Monday, October 31, 2011

Griffon Yearbook Wins Awards . . . Again!

The Griffon Yearbook took Second Place Best of Show at the National College Media Convention in Orlando, Florida. The yearbook was entered in the under-300 pages yearbook division.

The editor-in-chief of the 2011 yearbook was Raphael'le Drew. Photo editors were Kelsey Saythany photo editor (fall semester), and Robin Gann (spring) semester. Erica Stevens was design editor (fall semester) and Hanna Greenwell was design editor (spring semester). Jourdan Huffman was copy editor. Assistant editors included Sarah Hatten, Lindsey Roberts, Courtney Slater and Heather Heater.

Congratulations to Dr. Ann Thorne, Yearbook Adviser, and the 2011 staff on representing the Yearbook, EFLJ, Missouri Western, and themselves so well!

Creative Writing Workshop and More to Come

Dr. Bill Church, Western creative writing professor, led a "Going for the Gold" pizza and fiction writing workshop at Missouri Western on October 27 for teachers and their students, grades seven - 12, planning to enter the national Scholastic Writing Awards Contest.

Following Church's presentation, students shared their fiction contest pieces in critique groups (shown here). The "Going for the Gold" workshop was the first of three, sponsored by the EFLJ department and Prairie Lands Writing Project; coming this week: personal essay workshop conducted by Western English professor Michael Charlton; coming in two weeks; poetry writing workshop conducted by Western adjunct English professor Rosetta Ballew-Jennings; on November 12, Dr. Kaye Adkins conducts a professional writing workshop.

For more information on those upcoming events, please see the Prairie Lands Writing Project events page.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Faculty Once Again Defeat Media

The Faculty “Heroes” (for what other name would suffice, Dear Reader?) once again defeated the Team of Media Outlets and Various Students (team name: “Huns”) in last night’s Eight Annual Griffon Basketball Tip-Off Party.

The Heroes, eight hale and valorous faculty and staff (Bergland, Bergman, Cadden, Ellis, Johnson, Lawley, Rhoad, and Unzicker), were comprised of no less than 24.3% EFLJ faculty. Bob “The Point Factory” Bergland (person with ball in picture) fought off both student elbows and his mid-forties to score forty-five of the thirty-six points that it took to beat the dreaded Huns. “I did what I could, and what I could was pretty darned impressive, If I say so myself,” Bob offered. While Mike “Moral Support” Cadden (short person without the ball in above picture) scored no “points,” his constant helpful comments such as “Atta boy, Bob” and “Way to take that rock to the hole, Bob!” and “Yea, Bob!” were considered by some to be the difference in a close game.

Down 22-10 in the early going, the Heroes decided that on defense they would stand between the Huns and the basket at which they appeared to be shooting. This strategy, drawn up in animated fashion on a white board at court’s edge, proved vital in the contest’s outcome. The Faculty prevailed 36-31.

The final minute saw the Heroes employing a “four-corners” strategy in which they held the ball in order to keep the other team from scoring. The consensus of the Heroes following the game was that this was much less tiring than actual basketball and would be employed immediately next year with the plan of winning 2-0.

Congratulations, Faculty. The students needed another reason to love you so.

EFLJ team "Dangling Prepositions" wins Trivia Contest

The medieval "trivium" consisted of the lower division of the seven liberal arts: grammar, rhetoric, and logic. How fitting, then, that a crack team from EFLJ, "The Dangling Prepositions," took last night's "Off the Wall Trivia Night" charity event sponsored by The Center for Community Arts at Missouri Western.

"Danglin'" teammate C.J. Jenéy reports that they "smoked the field" of a dozen teams and "arose from the ashes as this year's charity trivia contest champions." The team correctly answered 55 of 60 questions. Had they know anything at all about ancient Arabic or the length of the Great Wall of China, they'd have been perfect. What are they teaching kids in school these days?

C. J. used her extensive knowledge of medival bass fishing and horses to answer some tough questions. She was joined in the fray by the expertise of Stacia Bensyl (specializing in Japanese craft trivia, wood crafting, and the history of plumbing), Craig Goad (cross-word puzzles and Irish dance), Kaye Adkins (plants and birds and all that nature stuff), Ian Adkins (whatever kids know these days), Dana Andrews (movies and the rules of quidditch), and Michael Charlton (yo-yo trick nomenclature, science fiction, and Oklahoma facts) rose to new heights of triviality, identifying obscure facts from film, music, science, and history.
The $100 prize for first place was donated to the sponsoring group, The Center for Community Arts at Missouri Western, because that's just the sort of class act we know "The Dangling Prepositions" to be. That group from The United Way would have bought beer.

The Trophy will be on display as soon as it arrives from the engravers. C.J. says, "Enjoy basking in our radiant triviality!"

"What mighty contests rise from trivial things"
― Alexander Pope, "The Rape of the Lock"

Winning a trivia contest is no small matter. Congratulations, "Danglin' Preps"! It is you whom we are proud of.

Friday, October 21, 2011

When Writing Teachers Write

On Wednesday, October 19, regional language arts teachers gathered for their tenth annual reading of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry sponsored by Prairie Lands Writing Project.

*John Minnick, North Kansas City Staley High School language arts department chair and language arts teacher

Rosetta Ballew-Jennings, Missouri Western English teacher

Katey Girard, Osborn Middle and High School communication arts teacher

Stephanie Hartley, Missouri Western State University graduate teaching assistant

Brandon Haskey, St. Joseph Central High School communication arts/creative writing teacher

Joe Marmaud, Missouri Western English teacher

Lisa Miller, Savannah Middle School communication arts teacher

Amanda Moyers, St. Joseph Central High School communication arts teacher

Tom Pankiewicz, Missouri Western English teacher

Melissa Robinson, Cameron Middle School communication arts teacher

Janet Smith, Crest Ridge Middle and High School library media specialist

Kyla Ward, St. Joseph Central High School communication arts teacher

*Forum Moderator

Jane Frick presented Alumni Distinguished Faculty Award

Last night, October 20, coincidentally the National Day onWriting, Jane Frick was awarded the Alunmi Association's Distinguished Professor Award at the annual alumni awards dinner. The award is given to one faculty member a year and "honors a faculty member who has had a lasting influence on students." Jane was introduced by her former student, Dr. Melody Smith (BSE, 1987), superintendent of St. Joseph public schools.

Taking full advantage of her eight minutes at the podium, Jane recounted her early years at Western and what it was like to be a female professor in the seventies. It was a great reminder of how far university culture has come, and how people like Jane helped that happen. Jane was accompanied by husband Lyman and her sons David and Chris (pictured below).
Congratulations, Jane!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Missouri Poet Laureate to Conduct Writing Workshop

MWSU faculty Dr. David Benz and Dr. Jane Frick will host our Missouri Poet Laureate, David Clewell, for a Creative Writing Workshop on Monday, October 17 from 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM in Blum 222/223.

David Clewell is also director of creative writing and Professor of English at Webster University in St. Louis.

All Missouri Western students, faculty, and alumni are encouraged to attend and enjoy this creative time and opportunity with our Poet Laureate.

Refreshments will be served.

An Update on Lindale Banks

Lindale Banks, a 1995 graduate with a BA in English (Writing), has been busy as a teacher, writer, and model since her graduation.

Lindale worked for the University of Kansas for five years following graduation. After that she moved to Madrid, Spain and became an ESL instructor. Her job was to teach Business English to Fortune 500 comany executives.

She served as a guest lecturer at Universidad de Comoultense in Madrid teaching students about the Harlem Renaissance era. "My students enjoyed it," Lindale reports, "because they were not familiar with Zora Neal Hurston, James Baldwin, Countee Cullen, and so many more. It amazed me to travel to Paris and see there was club called the Cotton Club in the Moulin Rouge district. Getting an English degree opened so many doors for me. Definitely the right choice. I thank God for people like Drs. Frick, Fulton, Shell, and McCay. They were lifesavers!!"

Lindale has worked with such best-selling authors as Rebecca Walker and Lisa Nichols and has been a fashion model for Lane Bryant, Sears, August Max, and more. She is back in the U.S. and is currently working as an ESL instructor at Metropolitan Community Colleges where she teaches grammar and American Life Skills to former refugees and other non-native English speakers. "My job is everything from teacher to counselor to social worker."

Lindale can be reached at