Article Category Archives: Around the Quad

Board of Governors Adds Student Representative

Tiffany Middlemas

Tiffany Middlemas, a junior business administration and history double major, has been appointed to the University Board of Governors.

A native of Kirksville, Middlemas has leadership positions with the Bulldog Student Investment Fund and Delta Zeta. Additionally, she works in the University Advancement Office, is a student ambassador for the Admissions Office and has completed two summer finance internships with The Boeing Company in St. Louis.

Middlemas was appointed to the board in July 2018 for a term ending Jan. 1, 2020. She succeeds Carter Brooks Templeton.

University Hosts TEDx Conference

Students, faculty, staff and alumni all took part in Truman’s inaugural TEDx conference in November.

TEDx events are organized independently under a free license granted by TED. Sponsored by Student Government, TEDxTrumanStateUniversity showcased a breadth of new ideas and was a true representation of the liberal arts. In total, 10 presenters discussed topics including trust as the key to knowledge, rural America’s role in addressing climate change, better health through risk-taking and how graphic design and education come together in unexpected ways to communicate information.

In the lead up to the event, Student Government invited any member of campus to submit an idea to present. The all-day affair took place in the Student Union Building, Nov. 4, and free tickets were made available to the entire campus. A viewing party featuring a livestream of the conference was also accessible in the Baldwin Hall Little Theater.

The presentations are available on the TEDx YouTube page, and Student Government hopes to host another conference in the next school year.

CPA Students Excel on Exam

Truman’s first-time pass rates on the uniform CPA exam continue to be among the highest nationwide.

In August, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy released the 2017 CPA exam results related to first-time candidates. Truman ranked: fifth in the nation out of 281 medium-sized programs; 22nd in the nation out of the 797 institutions with 10 or more reported candidates; second in Missouri; and first in the nation on the REG section for institutions with at least 20 REG exam candidates.

Truman candidates passed 77.4 percent of exam sections taken with an average score of 80. Nationally, the pass rate was 52.9 percent with an average score of 71.3. Student performance on the CPA exam was among the top three percent and evidence the University’s curriculum and focus on student learning continues to provide high value.

Truman is one of only 187 universities worldwide accredited in both business and accounting by AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. AACSB accreditation is the internationally recognized, specialized designation for business and accounting programs at the bachelor, master and doctoral levels.

Bike Share Program Offers Transportation Option

Students, faculty and staff can now borrow a bicycle for the day by presenting a Truman ID at the Student Recreation Center.

Launched in October, the Bike Share Program is a cooperative venture between the Bike Co-op, Student Recreation Center, Business Office, Advancement Office through alumna Colleen Ritchie, the Student Giving Campaign and student founder Theo Greer.

Cable locks and handlebar baskets are included with each bicycle. Adult bicycle helmets are also available for checkout.

Donors’ Gifts Enhance Campus

Spike is not the only bulldog on campus these days.

Visitors passing through the mall will now see a new bronze bulldog sculpture on the library patio. Through generous gifts from alumni and friends, donated specifically for a bulldog sculpture, the piece was commissioned with Crandall Sculpture and Design.

The artist, Brandon Crandall of Brashear, Mo., worked to create something that would be both visually stunning and instill pride in every generation of bulldogs. The nearly six-month project included art sketches, feedback from a bulldog breeder and Crandall’s signature process of building sculpture with foam, clay and countless hours of design before sending the mold to the foundry for bronzing and completion.

After a quick turnaround from Eligius Bronze of Kansas City, Mo., the finished bulldog was installed in time for Homecoming 2018 and was unveiled at the dedication of the Roger J. Johnson Patio. During the Sesquicentennial Plaza campaign, private gifts were raised for the naming rights of the space, located to the west of Pickler Memorial. The patio was named in honor of Johnson, a longtime employee who retired from the Physical Plant in 2017 after 29 years of service.

In another part of campus, with the support of many Truman parents, a two-year fundraising project was completed in the summer. Red Barn Park is now home to a new pavilion.

Creating a pavilion in Red Barn had been a topic of discussion for many years, and thanks to the Truman parents who donated more than $70,000 to the project, the pavilion became a reality in the fall. The new structure provides a covered location for many different uses such as hosting picnics, an outdoor classroom or meeting destination. It will also be useful for event registrations and outdoor movies.

MO Hall Cafeteria Gets Long-overdue Renovation

One of Truman’s residence halls now features new dining options after undergoing a substantial renovation.

For the first time since the building opened in 1965, the kitchen of Missouri Hall was renovated during the summer. Guests will quickly notice a larger, more open layout to the cafeteria section, what Justin Dreslinski, director of dining services, refers to as a food-forward concept.

“Students will definitely notice a change,” Dreslinski said. “This by far is the most up-to-date, modern dining renovation. The way some of the cooking surfaces are placed, the food is going to be cooked right in front of you.”

One noticeable change is the addition of a food island, which includes a deli and soup station, salad bars with a section for controlled allergens and two new exhibition-style cooking grills with one designated for vegetarian options.

For the first time in 15 years, the seating area was updated. All of the tables and chairs are new, and the redesign has increased the cafeteria’s capacity by more than 20 seats, taking it to more than 200.

While the new amenities are nice for guests, the behind-the-scenes changes in the kitchen were the primary reason for the renovation. Previously, the kitchen area had no air conditioning, and temperatures could reach as high as 115 degrees. Other changes include all new appliances and electrical upgrades, as well as a walk-in cooler now attached to the building.

Dreslinski said the cost of the project was covered with surplus dining funds earmarked for reinvestment in University food service programs. The Missouri Hall kitchen renovation began the day after students moved out in the spring and was completed just prior to move-in day.

Visit Campus Through the Online Tour

Alumni and friends interested in revisiting campus, but who are unable to make it back to Kirksville, can now check out Truman’s updated virtual tour.

A series of videos by current students, faculty and staff lead the visitor through a guided tour of the University, showcasing different elements of the campus and community on each stop. The narrations are coupled with photographs showing activities that students engage in at each location, as well as 360-degree photographs of the spaces.

In addition to the tour, visitors can find buttons to share tour stops on social media, and prospective students can request further information about the University.

The updated tour was developed entirely in-house, which saves the University money and creates content that is more unique and relevant to Truman, as opposed to other schools that may outsource their work.

Nursing Begins New Tradition

The Nursing Department conducted its inaugural Honor in Caring event Aug. 19 in the Student Union Building.

Nurses in the BSN class of 2020 and the ABSN class of 2019 participated in the event, which marked their entrance into the realm of clinical nursing with an emphasis upon the professional, ethical and moral responsibilities that nurses have to their patients.

Sixty-two students made their Honor in Caring pledge in the presence of more than 250 friends, faculty, peers and family members. They were subsequently welcomed into their clinical nursing education by two Truman nursing alumni. Vickie Sollars (’85) and Lisa Archer (’87), both of whom are highly respected nurses in the Kirksville community, cloaked the students in their white coats, which serve as an outward symbol of the students’ professional access to the clinical setting.

Another alumnus of the program, Rebecca McClanahan (’75), who is a former member of the nursing faculty, former member of the Missouri State House of Representatives and current vice president of advocacy for the Missouri Nurse Association, delivered the keynote address. She stressed the importance of compassion, character, advocacy, civic engagement, self-care and family caregiving across her long academic, professional and personal nursing tenure.

The initial idea for the Honor in Caring ceremony came from Shiva Felfeli, a nursing student in the class of 2019. She was present at the event, offering a welcome and remarks on behalf of the current senior BSN class.

The department plans to make this an annual tradition that marks the beginning of the students’ clinical nursing education and culminates with the Nursing Pinning ceremony just prior to graduation.

CMDS Receives Continued Approval from ASHA

Truman’s Communication Disorders Department has been reapproved for an additional five years as an American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) approved continuing education provider.

ASHA approved providers extend Continuing Education Units for the courses they offer to audiologists and speech-language pathologists. The recognition includes all courses that meet the ASHA Continuing Education Board standards.

Truman offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in CMDS. Most notably, the program allows for extensive hands-on experience through the Speech and Hearing Clinic. Student clinicians and faculty provide speech, language and hearing screening, assessment and treatment services through the clinic. The student clinicians work under the direct supervision of faculty who are fully licensed and certified.

“By achieving reapproval through ASHA, we will continue to offer low- and no-cost offerings for local clinicians in the coming years,” said Amy Teten, assistant professor and chair of communication disorders. “We have enjoyed being able to repay our community partners who participate in the clinical education of our students by providing such offerings.”

In order to achieve ASHA approved status, the CMDS Department completed a rigorous application process and successfully demonstrated adherence to the ASHA Continuing Education Board standards that focus on the design, development, administration and evaluation of its continuing education courses offered for audiologists and speech-language pathologists. The reapproval process involved the review of all courses offered by Truman in the past five-year period.

ASHA is the national professional, scientific and credentialing association for more than 198,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists and speech, language and hearing scientists.


Student Internship Benefits Local Children

Internships are important. They teach students valuable skills, and interns often get to contribute to something larger than themselves. In the case of four Truman students, it is hard to imagine their internships carrying any more weight than they did. If these interns did not fulfill their duties every day, hungry children would not get to eat. Students Kaitlin Roberts, Valerie Hagedorn, Emily Schaeffler and Mackenzie Snyder oversaw the Food 4 Kids program in Kirksville during the past summer.

A joint effort of the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri, the USDA and the city of Kirksville, along with several local churches and volunteer groups, the Food 4 Kids program strives to ensure as many kids as possible have regular access to adequate amounts of nutritious food during the summer.

Truman interns have been contributing to the Food 4 Kids program for the last seven years, ever since Rebecca Zimmer, lecturer in psychology, took on the responsibilities of co-director. Zimmer, along with Cheryl Dorrell of the Kirksville School District, coordinates serving lunches in local parks every weekday during the summer. With the responsibility of more than 3,000 meals each year, as well as a family of her own, Zimmer turned to Truman students for help. After starting with one intern, she now regularly employees four each summer.

“That team makes it possible for the program to run more smoothly,” she said. “I always tell students that the wonderful thing about this program is that by week two I step out. I’m always available for any challenges, but they have to make sure it happens every day.”

Zimmer and Dorrell take turns supervising the interns, but the students are responsible for everything from meal prep, paperwork and volunteer logistics to coordinating with the Food Bank in Columbia.

“That’s really how you learn, with real experience. Every day there are 50 to 100 kids depending on them,” Zimmer said. “For some of them, it’s a new sense of purpose and direction.”

Roberts, a health science major, was the only student participating in the internship for credit. She served as the project manager and her work was more behind the scenes than the other three, each of whom were responsible for meal distribution in one park. Roberts hopes to parlay her experience into a similar career in the future.

“For me, it’s been more of a professional growth experience,” she said.

Each intern had her own reason for volunteering. One in five children in Adair County under the age of 18 is food insecure. For Snyder, the issue hits close to home. As a child, she witnessed her friend growing up in a household without food security.

“I was already passionate about what Food 4 Kids was trying to do in the Kirksville community, and I really wanted to get involved just to kind of see the other side of things and help out with something that I witnessed growing up that I didn’t have the power to do anything about at the time,” Snyder said.

An English and pre-MAE student, Schaeffler signed on to the Food 4 Kids program in an effort to get more experience with children outside of the classroom. She has learned firsthand how factors such as food insecurity and poverty can play a role in a child’s behavior.

“In my education classes, you learn the logistics, and you learn the basics of it, but to see it from the emotional side too, it’s like a new perspective. It’s really helpful, and that sometimes can get lost on teachers,” Schaeffler said. “The kids pick up on when they are treated like regular people. Kids see that and in turn are more willing to open up to you and listen to you more.”

For someone who enjoys children and serving others, the internship sounded like an ideal fit for Hagedorn. She quickly got to know the kids who frequented her park and feels they showed up regularly for the social aspects as much as the food. While the nutritional component of the Food 4 Kids program should not be overlooked, the psychological and social benefits are just as important.

“The kids are not just there to eat lunch, they really enjoy interacting with adult figures,” she said.

Those unfamiliar with the Food 4 Kids program might assume the hour a day the volunteers are in the park would be a despondent time, but it is actually quite the contrary.   

“In addition to the meals, the interns’ job is really to create a positive and playful tone in the park,” Zimmer said. “We want this to be a positive environment where the kids can be a little less structured and get positive attention where somebody knows them and greets them by name.”

By making a connection with the children and families the interns serve in the park, they are helping to erase a stigma about individuals in poverty.

“That was the biggest eye opener for me,” Snyder said. “Coming in I thought these kids were going to be so guarded, and I was really worried about the type of emotions I was going to see. I came in and all of the kids are so willing to have a positive attitude, and they are so compassionate. It’s definitely taught me to interact with them as people and view them as people first, not view them as children living in poverty. If you go in to an interaction with them with the mindset of viewing them as a person you get a much better interaction. They are a lot more willing to open up, and you are much more able to form a relationship.”

Truman students, from left, Kaitlin Roberts, Emily Schaeffler, Mackenzie Snyder and Valerie Hagedorn oversaw the Food 4 Kids program in Kirksville this summer.