Sunday, April 20, 2014

Alum's Novel Getting Noticed

Alumna LeAnn Neal Reilly's latest novel, The Last Stratiote, is a contestant in the Breakthrough Novel Award. Last week she learned that her novel made it into the quarterfinals, which means that it is in the top 5% of the 10,000 entries. Publishers Weekly is reviewing quarterfinalists now and semifinalists will be announced on June 13.
Amazon has posted the quarterfinalists' excerpts and Vine reviews in the Kindle store for Amazon customers to read, rate, and review .
Ultimately, the finalists will be chosen by Amazon editors, but if you have a chance, read the excerpt and give a review!

Mark Henderson Defends MAA Thesis

Congratulations to Mark Henderson, who successfully defended his Master's thesis on April 18.

In his thesis "Thinking Digitally: Metacognition's Role in eLearning," Mark analyzed training materials from an international company based in St. Joseph. As part of his thesis, Mark wrote and submitted an evaluation report to his client.

Mark's committee included Dr. Kaye Adkins (committee chair), Dr. Robert Bergland, and Mr. Thomas Pankiewicz. Mark is in the Technical Communication option of the Master of Applied Arts in Written Communication.

Friday, April 18, 2014

ENG 100 Reception

Discovering the Student, Discovering the Self:

On Wednesday, April 9, 2014, Dawn Terrick, Director of Developmental Writing, hosted 80 people at the annual reception for the ENG 100 student publication Discovering the Student, Discovering the Self.  Dr. Vartabedian kicked off the reception.  Then students received certificates and awards and read their original work.  Students were joined by their family and friends as well as MWSU faculty, staff and administration and all enjoyed an afternoon of celebration. 

This is the eighth edition of Discovering the Student, Discovering the Self.   The essays that appear in this publication were selected by the English 100 Committee from submissions from English 100 students.  These 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.  Furthermore, these essays reflect the diversity of our English 100 students and the uniqueness of this course.  Our students are entering college straight out of high school and are returning to the classroom after years of work and family, come from urban and rural areas, and represent different races and cultures.  And this work is truly their work -- the committee has not made any revisions or corrections to the essays.  We invite you to read these essays on our website and hope that you will discover the same things that the students have discovered:  during their first semester in college they are discovering themselves, realizing that they are part of many communities and defining themselves as individuals, students, scholars and citizens.

MAA Alumna Stephanie Hartley Wins Mentor Award

2013 MAA graduate Stephanie Hartley, now an Instructor of English at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ, is
a recipient of a College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Mentor Award. The award recognizes Stephanie's efforts to help develop positive relationships between the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) and the students living in the resident halls who are studying in CLAS. She received her nomination from a student in her composition course.
Congratulations, Stephanie!


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

EML Trivia Team Wins Silver

 Last Friday night your EML Trivia Team fought bravely against seven other teams in the annual Alpha Chi Lambda (Western’s Honors Society) and SHO (Student Honors Organization) fund raising event. EML trounced them all—including a nasty collection of Ohio State alumni—with the exception of one team: the Brain Busters. 

The Triva Team. Partial Meditation was Key to Near Victory (Jenéy photo credit)
Team captain Dana Andrews led a rag-tag bunch of people (Martens, Cadden, Katchen, Charlton, Adkins, and Jenéy) who clearly needed to know more about things like geography and science.

Questions that the EMLers answered correctly?

What narrow pass was held by 300 Spartan warriors against a vast Persian attack force?

Answer: Thermopylae

Who directed the Godfather movies?

Answer: Francis Ford Coppola

Who was Aristotle’s most famous student?

Answer: Alexander the Great

In what town in Italy was the Stradivarius violin created?

Answer: Cremona

What three-word American idiom means to go past the point of no return?

Answer: Crossing the Rubicon

Incorrect answers

What alloy is the result of mixing copper and tin?

Our answer: Pixie dust

Correct answer: bronze


What is the westernmost city on the African continent?

Our answer: Cheyenne

Correct answer: Dakar


What is a Badger’s dwelling called?

Our answer: Badger’s House or Toad Hall (depending on the scene in The Wind in the Willows)

Correct Answer: a “Set”


What are the thread-like substances in the nucleus of animal and plant cells?

Our answer: Biology thingees

Correct answer: chromosomes

Your second-place EMLers scored a 74/100, losing to the Brain Busters by 2. The outcome is being contested because it is suspected that the contest emcee, Bill Church, owes several of the Brain Busters some serious cash. We were also thrown off of our game by the Rorschach cookies, which we found distracting. C.J. insists that they are meant to look like Griffons. Meredith saw the Anti-Christ. Dana his landlord, which may be the same thing. Kaye thought it looked like a restrictive clause. In any case, as you can imagine, we missed a few questions fighting over an image that is clearly that of our twenty-first President of the U.S., Chester A. Arthur.

The EMLers’ second-place winnings ($200) were donated to the YWCA’s Abused Women Services in St. Joseph, MO.


An Update from Kris Miller

Kris Miller, a 2013 MAS in Written Communication graduate, has been working for American Business & Technology University since October of 2013 back when it was AC&T. The University is a 100% online institution, and major student populations are military students and adult learners.  
Kris (second from left) with his graduate committee
After starting out as an Academic Support Coordinator working with the Registrar and handling enrollment agreements and counts, Kris was moved to handling uploads of course material nd tests for the school's online network. Kris was told by his employers that there might be advancement opportunities in the future because of his Master's degree and overall experience that is related to online education, such as instructional design and manual and policy writing.  
Kris found his niche when he was asked to help with work on Articulate, a program for video capturing and animation technology. The purpose of working with Articulate is to engage students during lectures. Students will have the opportunity to interact with the content they are learning while the instructor gives a lecture. He will be helping the University further by building its interactive materials and writing its policies and manuals for how to upload course material and addressing college credits.  "I feel I am growing to be a valuable member of this rapidly growing institution," Kris reports.
Congratulations on a fast start, Kris!  

Monday, April 7, 2014

First Exchange Program Graduate

Congratulations to Michelle Yue Zhang on completing her Master's degrees in English at Xidian University and in Written Communication at Missouri Western.

Michelle is the first student to graduate from the exchange program with Xidian University in China. Students in the program complete coursework at Xidian, and then spend a year completing coursework at Missouri Western. They then return to Xidian to complete their thesis and defend it. Michelle's thesis is titled "A Contrastive Analysis of News Reports of Snowden Events in Chinese and American Newspapers from a CDA Perspective."