Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Stacia Studer Named Regional Teacher of the Year



The St. Joseph School District has announced that Stacia Studer has been named a Missouri Regional Teacher of the Year. Stacia, an alumna of our BSE program, teaches English at Bode Middle School and has worked in the St. Joseph School District for 15 years.
Stacia will be considered for Missouri Teacher of the Year. The winner an finalists will be honored at a banquet this fall in Jefferson City.



Congratulations, Stacia!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Bill Church helps publish local stories

The following is an article from the St. Joseph News-Press by Jessica Kopp (July 29, 2017).

Local African Americans tell their stories in recently published history book


Community members interested in learning about local African-American history were invited to attend the book release party of the recently published “In Their Own Words: An Oral History of African Americans in St. Joseph, MO” by Dr. William Church at the Black Archives Museum on Saturday.



The book aims to record the stories of people who lived through history and can give a personal account.
“We wanted to reach our youth, really, and let them hear it from the elders, how things used to be, rather than just read it in a book,” Alonzo Weston, a contributor and interviewee, said.
Weston was the one to first set out and try to preserve as many voices as he could; however, he was afraid he would not be able to interview as many seniors as he wanted to — simply because of their advanced age.
After publicly lamenting his dilemma in the St. Joseph News-Press, where Weston works as a columnist, Missouri Western’s Dr. William Church got in touch and offered help.
“So I contacted him and said, ‘Do you need help? I’ve got some students and we could form a team and we could help you with this,’” Church said.
The students and Church worked for an entire summer to interview 14 people. The book is the last part of a two-step project, which involved creating a short film first.
“Step one was to get it all on film, and to get everyone in their own natural setting if we could. So, many people were interviewed in their home, as you can see on the film,” Church said.
Afterward, Church sat down and transcribed all the interviews.
“Then it was a project of moving things around a little bit. Because, as we speak, we tend to roam and not always stay on task,” Church said.
The stories span a wide range of topics.
“It’s really heartwarming to hear the stories in there and hear what people have gone through, and the themes emerge of education and sacrifice, hard work, family,” Church said.
Church and Weston weren’t the only ones signing books: some of the storytellers made their way to the archives as well, like 88-year-old Moses Hicks.
“At my age, I thought I had a lot to give. And past history makes future history,” Hicks said.
Laraine Jones attended the event in honor of her late father, who told his story in the book.
“My dad used to tell me stories about St. Joseph and the history and all those things that are kind of lost. So, this oral history will tell us a little more about the things that have come and gone and the buildings that are torn down and no longer here,” Jones said.
The book is available in the museum’s gift shop and on Amazon. The film can be viewed on YouTube.
Jessica Kopp can be reached at jessica.kopp@newspressnow.com or you can follow her on Twitter: @NPNOWKopp

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Four win Departmental Awards

English and Modern Languages congratulates its outstanding graduates!

Garrett Durbin is the winner of the Mary Lee Doherty Award for outstanding BSE in English.

Gage Williams is the winner of the Outstanding Spanish graduate.

Nicole Bradley and Taylor McGrath are co-winners of the Louise Lacey Award for outstanding BA in English.

Congratulations to our outstanding graduates!

Cake? Nobody said there would be cake!


Nicole and Taylor about to dig in


EML Celebrates Spring Graduates

English and Modern Languages celebrates the graduates who marched on May 6, 2017. 

Tracey Anne Whorton received the Master of Applied Arts in Written Communication (Technical Communication)
EML chairperson Dr. Stacia Bensyl completed her post-baccalaureate certificate in TESOL

Amanda Taylor Baker, BA in Spanish
Meranda Dawn Dennis, BA in English
Samantha Duryee, BA in English
Kai Zayn King, BA in Modern Languages
Taylor Brianne McGrath, BA in English
Christopher Anthony Pankiewicz, BA in English
Rebecca Lynn Pettegrew, BA in English 

Congratulations, Class of 2017!



Monday, May 8, 2017

Canvas Launch 2017

On Thursday, April 27, the Canvas staff at Missouri Western hosted a launch of its 2017 issue. 

Taylor McGrath reads from her story in Canvas
Canvas editor-in-chief Arniecea Johnson opened the event, welcoming contributors, staff, family, and friends, and then Canvas staff members Sam Duryee and Stephaney Ferguson presented the traditional genre awards: Mariam Riddle won for her poem "Bounce" in Canvas, Britne Misner won for her story "Sweet Margaret," and Shiloh Laxson won for her art "Hold your Breath." (Canvas thanks MWSU professors Kay Siebler, Mike Cadden, and Kathy Liao for judging the awards.) The program then continued with readings by Canvas contributors and closed with a spoken-word tribute to the issue by Kansas City poet Terrance Sanders.

Terrance Sanders performs his spoken word artistry



It was a wonderful event, and Canvas wishes to thank the MWSU Foundation for making this terrific publication possible!

Poet Nikki Giovanni Visits MWSU

On Thursday, April 6, Missouri Western hosted Nikki Giovanni for a poetry reading and Q&A in Potter Hall Theatre. The event, titled "The Mochila Review Presents: In the Shadow of Nikki Giovanni," celebrated the 2017 issue of The Mochila Review, a national undergraduate literary journal made by Dr. Marianne Kunkel and her ENG 395 students. This year's issue featured an interview with Giovanni along with undergraduate poems selected by Giovanni for the Undergraduate MoRe Prize.

Giovanni meeting eager fans after her talk
 Giovanni's campus reading was a big success, bringing 400+ people out from the St. Joseph and Kansas City communities, high schools, and campuses. Giovanni read poems from her new book, Chasing Utopia, answered many questions from the audience, then signed books in the lobby where there was cake decorated like the cover of The Mochila Review.

Dr. Kunkel wishes to thank her incredible ENG 395 staff along with the generous donors who made this event possible: President Vartabedian, Provost Daffron, Latoya Fitzpatrick and the Center for Multicultural Education, Dr. Stacia Bensyl and EML, and Mary Beth Revels and the St. Joseph Public Library. Also, we thank Dr. James Carviou for organizing a dinner with Nikki and students before the event. Lastly, thank you, Nikki Giovanni, for sharing your brilliance with us!


Giovanni with cut-out created by the staff of Mochila Review


Monday, May 1, 2017

EML Board Report

EML Board Report—March and April

Kaye Adkins
Students in the Technical Documentation course completed a project for the Pony Express Museum. The project included digitizing, editing, and cataloging 700 slides of the Pony Express Trail; creating documentation to support the project; and using the images to create multimedia projects to accompany current Museum exhibits. With the materials created by the students, the Pony Express Museum staff will be able to locate images in their collection to use in future publications and exhibits. With the documentation created by the students, Museum staff and volunteers will be able to digitize, edit, and catalog slides to add to the collection. The course is taught by Dr. Kaye Adkins.

Dana Andrews
Dana Andrews attended the College Composition and Communications Conference (4C’s) in Portland, Oregon from March 15-18.  He attended sessions on ESL and International Student Composition.

Liz Canon
Liz Canon’s article, "Blurred Lines: Does Religious Polarity Create Problematic Heroes in the Poem, Beowulf?", was accepted for publication by Interdisciplinary Humanities, the journal of the Humanities Education and Research Association. It will appear in their spring volume.

Bill Church
Dr. Bill Church, in cooperation with the St. Joseph Museum, has published In Their Own Words: An Oral History of African Americans in St. Joseph Missouri.  The book grew out of a summer PORTAL grant that provided an Applied Learning opportunity for Missouri Western students Jeremy Lyons, Ashley Snyder, and Alexis Mosley. An abridged version of the filmed interviews is available for viewing on the Museum web site. The book is available for purchase now, and the Museum is planning a public reception.

Marianne Kunkel
Dr. Marianne Kunkel organized a campus-wide poetry reading featuring the acclaimed writer Nikki Giovanni. The event, titled "The Mochila Review Presents: In the Shadow of Nikki Giovanni," took place on April 6 at 7 p.m. in Potter Hall Theatre. Co-organizers comprised her Mochila staff and donors comprised the President's and Provost's Offices, the EML department, the CME, and the St. Joseph Public Library.

Susan Martens
On March 2, the Prairie Lands Writing Project hosted High School Writing Day, an event which brought approximately 200 area high school students and teachers to MWSU for a day of writing workshops, lunch activities, and an open mic reading.  PLWP Co-Director and EML Instructor Amy Miller coordinated this event, while PLWP Teacher Consultant Terrance Sanders (Frontier STEM High School, KC) served as emcee.  Several MWSU faculty members and PLWP Teacher Consultants led workshops, while secondary English education students served as event volunteers.  PLWP would like to thank all of the MWSU faculty, staff, and students who contributed their time and energy to making this annual event so successful.
In March, the Prairie Lands Writing Project was awarded a $15,000 Supporting Effective Educator Development grant through the National Writing Project to support its Invitational Summer Institute program.  PLWP Director Susan Martens and Co-Director Amy Miller authored the grant proposal

Susan Martens gave a presentation titled "Leveraging the Writing Marathon for Community Connections" at the Conference on College Composition and Communication in Portland, Oregon, on March 18.  

Miguel Rivera-Taupier
Last month, Miguel Rivera-Taupier published his article "Aspectos goticos y policiales de Estrella Distante" in Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 94.2.

Dawn Terrick
On April 13, 2017, Dawn Terrick presented her paper, “Show Me How To Live: The Role of the Mother and Father in Monster/Horror Genre from Frankenstein to Dexter,” at the 47th Annual Popular Culture Association (PCA) Conference in San Diego, California.
On Wednesday, April 19, 2017, Dawn Terrick, Director of Developmental Writing (ENG100), held a reception to honor those students whose essays were chosen to be in cluded in the 11th edition of the ENG100 student publication Discovering the Student, Discovering the Self.  Students were in attendance to receive their awards and read from their published works.  The student essays reflect the struggle and the joy, the hard work and the rewards that these students have experienced both in their lives and in the classroom.  After the reading, students reconnected with their ENG100 Instructors and introduced their family and friends to their professors.  Faculty, staff, students, friends, and family were in attendance to enjoy the reading, food and camaraderie and conversation that carried over into the afternoon.