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Higher Education

Diversity takes the stage

When audiences watch MU’s Interactive Theatre Troupe, they are required to become part of the performance. The troupe performs pieces involving multicultural issues and then lets the audience take the place of one of the actors and try to solve the problem depicted.

Faces - Eric Thompson

Eric Thompson

In June, Eric Thompson will start a job he had never expected: driving a Wienermobile.

Truman scholar

Annie Morrison has always been interested in health care issues, especially those pertaining to women. Growing up in the Ozark Mountains area of West Plains, southeast of Springfield, Morrison credits her social awareness to her family and the community in which she grew up.

Now an English and biology major in her junior year at MU, Morrison’s interest and involvement in health care and public service are paying off. Morrison was one of only 75 students from across the country to be selected as a Truman Scholar, which recognizes undergraduates’ future dedication to the field of public service. It also comes with a $30,000 scholarship toward graduate school.

Stephens archives help the future

Stepping into the Stephens College Archives is a little like stepping into someone’s basement. There are concrete floors, metal shelves swathed in protective plastic and stacked boxes.

Here, the windows are covered by dark shades, and fluorescent lights bouncing off white walls make the room seem stark.

Librarians at MU study romance novels

Rippling biceps, chiseled abs and a steamy love affair can be bought when you purchase your eggs and milk.

Romance novels, commonly found in grocery stores and libraries, comprise 48 percent of all popular paperback fiction sold in North America.

Slang: Is it bunk or tight?

It's not what you say; it's how you say it.

Generation after generation has spoken its mind through slang, and college students are no different.

The stories she hears

Let me tell you about the time Elaine Lawless spent a summer visiting women’s shelters in Missouri. Everywhere she went, she heard story after story after story. A woman would start by saying, “My God, last Thursday …” and Elaine knew that behind “My God, last Thursday” were the words “once upon a time.”

Lawless is an ethnographer — basically, someone who collects stories. She teaches students at MU how to collect the stories of communities, and she goes to academic conferences and speaks about how to listen when people tell their stories.

Kids make music with computers

Most music artists cannot wait for their first CD release party. On May 3 at the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center at MU, about 10 children who participate in the mentoring program Moving Ahead attended a party to celebrate the creation of a CD, which featured their own songs.

MU seniors Edward Watson and Andrew Duenke created the CD program for their capstone projects in service learning. Both are scheduled to receive degrees in interdisciplinary studies this weekend.

Faces

Noor Azizan-Gardner said it is her duty to educate the community about diversity issues.

Right now, she coordinates the Chancellor’s Diversity Initiative at MU and is developing an undergraduate multicultural certificate, in which students apply what they have learned in their courses to hands-on experience. This can be completed by participating in a service project or by studying abroad.

Creating better diets

Alberto Maurer wants to ease world hunger by making plants more nutritious. He is a research assistant at MU working toward his doctorate in genetics.

For the past two years, he has worked in the lab of his adviser, Elizabeth Rogers, to better understand how plants acquire iron from soil. In many countries, people depend on plants as their main food source and eat little meat; this leads to many iron deficiency problems around the world.

Students earn regional honor

Columbia College members of the Students in Free Enterprise team brought home the first-runner-up trophy from the regional competition in St. Louis on April 7, according to a press release.

Students in Free Enterprise is a nonprofit organization active at more than 1,800 colleges and universities around the world.

Campus Honors

The MU Debate Team was successful in more than one way last month at the National Forensics Association Lincoln-Douglas Debate Championship at the University of Akron in Ohio.

Nick Dudley advanced past about 90 debaters from all over the country, winning the national championship.

Making women more of a workplace force

Patrice Hutton didn’t want to go to college; she wanted to go to cosmetology school and open her own salon — a dream she still has. Yet today, Hutton, a student coordinator for the Network of Female Leaders at MU, is part of the initiative to help women move from college into the workforce.

The number of women attending college is rising. The National Center for Education Statistics reported a 143 percent increase in female enrollment from 1970 to 2000, compared with a 33 percent increase in male enrollment. The Center also reported that female enrollment has increased from 678,977 in 1947 to 8,967,172 in 2001, and has surpassed male enrollment.

Stepping Up

It took Rangira Béa Gallimore nearly a decade to hang up the phone.

Born in Rwanda, in central Africa, Gallimore is an associate professor in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at MU. She came to the United States for an education, then earned a doctorate and met her husband. She lived, taught, researched and wrote in Columbia during the Rwandan genocide in 1994, when Rwandan military and militia groups killed more than 800,000 members of the Tutsi ethnic minority and Hutu sympathizers.

Group passionate about providing aid to Rwandans

The board members of Step Up — American Association for Rwandan Women have various reasons for their involvement in the organization. Most are not as intimately linked to Rwanda as Rangira Béa Gallimore, but they share her zeal for realizing the goal of building a women’s center in Kigali, Rwanda.

Anne Deaton met Gallimore a decade ago. Until then, she said, she was not fully aware of the extent of the human tragedy in Rwanda.

Picking MU’s provost

At a campus forum Monday, MU provost-hopeful Raymond Alden was pointedly questioned about academic freedom as it related to an incident last year at his campus, the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

There, a professor did not support a remark made in class that homosexuals are less likely to plan financially for the future. A student took offense; and, ultimately, Alden, who is provost at UNLV, placed a “non-disciplinary letter of instruction” in the professor’s file.

Colleges wrap up plans for graduation

This weekend and next, Columbia will host proud parents, grandparents and keynote speakers as three of the city’s higher education institutions prepare to say goodbye to their graduating students.

Stephens College is scheduled to kick off the ceremonies at 11 a.m. Saturday, with about 110 students graduating in Silverthorne Arena on campus, Stephens’ news releases said.

How Do I?

The MU Counseling Center provides MU students with many services, including individual, couples and group counseling; biofeedback and stress management; testing services and consultation; and outreach presentations. All counseling, outreach and consultation services are provided, free.

Service providers include licensed psychologists, psychology interns and master’s and doctoral students from the MU Department of

Faces

Tiffany Blake grew up in California with a “dairy lifestyle” and said that her interest in opera, which she has had most of her life, seems random and mysterious to her family.

In her first year at MU, Blake, an assistant visiting professor of voice and the director of Show-Me Opera, is working to dispel the idea that opera is boring.

Business school aims for diversity

The students in marketing 4185 at MU might soon change the demographics of corporate America. The class, more commonly known as the Vasey Academy, serves to introduce minority students to business and economics and provide them with academic opportunities in preparation for a career in business.

“The program enables a far greater number of minority students to become exposed to and involved in the business world,” program founder Roger Vasey says. “What better way to increase diversity in the business world and provide it with a greater supply of talented people?”

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