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Higher Education

Turning up the volume

It isn’t every day that composers have one of their pieces performed at home. However, a composer in MU’s School of Music is about to be given that honor.

“Screams and Grooves,” a piece for saxophone and piano written by Stefan Freund, will be performed Thursday evening at the First Baptist Church of Columbia as part of a program called “Exotic Voices.”

Top secret

Entering Jesse Hall’s dome feels like stepping into your Aunt Myrtle’s basement. It’s dark, musty and dirty and feels like it’s stuck in time, like no one has entered since 1952.

But instead of watching every footfall down her rickety stairs, you’re going up the iron rungs of a ladder, through the ceiling in MU’s main administration building and a locked and alarm-triggered trap door.

Bringing Bollywood to Columbia

Backstage at Jesse Auditorium on Saturday, dancers for MU’s “India Nite” fussed with their costumes, preparing for a diversity of dance performances.

A troupe of children started the entertainment by singing the national anthems of India and the United States.

Diplomat shares Cold War memories

Political science students at MU got a rare first-hand account of the end of the Cold War when the last American ambassador to the Soviet Union, Jack Matlock, visited their class Friday.

Matlock wrote “Reagan and Gorbachev: How the Cold War Ended”, in which he gives a detailed first-person account of the final days of the Cold War.

Speech focuses on role of science

About 50 people showed up at MU’s physics building Thursday to hear a spin on the Bush administration’s science and technology policy.

Mary Good, former undersecretary of technology administration during the Clinton administration, made the case that Americans need to take a good look at the role science plays in the nation — regardless of who wins the presidency Tuesday.

National soybean center opens at MU

U.S. Sen. Kit Bond greeted a crowd of scientists, professors and community members for the opening of the National Center for Soybean Biotechnology at MU on Thursday.

The center is on the second floor of the new Life Sciences Center. Speakers at the opening said they think research done at the center could lead to larger crop yields, new plant-based medicines and domestically manufactured energy sources.

Faces: Geri Hudson

Places: Laws Observatory

On the fifth floor of the MU Physics Building, a narrow, curved staircase leads to a small room dominated by a large telescope pointed toward the dome ceiling.

This is Laws Observatory, open to the public from 8 to 10 p.m. every Wednesday. Stargazers can browse the exhibit room or look through one of three telescopes on the roof — at least for the near future.

Learning about WMD

As the spread of weapons of mass destruction is pushed to the forefront of American politics, MU students can take advantage of a new opportunity to become more informed on the subject.

Next semester, MU’s Nuclear Science and Engineering Institute will launch “Nuclear Engineering 4401: Nonproliferation Issues.” The course will be taught by nuclear engineering professors Mark Prelas and Tushar Ghosh. It will focus on the resources needed for the creation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. It will also look at the reasons these weapons are created and their dangers.

Journalism library to address user needs

The new MU journalism library, to be located in the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, will be more user-friendly and more technologically advanced than the current library, said Marsha Hoffman, senior associate at Shaughnessy Fickel and Scott Architects, the Kansas City firm designing the institute.

The institute, slated to open in the fall of 2007, is being funded by a $31 million gift from the Reynolds Foundation, given to the Missouri School of Journalism in February. It is the largest donation in MU history.

India Nite festivities are a growing affair

In its 13-year tradition, India Nite has grown tremendously in popularity and in terms of its performances. Saturday evening, the Columbia public will have an opportunity to experience the diverse dancing, music and other festivities that the event has to offer.

House calls for horses

Students of the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery have the opportunity to get hands-on experience with an elective class, Ambulatory Care. The class lasts three weeks and is typical of most veterinary schools. Students, along with their instructors, make house calls in the Columbia area, providing veterinary services to horse trainers and owners.

Reading to feature professor’s work

MU Greek History professor Ian Worthington will present a short reading of his book "Alexander the Great: Man and God" at Barnes & Noble, November 9 at 7 p.m. A consultant for the National Geographic documentary on Alexander the Great, he has also written many books on Greek history

MU Latino studies center opened

Waiting for the opening of MU’s Latino studies center has been “similar to waiting for the birth of a new baby,” Handy Williamson, vice provost for international programs and faculty development, said at a Tuesday ribbon-cutting for the Cambio Center.

Forces behind the center’s creation, including Williamson, planned, prepared, budgeted and even spruced up a spare room during the past three years as they waited for the Cambio Center to come to fruition.

Haunted tour mixes knowledge with fun

MU’s Museum of Art and Archaeology will intertwine art education and holiday celebration in the museum’s first Halloween-inspired event. The Haunted Museum Tour will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at MU’s Pickard Hall, at Ninth Street and University Avenue.

“This is an opportunity for people of all ages to come into the museum if they have been here before or if they are first-time visitors,” said Angela Lawler, the museum’s associate educator.

Panel’s focus is impact of Brown case

Fifty years later, the ruling seems fixed in American ideology: separate is not equal.

But panelists at a forum discussing the landmark 1954 decision Brown v. Board of Education said achieving the Supreme Court’s vision will require focus — not on segregated education or integrated education, but education itself.

The last word

By any contemporary definition of politics, MU seniors Jonathon Coulson and Danny French are adversaries.

Coulson, a member of the College Democrats majoring in advertising, proudly displays “Vote Kerry” pins on his black school bag.

Journalism institute director named

MU alumna and Pulitzer Prize winner Pam Johnson will become the first executive director of the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute in mid-November.

“The first thing I will work on is outreach to the newspaper and broadcast industry,” Johnson said. “We need to explain the institute to the industry across the country.”

Faces

Jill Hermsen wears two hats at MU. Not only is she coordinator of International Students and Scholars Services, but she is also working on her doctorate in education leadership and policy analysis. The double workload requires serious amounts of balancing, Hermsen said.

Being a student again showed her a perspective that she finds helpful to her job. Working with 1,400 international students, Hermsen’s primary role is to help teach them the rules, regulations and customs of America and MU. She also advises internationals on their options while at school and after graduation.

Charmed by jewelry

Every week for 15 to 20 hours, Shira Wasserman sits in her office — a desk tucked in the corner of her bedroom — and makes jewelry for the company she has been nurturing since she was 16.

Now, 21 years old, the Stephens College senior has single-handedly made Shira Melody Jewelry into a notable company, selling her creations in stores in Columbia, Kansas City and Lawrence, Kan.

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