Wednesday, April 29, 2009

EFLJ Instructor Defends Dissertation

Cynthia Bartels, now with a shiny new "Dr." before her name, defended her dissertation ("The Home as Public Space and Creative Initiative") at the University of Missouri-Columbia on April 28.

Congratulations, Dr. Bartels!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Spanish Class Performs for ESOL Students at Humboldt

On April 21st, students from Dr. Karina Vazquez's SPA 312 class adapted "Los degolladores de estatuas" (The Statues Killers) by Argentina writer, poet, and feminist Alfonsina Storni and presented the play in Ann Miller's ESOL program at Humboldt School. There were 29 children in the audience.

This plays is about two girls' toys that are tired of nobody consider their feelings. They declare a rebellion to catch the attention of their little owners.

Students of SPA312 (Spanish Advanced Conversation I) worked in adapting the play to contemporary times, preparing the set design, costumes, and performance programs. Students also prepared the play presentation and the role play at the end, which was very successful with children's participation.

This experience helped students to improve their Spanish fluency throughout constant practice and group commitment, and also it presented an opportunity to communicate in Spanish within the community. For the ESOL students it was a demonstration of how valuable the Spanish language is and how interested members of the community are in talking with them about their topics (that in this case were toys, games, playing with their parents, going to the square, riding bikes, learning English, etc.).

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

SNCTE Elects New Officers

SNCTE is Proud to Announce its 2009-10 Officers:
Co-Presidents: Josie Clark and Holly Richardson
Treasurer: Denise Price
Secretary: Amanda Rawlings
Public Relations: Jocelyn Clubine

The Student Affiliate of the National Council of Teachers of English is open to all students at Missouri Western State University, especially those who plan to be elementary and secondary teachers. The group organizes several events on campus each semester and holds regular meetings throughout the school year. We would like to invite all students to join us in supporting the teaching of English. Please explore our web site and see what we have to offer:

A Student's Semester Experience in Mexico

Omer Libich, who will graduate this December with a BA in Spanish, has been in Mexico since January. Here is his report:

Upon arriving in Mexico, I didn't have any expectations other than that of learning the language. However when getting off the plane, I realized just how much I lacked in spite of having studied the language for years. They took me to the house in which I would be staying for the semester, and I met the host family with whom I would be living. I never could have hoped that they would be so nice; I immediately felt welcome. The first couple of days I got to know the area and the host family as well as the other students living here.

Later on, I went to Universidad Regiomontana in order to meet the other exchange students that came to study. The staff is extremely nice and always willing to help with any problem that you have.

They took us on a tour of the city. It's so beautiful, and I fell in love with the mountains that surround it. Little by little I learned spanish better and got to know more people. Some of the friends that I've made, I now feel as if they were part of my family. Within two weeks I had already been invited to an anniversary of a friend's grandparents: "Bodas de Oro," or rather celebrating 50 years of being married. It was absolutely amazing. The culture is so rich and full of life, and it gave me the chance to meet even more people.

Studying is harder as the classes are all in a foreign language, but this helps to learn the language faster and is definitely worth it. I still have plenty of time to spend with my friends and we go out on the weekends to the bar district downtown. The night-life here is amazing as well, it will start around midnight and can go until 8:00 am (a side note for those interested, the drinking age in Mexico is 18). My host family took me to their vacation home outside of the city, which is gorgeous. There aren't as many people and you can see the stars really clearly at night. While I was there, they let me plant a tree so that they could remember the time I had spent there with them.

The best memory I have, as of yet, is going to "Cola de Caballo" or "the horse's tail" which is a waterfall here nearby and a tourist attraction. I went with friends of mine that are from here and they signed me up for bungee jumping. I was really scared at first but they cheered me on, and I'm so glad I did it. They even recorded the whole thing for me. It was awesome; words can't even describe the feeling of having fear of something then overcoming it and having a video to prove it and share the experience.

When the time comes to leave I will miss all of my friends here. I have even made some life-long friends that I'll never lose touch with. I'll miss my host family that has been so kind to me, and I'll definitely miss Mexico and Monterrey. I love the weather here, too, by the way. Most of all, I'll miss the feeling that I got from the people here; feeling like a true Mexican is the best. Mexican pride is noticeable in other people and when I went to visit my parents during spring break even they noticed it in me. I'll never forget my experiences here in Monterrey. I'd like nothing more than to remain in these moments forever.

A note to all those considering studying abroad: Please keep an open mind about living with a host family. It helps your language acquisition exponentially. You'll pick up the language faster than you ever thought possible. Just do it. There's no sense in waiting. It's the experience of a lifetime, and I can promise you that you won't regret it. There are life-long friendships waiting for you here and a rich cultural heritage that has a lot of history together with our own culture. There's nothing to lose and the price is the same as if you were to remain at MWSU.

Here is the link to the youtube bungee jump video:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Griffon Yearbook Recognized in State

Griffon Yearbook won a number awards at Missouri College Media Association meeting this weekend. Please congratulate the following students on their awards:

Matthew Fowler, 2nd Place Feature Photography
Matthew Fowler, 3rd Place Feature Photography
Raphi Drew, 3rd Place Student Life Design
Jennifer Kohler, 3rd Place, Feature Writing
Jeremy Weikel, Honorable Mention, Feature Photography

Griffon News Receives Awards

Please join usin congratulating the staff of The Griffon News for winning 19 awards this past weekend at the Missouri College Media Association conference in St. Louis.

The highlights of the evening ceremony were taking six first place awards in Division II, competing against other non-daily newspapers in the state such as Truman, Northwest, Southern, UCM, etc. In the Sweepstakes category, which was awarded based on the total number and type of awards in all of the categories combined (4 points for first place awards, 3 points for second, 2 points for third, 1 point for honorable mention), Missouri Western finished second behind Webster--beating papers at accredited programs such as SEMO and several programs with more than twice the number of journalism majors.

Sweepstakes: 2nd place
General Excellence: Honorable Mention

First Place Awards:
Website: Matthew Fowler
Regular Column: Dan Donan
Editorial: Lisa Crawford
Entertainment Review: Ryan Richardson
Story Illustration: Marty Ayers and Mandie Nocita
Feature Writing: Addison Ford

Second Place:
Sports Column: Gregor Avey
Multimedia: Mark Murray
Investigative Reporting: Ellis Cross

Third Place:
Opinion/Editorial Section: Charlene Divino
Sports Section: Gregor Avey, Marty Ayers, Matthew Fowler, Mandie Nocita
Sports Column: Matthew Fowler
In-Depth Reporting: Gerri McClain
Multimedia: Anna Flin
Story Illustration: Marty Ayers and Mandie Nocita

Honorable Mention:
Investigative Reporting: Ellis Cross
News Photography: Marty Ayers

ENG 100 Reading a Big Success

On Monday, April 13, 2009, Dawn Terrick, the Director of Developmental Writing, unveiled the third annual ENG 100 student publication: 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 from the Fall 2008 semester. Students, family, friends, faculty, staff and administrators were all present to honor these students' accomplishments and hear them read their work.

Dr. Vartabedian, president of Missouri Western, welcomed all in attendance, and after the books, certificates and prizes were distributed, students read their original work. The afternoon was a success and everyone had an uplifting and enjoyable experience!

Students whose essays were published are: Alex Atchity, Jarrel Berryman, Brittani Booker, Roxanne Chase, Ashley Coon, Joyce Frump, Jason Goddard, Laura Hales, Leah Hayes, Rachel Higginbotham, Anthony Jackson, Jamela Johnson, Frances Leggs, Jamie Limmer, Lindsay Lujan, Jamie Melendez, Frank Nemeth, Lindsay O’Neal, Jody Shaw, Bryce Shoemaker, Mickey Sigmon, Ray Walker.

See the reading here:

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Celebration for Canvas

There will be a reception to commemorate the release of this year’s Canvas. This reception is meant to showcase the wealth of talent found in the Western community. We will announce the winners of best Prose and Poetry and give awards to the writers.

We will hold the reading on Thursday, April 23 at 3:30 p.m. in Hearnes 102, on the first floor of Western’s library.

Contributors to the journal will read an excerpt of their work. Everyone is welcome to come listen to others read. This reception will be the first oppurtunity to pick up the 2009 edition of Canvas.

For more information, contact Brean Reiley at

Don‘t forget to check out the Canvas website at

Jeanie Manning Awarded Presidential Citation

Jeanie Manning, Director of Developmental Reading, has been awarded a Presidential Citation for Service to Students.

Jeanie Manning has shown outstanding commitment to helping students grow as individuals in and out of the classroom. Upon her arrival at MWSU, she developed a reading technique that allows adult learners to learn to think critically as well as to remember what they read. She is regularly invited to present the technique in many COL 101 classes, as well as ENG 100 classes. Jeanie implemented a research project in RDG 095 and ENG 100 classes, showing that students who use the reading technique are improving their reading comprehension and critical thinking skills by almost 20% in just a four week period of use.

Jeanie has volunteered to be an advisor for students and works with Student Services to provide advising and consulting services for freshman students, particularly those who are considered to be at risk students. She also volunteers her time in the Faculty Mentor Program, through the Office of Residential Life. She provides informal evening programs in Scanlon Hall covering subjects of interest to the residents, including her reading technique, test taking techniques, time management, test anxiety reduction, stress reduction and relaxation techniques. She meets RAs and students for lunch to cultivate the faculty-student relationship. She has also joined others in the Faculty Mentor Program to provide evening programs regarding advising and registration and final exam preparation as well as hosting the students each semester for a pancake supper in the dorm.

Last year, Jeanie was recognized as an Outstanding Instructor by Disability Services for her involvement in easing difficulties that are sometimes encountered by students with disabilities. This was especially meaningful to Manning because students made the nominations for this award. She has provided training for the Stepping Stones Minority Achievement Program to enhance their mentor program.

Working closely with the Non-Traditional Student Office, Jeanie assists students with the often challenging transition to college life. She provides testing and advising for non-traditional students by appointment to help ease the burdens of their work schedules. She also provides skills-enhancement programs to the Non-Traditional Organization upon request. Jeanie has served on the Critical Thinking Committee, the Ad Hoc Task Force for Student Success, the Developmental Education Committee, the First Year Programs Committee, and the Faculty Mentor Program. She is also active in the Learning Community program on campus. She is an active member of the College Reading and Learning Association, the National Association of Developmental Education, and the MWSU Ambassadors.

Congratulations to Jeanie, and thanks to her for the great work she does for student beyond her duties.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

April New Lit Out Loud

We began this semester with a new open mic series for Western students and the St. Joseph community. If you have missed any of these popular events in the past, make sure to come join us for the next New Lit Out Loud.
The next open mic night will be Wednesday, April 15th at 7:00 pm.
Come read your original work, or come enjoy the company and wonderful atmosphere!

We will be at Foster's Martini and Wine Bar.
726 Felix Street
(816) 364-4400

See (and hear?) you there!

Faculty Accomplishments in March

EFLJ faculty attended the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) in San Francisco. Faculty presenters included Kay Siebler (“ Breast Binders and Crotch Stuffers: Representations of Transqueers in Popular Media”), Michael Charlton ("Finding a Date for the Prompt: Oral Negotiation in Writing Across the Curriculum" and "WAC's a Beach: Dialogic Models of Writing-Across-the-Curriculum"), and Dawn Terrick (“Granting Access and Rewarding Success in a Developmental Writing Program”).

Jason Youngkeit gave a paper entitled "Collective resentment and its literary expression: Cronicas argentinas by Antonio dal Masetto" at the VII International Congress of Hispanic Literature in Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Ann Thorne presented three papers at the College Media Advisers Spring National Convention in New York City: "Enticing the Yearbook Reader to Read On,” "From Journalist to Academician," and "Leadership Skills for Yearbook Editors."

Ken Rosenauer continued to serve as president of College Media Advisers, leading two days of Board meetings in New York City. Ken also presented "On the cutting edge: Creating and implementing new knowledge in advising” and presented welcome and introductory remarks for convention keynote speaker Charles Gibson, anchor of ABC’s flagship broadcast “ABC’s World News.”

Mike Cadden was elected Vice-President/President-elect of the Children’s Literature Association. ChLA is an international organization of approximately one thousand members whose purpose is to encourage scholarship, research, and criticism in the field of children's literature ( Mike will serve as Vice-President in 2009-2010 and President in 2010-2011. Professor Emerita Norma Bagnall, Mike’s predecessor at MWSU, served as President of the Association exactly twenty years earlier.

Susan Hennessy attended the 3nd Annual Colloquium on Language Teaching in Omaha Nebraska and presented "Using Global Simulation for Real Improvement in Student Writing.”

Friday, April 3, 2009

2009 EFLJ Outstanding Student Awards

The Department announces its 2009 Outstanding Senior awards:

Outstanding Graduate in French: Alyssa Smith

Outstanding Graduate in Spanish: Arlee Riggs

Mary Lee Doherty Award (Outstanding BSE, English): Kyla Ward

Louise Lacy Award (Outstanding BA, English): Amy Chastain, Mary Stone, and Katy Strasser
The Sandra Jacobs Literary Studies Award: Allison Faulkner

Congratulations to these students on their excellent undergraduate careers!