Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mercedes Lucero publishes story

Ms. Mercedes Lucero, one of our new creative writing minors, just received an acceptance for a short story. Her story, "Memories I Cannot Recall," will appear in North Central Review.

NCR is, as described on their website, "a student-run literary journal that publishes the creative works of college and university students from around the country. Established in 1935, the NC Review became an exclusively undergraduate journal in 2005, one of just a handful of such journals in the nation."

Congratulations on this impressive achievement, Mercedes!

Monday, March 28, 2011

North Reports from East

Joshua North, another MWSU French major studying in Angers, France this semester, files this report:

Doing a study abroad has been a very rewarding experience for me. Since I’ve been over here, I’ve learned many different things about the world. The city is a mix of cultures that I would have never expected. Not only are there lots of different cultures that are introduced through the exchange program here, but the city is also a rich mixing of people. For example, the Americans I have met include people from Arizona, North Carolina, Nebraska and Illinois. As for the rest of the world, I’ve met people from Ireland, Romania, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Austria and of course France. With this new view of the world, I have a new understanding of how the world sees us and vice versa.

Another thing that I will always remember about Angers is how beautiful their city is. As spring has just started around here, I’m sure the plants and the flowers will be coming into bloom and it will be even more beautiful. As a person who likes to get out and explore places, I appreciate the fact that Angers lets you rent a bike from the city for free. It has allowed me to get around town easier and with more freedom and to be able to visit many of the places that only the locals know about. One of the places I just recently found was “Le Jardin des Plantes.” I’ve returned there a few times since because of just the sheer beauty of the garden.

So overall, this trip has been a very rewarding and very educational experience, but of course it’s never in the ways you would expect when you first begin your journey. As a quote from Don Williams Jr. says, “~ The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination. ~” This quote is a very true one about this trip, I would of expected to learn lots of things from the classrooms, which is a true statement, but I’ve also learned a lot of things from just being on the streets of Angers and the people I’ve met here. In the classrooms, I’ve learned interesting rules about the French language and proper grammatical usage, but out in the parks, the streets, the dorms, the pubs, the stores, etc., I’ve seen and experienced things that makes this journey a very educational experience and the lessons I’ve learned, I will carry all through my life and I’m very grateful for the chance to take this journey.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Kathy Crawford starts Blog on Animal Welfare

Kathy Crawford, BA English/Journalism and current graduate student, has started a blog dedicated to animal welfare issues in northwest Missouri. Kat's Dog Tales is part of a project for AIM 620, though Kathy hopes to expand the blog this spring and summer.

Kathy is an award-winning freelance journalist. She has written for magazines, daily and weekly newspapers as a general assignment reporter, and Web sites. She lives northwest of the greater Kansas City area with her husband, an electrician, and their four dogs, Steamboat, Sandy, Molly and Wendy.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Griffon in France Reports

Andrew Needham, a French major, has been abroad in France for the semester. Here is news from the continent:

My experience here in France... where to begin, there is a lot to say! I have really enjoyed my time here in Angers and being so close to Paris is really quite nice. Angers is a nice city that is neither too big nor too small; it simply is just the right size.

The university campus is nicely plotted outside the Centre Ville and there is a beautiful lake just behind the dorms for running, walking, picnics, etc… I will say that when I first arrived in my dorm room, I felt a bit cramped, but when I realized where I was and that a train to virtually anywhere in Europe was just 15 minutes away, I was quite comfy with my accommodations. Having one’s own bathroom is probably the biggest plus in the dorms; it is so incredibly nice to have a private bathroom that you don’t have to worry about sharing with anyone else.

The weather is neither too hot nor too cold here; it’s practically perfect every day. One of my favorite things to do is get a couple of friends together, hang out in my room and open wide my window as we chat and listen to music. Coming to Angers has been and is one of the most rewarding experiences for me. Being immersed in the French culture has helped my French so much and the university makes sure not to place too many foreign exchange students in one hall or building, so you are constantly surrounded by French people.

Studying in Angers is incredibly affordable and if you save up money before coming, there are hundreds of options for your breaks from class. The stipend that one receives from MWSU is more than enough to live off of and also gave me enough money to visit my sisters in the Dolomite Mountains in Italy to go snowboarding! Coming to Angers has been one the best decisions I’ve ever made and it opened the door for me to do and see so many things around Europe!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Almost April Fools Reading

Our next open mic reading, "Almost April Fools Reading," will be at Whiskey Mansion

1723 Francis

7-9ish PM

Thursday, March 31


Come by and enjoy some desert, coffee, and some New Lit Out Loud.

All genres welcome, if not always understood. Fishing tales are welcome.

Griffons in search of Arthur

What follows is a field report from intrepid adventurer and raconteur, Professor C. J. Jeney (pictured in the Tower of London--with horses--where she belongs):

The English 361 Literature on Site: Tales & Legends of King Arthur class has returned from their overseas quest to find a legendary king!

The group departed from KCI on March 10, 2011 for London, and began our journey of wonder with a sightseeing tour of the city, led by the fearless David Jagger, our favorite tour guide. This was followed up by an evening jaunt to Picadilly Circus led by the equally fearless Margaret Easter (we had aimed for Leicester Square, but it is walled off, getting ready for the Olympic festivities in 2012--as is much of the city). After that, the whirlwind quest began. Keep up with us, if you can!

Tower of London -- built by William I (the Conqueror) on site of former Roman stronghold.London Museum -- home of London's greatest collection of Roman and Medieval artifacts on displayStonehenge -- Giants' Dance, grave of Ambrosius Aurelianus, re-erected by Merlin, site of MysteryOld Sarum -- Iron Age hil fort, Roman stronghold, Norman castle: home of the famous "Domesday Book"Salisbury Cathedral -- trubute to medieval church-building; soaring vaulted ceiling, magnificent spire; Magna Carta on display (and well guarded) in the chapter house.Roman Baths (Bath) -- Vacation Central for the occupying Roman forces, the baths have been excavated and partially restored for visitors ever since the 19th Century. Hail Caesar (and pass the soap!)Tintagel Castle (pictured left), Cornwall -- legendary birthplace of King Arthur.Newquay (pronounced "New'-kee") -- overnight stay in beachfront hotel; surfing Mecca for Princes William and Harry.Glastonbury Abbey -- final resting place of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere; excavated in 1191, a grave site marked with a lead cross: Hic jacet sepultus inclitus rex Arthurus in insula Avalonia ("Here lies interred the famous King Arthur on the Isle of Avalon").Chalice Well & Gardens -- site visited by Joseph of Arimathea after the death of Christ; the stories tell of a Grail hidden by Joseph in the sacred Well. Glastonbury Tor -- In the region of Avalon, surrounded by the Summer Country, the Isle of Glass rose above the misty waters. Romans sailed to its base; Meleagant carried off Guinevere; the Lady of the Lake looked down upon the Monks of Glastonbury... or was it all just stories?Leeds Castle -- dating its history back to the 9th Century, the castle at Leeds in Kent is still a working visitor destination, available for weddings, conferences, and other events.Dover -- White cliffs. Too hazy to see France. Canterbury Cathedral -- Est. 597 by Saint Augustine; site of the murder of St. Thomas Beckett; destination of pilgrims, place of worship, place of peace.Her Majesty's Theatre (optional) -- Now Playing: Phantom of the Opera! Open Day: -- Dr. Jeney treks to Hampton Court Palace, the famed residence of Cardinal Wolsey and Henry VIII (whose armor is pictured right); half of the palace was re-done in the Baroque style by William & Mary in 1689, thus creating the impression of visiting two palaces for the price of one. Sarah Spiers' pilgrimage to Colchester, the Land of Boudicca is a glorious, Roman-battling success. Leah Cotton experiences the joys of London Bus Tours, journeying in and around London, takes a ride on the London Eye, and meets up with friends in the city. Margaret Easter, Sofia Pierson, Deborah Becker, and Danyel Becker make a day of it in the British Museum.

During the trip, we paused to watch reports of the disastrous earthquake/tsunami in Japan. There were protesters in the streets of London with signs supporting Libyan resistance, and the entire town is all a-buzz about the 2012 Olympic Games and of course, the wedding of their darling Prince William to Catherine Middleton.

Some of us bought too many books. Some of us hunted for "Will and Kate" commemorative souvenirs. One acquired a tasteful replica of the Rosetta Stone (the actual stone, not the language software) in a BM gift shop. One person took altogether too many pictures of Tintagel Castle and forgot to click pics at Her Majesty's Theatre. Two people launched spontaneously into verses of Lerner and Loewe's "Camelot." One person walked barefoot in the healing waters at the Chalice Wells. Two people cried at Phantom. Four people hiked to the top of Glastonbury Tor (pictured left).

In the end, the group found King Arthur in the mists, the lore, the stories, and the forgotten ancient past of the Isle of Britain.

Friday, March 11, 2011

High School Writing Day 2011

On March 10, 2011, High School Writing Day welcomed 167 students, 16 teachers, and 9 high schools to the Missouri Western University Campus. As advertised on the Praire Lands Writing Project website, "This annual event brings the best teen writers in Northwest Missouri to the campus of Missouri Western State University for a day of learning and fun."

From 8 AM until 2 PM, students engaged in writing and video workshops with subjects as diverse as writing the Graphic Novel, screenwriting, memoir, poetry, song-writing, and more.

Dr. Jane Frick and Mr. Tom Pankiewicz (pictured above) are the co-directors of this annual event. They were assisted by MWSU pre-service teachers and students from the SNCTE, our student chapter of the National Council of Teachers of English.

Tom Pankiewicz was impressed by the students ability to "tweet" in creative ways in response to some pictures shared on the large screens in the Fulkerson Center. Those tweets were "posted" on boards around the room for all to enjoy.

Enjoy some of the videos that students created:

Thanks to the MWSU Foundation and the St. Joseph School District for their support in this annual event celebrating student writing in Northwest Missouri.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Griffin a Greef!

Brad Griffin (pictured left with Dr. Jane Frick), December 2010, Missouri Western BSE English graduate, was honored by the Missouri Association of Teachers of English, as a 2011 Robert J. Greef Award winner.

The award is given annually to outstanding English education seniors for their academic excellence in the field of English education, leadership, and character.

Brad and five other outstanding graduates from around the state (pictured right) received their awards at this year's Write to Learn Conference for language arts teachers, held at Tan-Tar-A Conference Center on March 3.

We are told that Brad's award was nicer than the others', though this can not be confirmed. Brad also maintains that the MWSU mascot is named for his family but was somehow spelled incorrectly. Sources are being checked.

Congratulations, Brad!

Monday, March 7, 2011

February Faculty Activities

Michael Charlton gave a symposium at the Conference on Applied Learning in Higher Education on the client/student relationship in applied learning.

Cynthia Jeney presented her paper "Enide's Excellent Equestrian Adventure: Squire, Donzel, and Warrior Queen in Chr├ętien de Troye’s Erec et Enide" at the 17th Annual Conference of the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, in Tempe, Arizona

Prairie Lands Writing Project sponsored two workshop forums for teachers at Missouri Western in February. Valorie Stokes, National Writing Project Web Presence Retreat Coordinator and Media Coordinator at Platte County High School, conducted an interactive workshop, "Yes, You Can Use Copyrighted Materials!" providing resources for educators related to Fair Use of copyrighted materials. Ten area teachers completed their online book study of the National Writing Project's Because Digital Writing Matters text with a face-to-face gathering at Missouri Western. Prairie Lands Writing Project and Greater Kansas City Writing Project teacher technophiles joined the book study members at the workshop, which was facilitated via Skype by Troy Hicks, one of the authors of Because Digital Writing Matters.

Jeanie Crain completed an additional Reaffirmation Review and Recommendation for AQIP.

Exhibitions/Publications/Peer Review
Jane Frick and Tom Pankiewicz served as grant proposal reviewers at the National Writing Project's national evaluation meeting held in Berkeley, CA, in February.

Heather Heater Wins Photo Contest

Heather Heater, a senior convergent media major, won first place and a $1,000 check in a Kansas City Star photo contest. Her entry, one of 146 submitted, shows a pinup model sitting on a classic car.

The contest was open to the public, with 45 percent of the votes from visitors to the Kansas City Star website and the remaining from judges at the Star.

The contest guidelines called for a photo depicting a favorite car moment, along with text that describes that moment. Heather wrote about her love of classic cars and taking photos of pin-up girls.

"I dress the models, do their hair and make-up and then set the scene," she wrote. "I loved the color of the car and thought that the flat black really brought out the color the of glossy pink."
She added that this was the first car that an owner allowed someone to sit on or rest against.
She picked up her check in Kansas City on March 3 and had her photo taken with a couple of Star representatives. Her photo will be published in the paper and online.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Pavitt trains Westar Employees

Katherine Pavitt, BSE 2002, reports that she is starting a new job developing curricula and training Westar Energy employees for their SmartStar Project. She is starting a Master's program in adult education at Park Univeristy.

Katherine is currently living in Topeka KS and can be reached at

Congratulations, Katherine!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Literature and Art journal asks for submissions

A call from the editors of Canvas, MWSU's student literary magazine:

"You! Yes, you! The creative one!

Attention writers and artists alike:
Canvas, Missouri Western State University’s student literary and art journal, is now accepting submissions from students, alumni, staff, and faculty of Western until March 23! Artists, writers, and photographers are encouraged to submit their work as soon as possible!

Submissions can be e-mailed via or delivered to the editor at or

Further, submissions can be hand delivered to the English, foreign languages, and journalism department in Fred Eder Hall, Room 212.

Canvas is an applied learning opportunity funded by the MWSU Foundation and will be available in May.

Share your art!"