lawrence and Stone counties. The goal is to help the veterans with heavy supervision in lieu of prison time.
Self-Employment in the Arts
The Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship sponsored a Self-Employment in the Arts Lecture Series in the spring semester. The series featured successful, entrepreneurial artists from across the country for small-group sessions, lectures and occasional performances on Drury’s campus.