Drury Debate Team Has a Successful Inaugural Season
Bringing back a tradition at Drury that dates back to the late 1800s, the debate program was re-established in 2016 after a hiatus as part of the university’s ongoing multi-faceted strategy to attract and retain great students.
The International Public Debate Association (IPDA) ranks individual debaters and university debate programs on a weekly basis. As a program, Drury is currently ranked first in the nation for having more varsity team points than any of the other participating schools. Formed in 1997, the IPDA emphasizes critical thinking, civil discourse, logic, creativity and real-world persuasion skills. The league is growing with more than 120 colleges in 28 states in the southeast, Midwest and west coast.
All of Drury’s debaters are in their first year of college debate competition. The squad may be new, but it quickly formed a culture of high achievement, teamwork and trust in one another, says debate coach Dr. Charles Deberry.
“Chemistry is everything,” Deberry says. “We have a lot of diversity in terms of the students’ backgrounds and areas of study on the team. I think that’s been a key element in our success because the topics cover a wide spectrum, from international economics to whether the Patriots are the best team in the NFL, and you don’t know what the topic will be before going into the debate.”
The IPDA’s format gives student debaters a list of five topics to choose from before the debate begins. The two individuals or teams take turns striking topics until one is left. A coin flip determines who takes a “pro” or “con” position. Each side has 20 minutes to prepare for the debates, which last about 30 minutes for individuals and an hour for teams.
“It’s really a great capstone for a liberal arts education,” Deberry says. “To be successful in this format you have a broad knowledge of a variety of topics and then be able to think critically and express yourself clearly.”
Lindsay Duede, a freshman from Ozark, says the opportunity to debate is what led her to make the decision to attend Drury over other schools on her list of choices.
“Debate was my everything in high school and it still is,” she says. “I applied to a lot of schools and was accepted at a lot of places. Not all of them had debate or the type of debate that interested me. When I met with Dr. Deberry and he told me what DU was up to, I immediately wanted to be a part of that action. ”
The 2016-17 Drury debate team members include Erin Benedict, Austin Cassity, Emily Collier, Haley Davis, Lindsay Duede, Ameran Link, Ayesha Naqi, Mallory Pinson, Kris Rose, Jerrica Shine and Kat Sittenauer.
Learn more about the debate program: www.drury.edu/debate
Sunderland Black Box Theatre
A significant grant award has helped Drury University’s theatre program construct a new performance space for student productions.
In October 2016, the program received a $150,000 grant from the Sunderland Foundation to build an all-new “black box” studio theatre in O’Bannon Hall, which is part of the Mabee Performing Arts Center. A black box theatre is a highly flexible performance space that allows the seating configuration to be changed to meet the needs of the production.
The grant will cover a majority of the cost of converting a former music rehearsal space into a two-story studio theatre, a significant improvement over the former studio theatre space in Springfield Hall. The new space is called the Sunderland Black Box Theatre and includes new features such as better lighting and sound capabilities, adjacent dressing rooms, a permanent control booth on the second floor and easier access for the audience.
The Sunderland Black Box Theatre seats 60 to 100 people, depending on the configuration, and will be dedicated almost entirely to performance. With the move to the Mabee Center, the program has more classroom space available, and the studio won’t need to be used for instruction purposes. Larger productions will continue to be held in the Wilhoit Theatre inside Breech Hall.
“We will have more flexibility in the new studio theatre space and therefore more room for creativity when staging performances,” says Dr. Robin Schraft, the theatre program director who is also designing the theatre. “It will open up more opportunities for our students to present their works to the community.”
Drury’s theatre department moved into the Mabee Center in spring 2016 from its former home in Springfield Hall in order to provide synergy with the music program. Construction of the Sunderland Black Box Theatre began in December and should be complete before the beginning of the 2017-18 academic year.
Learn more about the Black Box Theatre: www.drury.edu/black-box
40 Years of Peter and the Wolf
Drury University’s production of Peter and the Wolf for area third graders was performed in February at the O’Reilly Family Event Center. Nearly 3,000 third graders from Springfield and the surrounding area attend the performances annually.
For more than 40 years, students and faculty from Drury’s music, theater and education departments have collaborated to bring Peter and the Wolf to life for an elementary school audience. The 1936 work by Sergei Prokofiev is designed to teach children about the orchestra through an easy-to-understand fairytale about a boy and his animal friends being stalked by a wolf. Each character is represented by a different instrument and musical motif.
In 2016, Peter and the Wolf was given a new look and feel thanks to a gift from the Bob Barker Endowment Fund for the Study of Animal Rights. The performance now includes some small changes that reflect messages of humane education about wild animals.
The revamped production is completely restaged and redesigned, featuring new set pieces, costumes and props. Photos and brief videos of wolves in the wild will help reinforce the importance of respecting our fellow animal creatures and how we need to harmoniously coexist within our mutual ecosystems.
This year’s performances were made possible in part thanks to a $12,900 grant from U.S. Bank, through the U.S. Bank Foundation.
“We are very grateful for the support provided by U.S. Bank through its grant program,” says Christopher Koch, associate professor of music at Drury and music director of the SDCO and Springfield Regional Opera. “Not only will the funding help us to continue our 40-plus year tradition of presenting Peter and the Wolf to our region’s third graders, it also supports the regionally and nationally acclaimed Springfield-Drury Peter and the Wolf: 40 Years of Tradition Civic Orchestra, a semi-professional ensemble-in-residence at Drury that allows our own students to sit side-by-side with professional musicians, faculty, and students drawn from across southwest Missouri.”
Learn more about Peter and the Wolf at Drury: www.drury.edu/peter-wolf
The Tiny Arts & Letters Gallery
An old space has a new feature on the third floor of Pearsons Hall on Drury’s main campus. Tiny Arts and Letters is a micro gallery space, displaying the creative works of writers and artists from within the Drury community, as well as other local artists. Tiny Arts and Letters explores the intersection of image and text, celebrating the small and concentrated: micro essays and flash fiction, prints and poems, etchings, sketches, illustrations, sculpture and painting are some of the works featured in the space. The exhibit hosts bookplates, book cover art and design as well as installations on the history of printing and typography. Each exhibition includes a short interview and information about the artist’s or writer’s work.
Jo Van Arkel, professor of English and the founder and curator of the space, describes the micro gallery as an “evolving space” intended to raise awareness of culture, language and the arts. While student work is frequently featured in the micro gallery, faculty, staff, alumni and even artists outside of the Drury community have been featured.
The recent “Character Sketches, Small Portraits in Graphite” exhibit featured hand drawn portraits of Drury staff and faculty members by Marian Stahl Chamberlain. Marian holds a BA in studio art and art history (1997), and an M.Ed. in art education (2010) from Drury University. Marian’s artistry comes through her affinity for line. Her Tiny Arts and Letters show captured the essence of a community of people through fine marks and gestures.
For information about submitting your work or proposing an exhibit, contact Jo Van Arkel at email@example.com.
Solo Art Exhibitions
Todd Lowery, professor of art and art history, had solo exhibitions in Europe and Canada during his 2015-2016 sabbatical. They were in the Galleri S, Östersund, Sweden; The Hub Cultural Center, Athens, Greece; McGill University, Montreal, Canada; Raum Für Drastische Maßnahmen, Berlin, Germany; and The Arnados Cultural Center, Tinos, Greece.
View photos of gallery
Spence Publishes Book
Dr. Karen Spence’s new book, A Primer on Theory in Architecture published by Routledge, discusses how theory is defined, the elements and characteristics of theory, its relationship to worldviews, as well as other topics in design. The book helps new students of architecture to consider the role of architectural theory in broader contexts.
Journal of Architectural Education
Dr. Saundra Weddle, professor of art history and architecture, co-edited the October 2016 issue of JAE (Journal of Architectural Education). Several fellow faculty members also served as manuscript reviewers for this issue, including David Beach, David Derossett, Yong Huang, Panos Leventis, Maurizio Sabini and Robert Weddle.
Drury Wind Symphony
The Drury Wind Symphony was honored at the annual convention of the College Band Directors National Association in Kansas City, Missouri. Judged to be among the best of its kind nationally, the ensemble was featured at the CBDNA’s “Small Band Showcase.”
Claussen Presents Original Composition
Dr. Tina Claussen, associate professor of music, was selected to present her original composition “Pitter Pat” at the 2017 meeting of the International Jazz Composer’s Symposium. Held only two other times since its inception in 2007, this highly competitive conference features the work of both emerging and professional jazz composers. Participants are selected via blind audition.
CW Titus Foundation Grant
Drury’s French program received a CW Titus Foundation grant for $10,000. The French program has received a total of $134,000 from the foundation since 2008, helping 60 Drury students study abroad.
International Business Major
Starting in fall 2017, a new major will be available to business students. The new international business major is designed to be obtained in conjunction with a specialized business major (accounting, economics, finance, management, or marketing). The international business major will provide students with the ability to develop multicultural competence, and function and operate ethically in a dynamic and global business environment. International business majors will be required to study abroad or hold an internship abroad.
Model Chapter Award
The Drury University Psi Chi chapter received a Model Chapter Award from Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. There are Psi Chi chapters at over 1,100 universities across the U.S. and in 10 other countries. Drury’s chapter was one of only 40 who achieved Model Chapter status for 2015-2016.
McEachern Named Fellow for Oxford Center for Animal Ethics
Dr. Patricia McEachern, Dorothy Jo Barker Endowed professor for the study of animal rights and professor of French, was named a permanent Fellow with the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics in 2016. In July, she presented a paper at the OCAE’s Summer School entitled “L’Enfer c’est nous autres: Animal Cruelty as Standard Industry Practice in Animal Agriculture in the United States.”
Drury Launches Law Enforcement Academy
Those seeking a career in law enforcement will have a new option as Drury University’s College of Continuing Professional Studies launches a Law Enforcement Academy in Lebanon in early summer 2017.
International Collegiate Programming Contest
In November, eight computer science students competed in the International Collegiate Programming Contest at MSU in Springfield. This contest is particularly difficult, requiring students to work in teams of three to solve as many of 10 problems as possible during a five-hour time period using a single computer with no internet resources. One of the Drury teams, comprised of Amelia Merritt, Kylie Pfaff and Andrew Snyder, finished fourth of 21 at the MSU site and 44th of 152 teams in the Midwest region. Other Drury students involved were Aidan Derossett, Zach Green, Paul Hale, Cory Harris and Josh Harrold.