Thursday, April 24, 2014

Outstanding Graduate Awards Presented

Outstanding Students and Some Pretty Good Mentors

The awards for outstanding graduates were presented on April 22, 2014. Faculty members who have worked closely with the graduates presented the awards.

Dr. Robert Bergland presented Mattew Hunt with the Outstanding Graduate in Convergent Media Award; Dr. Elizabeth Sawin presented Katie Walkup with the Outstanding Graduate in English award; Dr. Susan Martens and Mr. Tom Pankiewicz presented Jay Scott with the Outstanding Graduate in English Education award; Dr. Susie Hennessy presented Anna Guilkey with the Outstanding Graduate in French award; Dr. Miguel Rivera-Taupier presented Lauren Ferguson with the Outstanding Graduate in Spanish award. The EML literary studies committee presented the Sandra Jacobs Award in Literary Studies to Roxanne Chase. The award was presented by Dr. Trish Donaher.

Congratulations to our students for an outstanding undergraduate career!

Literati Roxanne and Dr. Donaher

Jay with Education mentors Tom and Susan
Lauran and Anna Celebrating Spanish and French excellence

Sigma Tau Delta Initiates New Members

Sigma Tau Delta conducted its initiation ceremony on Tuesday, April 22. On hand were advisers Dr.Trish Donaher and Dr. Ian Roberts. Past president Katie Walkup and current president Roxanne Chase conducted the rituals.

Sigma Tau Delta is, as explained by is official website, an English Honor Society at four-year colleges and universities established in 1924 to confer distinction for high achievement in English language, literature, and writing. MWSU's is one of 850 local chapters in the U.S. and abroad.

The new initiates are Daniel Cobb, Krista Hague, Matthew Hunt, Betsy Lee, Casey Leslie, Joseph Tucker, and Jessica Voelk.

Congratulations on your outstanding achievement!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Retirement Reception for Pankiewicz and Fulton

Karen and Tom Smile at the Idea of Grading Nothing

Faculty and students from EML as well as well-wishers from the campus and St. Joseph community gathered yesterday, April 22 to celebrate the teaching careers of Karen Fulton and Tom Pankiewicz.

Tom and Norma Bagnall scheme the Praire Lands Way
Tom is a 1967 graduate of St. Joseph Junior College who spent many years as an English teacher at Benton High School in St. Joseph. Shortly after his retirement, Tom was hired to teach as a full-time Instructor of English at MWSU in 2000. Perhaps Tom's greatest legacy is work that he has done with Prairie Lands Writing Project, which he helped form with Norma Bagnall in 1987. From that time until his retirement--and beyond that--Tom has worked to help area high school teachers improve their writing pedagogy as well as their own writing.

Karen began part-time work at Missouri Western in 1985. In 1986, Karen was hired as an assistant professor of English. While rising through the ranks of associate and then full professor, Karen was instrumental in the development of the ENG 100 program. Karen also served as the university's Study Away Director and chaired the department's literary studies program. Eager to get a jump on the theater season, Karen retired last December.   

Dr. Fulton runs a meeting sometime in the last millennium
Karen and Tom leave both figurative and literal holes in our department. Not only will we miss their warm collegiality and wit, but there will be a noticeable emptiness in the area surrounding their respective offices (just a few feet apart) where countless students sat and waited for an audience with these two student favorites.

We hope that they'll come by the department and share some of their newly won free time. We were glad that retired faculty Frances Flanagan, Ken Rosenauer, Ann Thorne, and Rosemary Hoffman could be on hand to welcom Tom and Karen into the club.

Karen's husband Richard (L), Dr. Sawin, and Dr. Rosenauer congratulate Karen

Retired French Professor Rosemary Hoffman (C) chats with Claudine Evans and Ana Bausset-Page

Mercedes Lucero a Future Jayhawk

Mercedes Lucero, a MWSU graduate in literature with a minor in creative writing, is working on her MA in English at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. Mercedes was recently awarded  a fellowship to attend the University of Kansas where she will pursue a PhD in English and continue her work in creative writing. She will begin her time in Lawrence in the fall of 2015.

Check out Mercedes website for other news of her writing.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Foreign Language Day

Spring means Foreign Language Day, which brings enthusiastic high school students from the area to compete with each other. The approximately 150 young women and men had the chance to demonstrate their skills in a foreign language by participating in events such as the poetry recitation, poetry Slam, culture bowl, spelling bee, and a “sell it” contest.
There were also team competitions such as lip-synch performances, a representation of a historical event of the culture of the language they are learning, and the creation of video commercials.  From St. Pius X High School, the students of the French II class reenacted the famous poem “Déjeuner du matin” by Jacques Prévert to sell a coffee product. This high school has the largest representation in French as well.

The students from Maur Hill Mount Academy used their language skills and other talents to make an infomercial.

The event is an opportunity not only for the students to practice language skills, but also for MWSU to keep close contact with foreign language professionals in our region. We acknowledge the efforts of those teachers; they give their students a jump start on skills that they can continue developing at the college level. We hope to see many of them here engaged in modern language course work at Missouri Western.


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.