Thursday, November 5, 2009

Student and Faculty October Accomplishments


Dr. Kay Siebler presented a paper to the Feminism(s) and Rhetoric(s) conference in East Lansing, Michigan. The title of her multi-media presentation was "Getting Beyond Breast Binding: The Rhetoric of the Body inFemale Transqueers in Film and T.V."

Dr. Elizabeth Latosi-Sawin made a presentation entitled “Composing Yourself” on October 29 to the Area Health Education Centers Program. Dr. Sawin’s talk was heard by undergraduates from Missouri Western State and Northwest Missouri State University at Heartland Hospital in Saint Joseph and by fourteen other undergraduates through live videoconference in Kansas City, Springfield and Rolla.

Dr. Jeanie Crain completed an AQIP Quality Checkup Visit at Montcalm Community College (MI) Oct. 13-19; Dr. Crain has completed reviews of 10 AQIP Action Projects.
Dr. Bob Bergland gave a workshop presentation, "Investigative Reporting for College Journalists" at the National College Media Convention Oct. 31 in Austin, Texas. Bergland also gave a refereed presentation, "Convergence on Canadian Daily Newspaper Websites: A Content Analysis" at the Convergence and Society conference in Reno, Nevada, on Nov. 5.

On Oct 8-10, Mr. Tom Pankiewicz, English instructor, served on a National Writing Project Site Visit Team, consulting with the directors of the Georgia Southern Writing Project at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia.

The 2009 Griffon Yearbook took 4th place in the Best of Show competition at the 88th National College Media Convention in the Yearbook Under 300-pages Category. The convention was held Oct. 28 - Nov. 1 in Austin, Texas. Amy Chastain and Raphaelle Drew were co-editors of the 2009 Griffon. Dr. Ann Thorne and Dr. Ken Rosenauer served as advisers.

Dr. Ann Thorne made two presentations at the 88th National College Media Convention in Austin, Texas, Oct. 30th. Her presentations were entitled, "Be a Successful Yearbook Leader," and "Capture Your Readers With Feature Writing."

Student/Community Involvement/Successes

Prairie Lands Writing Project celebrated The National Day on Writing by hosting a local ( and national ( Gallery of Writing where area students, teachers, and community members can post their original writings through October 2010. English faculty members Dr. Patricia Donaher, Mr. Meredith Katchen, Ms. Patricia Brost, Dr. Cynthia Bartels, and Mr. Joseph Marmaud, and MWSU pre-service teacher Ms. Josie Clark established and are monitoring the web-based galleries. They also awarded prizes to writers for innovative pieces which were posted to the Galleries by November 1.

Twenty area teachers from Savannah, St. Joseph, North Nodaway, and Platte County School Districts participated in two Super Saturday Technology sessions held at Missouri Western in October. The workshops, "Creating Digital Classroom Compositions in Photo Story 3," and "Shoot and Write Marathon/Fun with Flickr Workshop," were supported by National Writing Project Technology Initiative grants awarded to Prairie Lands Writing Project. Mr. Tyler Carlson, Savannah High School English teacher, and Ms. Mary Lee Meyer, Prairie Lands Writing Project technology liaison, facilitated the workshops.

Prairie Lands Writing Project and the Department of English, Foreign Languages, and Journalism sponsored the second annual "Poetry, Prose, Plays and Pizza!" workshop series at Western, October 29 - November 12, to assist students and their teachers in preparing contest entries for this year's National Scholastic Writing Awards Contest. Western English/creative writing faculty members Ms. Meg Thompson, Dr. Bill Church, and Mr. Dana Andrews conducted the poetry, prose, and plays workshops, respectively; over 125 area teenagers and their teachers participated in one or more of the workshops. Debbie Schwebach, Lathrop High School English teacher and curriculum coordinator, and Erin Walker, MWSU graduate student, coordinated the workshop series. Prairie Lands Writing Project is the major sponsor for the Missouri Writing Region for the Scholastic contest.


Dr. Jeanie Crain has been been appointed an Appraisal team member for Central Community College (NE). I continue to serve on the AQIP Admissions Panel and on the AQIP Advisory Council.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Five to Study Abroad in Spring

Five adventurous students take off to foreign lands for the spring 2010 semester. French majors Amanda Burris and Michele Thevenot will spend the semester studying at the Université d'Angers in France. They will enroll full time at the university in the department of language and literature, earning credits toward their degree and living the life of French university students.

Spanish majors Joshua Kalin, Laura Bilecki, and Matthew Starr will head south to enroll at the Universidad Regiomontana in Monterrey, Mexico. They too will study language, culture and civilization alongside Mexican university students. Each will benefit from living with a host family.

All of these students are taking advantage of exchange agreements between Missouri Western and the host universities. The cost is the same as it would be to live and study on campus for a semester. In turn, we are hosting exchange students at Western this year: a student from France, three from Germany, and two from Mexico. For more information on these affordable exchange opportunities, just follow this link:

Monday, November 2, 2009

Outdoor Semester Heads West

Dr. Elizabeth Latosi-Sawin, Director of Outdoor Semester, returned on October 8 with seven MWSU students , three faculty and one community member from a 13-day field trip out West . The theme of this year’s Outdoor Semester is “Energy and Life.” Students are taking courses in environmental literature, sustainable energy, research writing, psychology, and fitness and wellness.

Students and faculty investigated the costs and benefits of wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric power, fossil fuels and nuclear energy, traveling to the Land Institute in Kansas, the National Renewable Energy Lab in Boulder, Colorado; Rocky Mountain Wood Pellet Company in Walden, Wyoming; Oahe Hydroelectric Plant in South Dakota, and Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Station in Nebraska.

“Developing alternative forms of energy requires a fundamental shift in the way human beings consider their position in the natural world,” according to Sawin. “That’s why literature is such an important part of the solution to the environmental problems besetting our planet and that’s why we also spent time in the Rocky Mountains, Yellowstone National Park, the Big Horn Mountains and the Black Hills of South Dakota.”

“On our way we had rare opportunities to see big horn sheep in the Wind River Canyon, hear and see bugling elk in Rocky Mountain National Park, be passed by a herd of close to one hundred bison in Slough Valley, see and hear wolves from the Agate, Cottonwood, and Druid Peak packs in Yellowstone, and see a moose and her calf in Shoshone National forest.”

“Our stay in Yellowstone was cut short by one day because of snow,” Sawin said, “but we managed to stay just ahead of the snowstorms. We went from t-shirts at Bear Lake, to parkas at the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, to boots in the Black Hills.”

The Outdoor Semester students were Leah Voltmer, Josh Swindler, Lindsay O’Neal, Ryan Persinger, Ericka Kelly, Samantha Hunt-Viehland, and Kurtis Morrison. The community member was Frank Stanley. The faculty were Dr. Sawin, Dr. Ken Dagel, Mr. Dana Andrews, and Mr. Jim Grechus. Dr. Sawin hopes you enjoy her photos.