Author Archives: tmiles

Truman Adds Master of Athletic Training Program

Classes for Truman’s new Master of Athletic Training (MAT) program begin in July.

The MAT is a two-year program offering hands-on didactic experiences. Students work with a variety of patient populations, as well as experienced faculty and physicians. A bachelor’s degree is required, and all major backgrounds are welcome. Prerequisite courses include human anatomy, human physiology, biomechanics, exercise physiology, nutrition, general psychology, statistics and first aid/CPR certification.

The MAT is a CAATE accredited, researched-based (non-thesis) program. For more information, visit or contact Brandy Schneider, athletic training program director, at (660) 785-4407 or Application and tuition information can be found at

MAE Program Earns New National Accreditation

Truman’s Master of Arts in Education (MAE) program has received full accreditation for the next seven years through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The Truman MAE program was an early adopter of the new CAEP standards and one of the first educator preparation programs in the country to receive accreditation.

The CAEP standards reflect the voice of the education field on what makes a quality teacher. CAEP accreditation ensures there is solid evidence Truman’s graduates are competent and caring, and that the University’s staff has the capacity to create a culture of continuous improvement.

A number of significant changes were made within the MAE program to help prepare for CAEP accreditation. The MAE program now has an assessment team with a charge to use data generated from a series of state-mandated and program-specific assessments to guide curricular changes and program improvement efforts. Several state-mandated assessments were piloted and implemented, and changes were made to the core MAE curriculum to better align to the new state-required assessments. To enhance the program’s work in collaboration with school-based partners, the Field Experience Advisory Board, consisting of program graduates, mentor teachers, principals and superintendents, was developed and implemented.

Originally created as a normal school designed specifically to produce professional teachers, Truman has deep roots in educator preparation. Currently, the Department of Education’s 10 full-time and 11 part-time faculty members graduate roughly 100 MAE students annually. All MAE students complete an internship and conduct research, and they all meet every state exit standard by the time they graduate.

Students interested in the MAE must apply for entry into the program. Once admitted, they receive additional coursework in the major area as well as coursework specific to the MAE. Students can get their undergraduate degrees in any number of subjects if they plan on pursing elementary or special education at the master’s level. Those that specialize in the content areas of history, music, science, math, English or a foreign language obtain undergraduate degrees in those disciplines prior to enrolling in the MAE program.

More information about Truman’s MAE program can be found at

Art Projects Look to Science for Inspiration

Art professors Lindsey Dunnagan and Francine Fox promoted interdisciplinary studies by inviting their students to sketch or paint in partnership with the sciences for firsthand experience with live, unique subjects.
Dunnagan’s class worked with science professors, including Jay Bauman, Elisabeth Hooper and Timothy Walston. Bauman taught students how to attach reflective nodes to their bodies and capture motion in 360 degrees by using special recording devices in the Piper Lab. Students painted how meaning is conveyed in body movements using the technology.

In another project, students painted plants and animals from the greenhouse using elements of a Japanese marbling technique and seed collections. Walston also set up a lab for students to investigate single-cell organisms from pond water. The students also explored how other objects, such as dried plants, a cracked egg and clothes, looked when magnified a thousand times.

Teams within Fox’s class created multi-panel pieces of artwork centering on a given theme to render realistic representations of their subject matter. Later depictions also included distortions of their imagery to better communicate their concepts.

Classes, such as intermediate drawing exploration and advanced drawing, sketched live specimens, taxidermy, skeletal displays and greenhouse specimens during a week of classes. Other students visited labs to draw tiny organisms as observed through a microscope.

While most drawing classes work with direct observation, the opportunity to work in the lab allowed students to draw from a variety of living creatures outside their traditional setting. Dunnagan said this type of cross-disciplinary project allows for unique thinking to explore subject matter and experimentation.

Inspiration from organisms challenged students to embrace resources available through labs in Magruder Hall, as well as seek firsthand encounters, even if the subject matters they need are more unusual. It also encouraged students to interact with fields where their expertise in art and design may be useful as a career in art is multifaceted rather than relegated to the studio.

Works from the classes were on display in Magruder Hall in April.


Capitalizing on Every Minute

Earlier this year, Truman produced a video spoofing the “Most Interesting Man in the World” ad campaign. In an effort to promote the value of summer classes, the featured student was seen displaying a comically absurd range of skills and interests. Popular on social media, it did succeed in raising awareness for summer and online courses, but it actually may have failed to fully capture the impressiveness of its protagonist.

JJ Dorrell (’17) recently completed his fifth and final year on campus. The epitome of a liberal arts student, he was active in a variety of roles. In addition to his video fame, Dorrell was the captain of the wrestling team, a student advisor and president of both Student Government and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

“The impact he has made here in the last five years cannot be measured,” said David Schutter, head coach of the Truman wrestling program. “You have to be able to see past the trees and look deep into the forest to know the level of leadership and commitment he has given to Truman State University.”

A native of Ozark, Mo., Dorrell may be the last person to think his impact on campus was extraordinary. Since childhood he has always been on the go, staying busy in clubs, organizations and sports.

“I fill all my time because I think time is a gift, so why waste it?” he said. “Capitalizing on every minute you’re given is huge. You would be surprised how much time you actually have in a day.”

When classes resume in the fall, Dorrell’s absence will be felt in many circles, but he has definitely left his mark. One project he hopes to see on return visits to campus is an international flag display in Pickler Memorial Library. He and vice president Christy Crouse (’17) worked to make sure the flags of Truman students from various nations would be showcased.

“Representing diversity is a hallmark of Truman, and there is no better way to celebrate that than with this flag display,” he said.

Understandably, many people are sad at the thought of not having Dorrell around next year, and he has similar feelings on leaving his adopted home.

“Kirksville is definitely a town you have to get used to, but it’s pretty awesome once you get to know it,” he said. “Kirksville has been my city for the past five years, and I’m proud of that.”

An exercise science major with a minor in business administration, Dorrell’s future career plans are as varied as his student interests were. The next chapter of his life involves teaching science to middle school students in Kansas City as part of the Teach for America program. He hopes eventually to earn a master’s degree in sports administration and become a college athletic director. A run for public office is also a possibility.

“Truman has prepared me by offering a great liberal arts education,” Dorrell said. “I feel like I have knowledge from a wide array of backgrounds to help aid problem solving and critical thinking. I believe Truman has made me a very well-rounded individual and my experiences here have set me up for success in many ways.”

Being actively involved on campus earned Dorrell more than just a great résumé. His work as a student advisor led to meeting Alison Akers (’17), and the two were married in March 2017. They may not be on campus everyday anymore, but in all likelihood they will be active and supportive alumni.

“I’m thankful for all of the opportunities I’ve been given,” Dorrell said. “Truman is a place where you’re presented with lots of opportunities to really explore and find yourself.”

Listen to JJ’s latest appearance on Truman’s TruTalk podcast, hosted by Janes Dreamweaver.



Five Minutes with Marty Jayne

Marietta Jayne

Edward Jayne

Marty Jayne is not a University alumnus, but few people on campus have the kind of ties to Truman that he does. For starters, the Kirksville native was born in what is now the General Services Building and attended Greenwood Elementary School followed by junior high school in Ophelia Parrish. His parents, Edward and Marietta, attended the University and later each served terms on the Board of Governors, although not at the same time. As a kid, Jayne and his brother Tom — who also served on the board – were unofficial basketball team mascots. They passed out towels in the locker room after practice, sat on the bench during games and swept the floor at halftime.

During his 31-year career in the Air Force, Jayne always considered Kirksville home, and since his return in 2000, he has been employed at Truman. Equipped with a juris doctor from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Master of Laws degree from the University of Virginia, Jayne is aptly prepared for his role as associate professor and chair of the Justice Systems Department. He also serves as the prelaw advisor. When he is not on the job, he can usually be found outdoors, either gardening, hunting or fishing – anything but playing golf.

What led you to teaching?
When I was a senior cadet at the Air Force Academy, I was put in charge of weapons training for the incoming class. The first thing we had to do was teach the upper-class cadre how to teach basic cadets to shoot. It was fun, so I looked for similar experiences during my JAG career. I spent four years on the academy faculty teaching undergraduate law courses and really liked it. I was fortunate to find a position at Truman after I retired from the Air Force.

How would you describe your teaching philosophy?
Teaching is 90 percent motivation and only about 10 percent elucidation. I want to stimulate my students’ curiosity so that they will learn – now and throughout their lives. I put very little emphasis on memorizing material and emphasize the ability to utilize it. Today, students can find more law using Google on their phones than I could in many law office libraries in the past. It’s not important to know all the rules, but it is important to know how to apply them to real-life situations.

What do you like best about teaching?
The students. I enjoy the intellectual challenge of the classroom and getting paid to learn more about law and the legal system, but seeing students grow and succeed is why I keep doing it.

What has been the high point of your career so far?
I had a student turn in a paper he copied off the internet. He didn’t think he could cut it at Truman, but didn’t want to tell his parents he quit, so he thought he’d get thrown out. We had a long conversation, and I mostly just listened, but he made some changes in his life and went on to graduate and get the job he wanted. It just takes one experience like that to keep you motivated for a long time.

What is your best advice to your students?
Ten, 20, years from now you probably won’t care that you didn’t get better grades, but you will wish you had learned more about some things. Do your best in all your classes. You’ll learn more, be less frustrated and the grades will take care of themselves.


Are You an Alumni Chapter Member?

Truman has 10 alumni chapters located across the country where there are large populations of alumni. Joining an alumni chapter is a great way to network and make connections that could help in a future job search, as well as make new friends and have a great time at fun events. Chapter membership is only $20 per year and $30 for joint memberships. Recent grads may join for half price. Enjoy events like museum tours, trivia nights, social hours, professional sporting events and Truman athletic events, just to name a few. Join today! Go to and select memberships.

National Truman Spirit Day Friday, Oct. 6

The Truman Alumni Association encourages you to show your Truman spirit on National Truman Spirit Day, Friday, Oct. 6. All alumni and friends are encouraged to break out their University apparel and show off their school pride.

Enter the photo contest on the Truman State University Alumni Facebook page for a chance to win a Homecoming VIP package. Details for the contest will be announced on the Facebook page. Last year’s contest winners, Sean (’05) and Melinda (’05) Mettler, won the Homecoming package that included hotel accommodations, event tickets and Truman apparel.

Homecoming 2017: Celebrating 150 Years!

Homecoming 2017 is just around the corner, Oct. 13-15, and includes a very special sesquicentennial celebration of our University’s founding in 1867. Campus visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy a full weekend of activities including athletic events, the Homecoming Bulldog Forever Banquet, 5K Run/Walk, departmental and school celebrations, and an exciting Bulldog Forever Tailgate! Guests will receive special tokens of the University’s sesquicentennial, and commemorative apparel will be offered for purchase later this summer. A special invitation is issued to those celebrating reunion years, especially those from the class of 1967! Go to and select events.

Repeat Winner in Bulldog B.I.T.E. Competition

William Fries, a senior computer science and business double major, won the 2017 Bulldog B.I.T.E. elevator pitch competition in April.

This is the second year for the event. Fries also took the top spot last year. As the winner, he earned a prize of $3,000 for his immediate photo encryption concept.

Isaac Speed, a computer science major, earned second place and $2,000 for his pitch of a notification app for individuals struggling with depression. The team of Basanta Khadka and Babin Shrestha finished third and won $1,000 for their pitch of environmentally friendly disposable plates and bowls made from leaves.

An elevator pitch outlines the concept or idea for a product, service or project in a short period of time, typically from 30 seconds to three minutes. The length of the pitch mirrors the time spent waiting for and riding an elevator in a high-rise building. The purpose of the pitch is to spur the interest of a potential investor or financial backer.

Bulldog B.I.T.E., which stands for Business Innovation by Truman Entrepreneurs, allowed participants to pitch a for-profit or not-for-profit concept. Judges selected six teams to attend the live pitch competition April 7 in the Student Union Building on Truman’s campus to present their concept to a panel. Contestants were judged based on the problem, product/service solution, market, competition, value creation, seed money, a Q&A session and the presentation of the concept.

The final round judges for Bulldog B.I.T.E. were alumni Amanda Gioia (’93), Marco Ilardi (’99), Chris LeBeau (’05), Cody Sumter (’10) and Bryan Witherbee (’94). The first round judges for the competition were alumni Amy Gryder (’97) and Ron Thomas (’65).

Alumni Doug (’94) and Diane (’95) Villhard, along with Mastercard, sponsored the 2017 Bulldog B.I.T.E. competition.

William Fries, left, accepts the first place award for the 2017 Bulldog B.I.T.E. competition from Amanda Gioia of Mastercard and Doug Villhard of Villhard Growth Partners.

Mark V. Gray Honorary Scholarship Established

Through the loving gifts of family and friends, a new endowed scholarship was established in February 2017 through the Truman State University Foundation in honor of Mark V. Gray.

Born in St. Louis, Mo., and raised in Clarksville, Mo., Gray enrolled at the University in 1975. An avid photographer, he became a staff member for the Echo and the Index and was a member of the Catholic Newman Center. Gray earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology in 1979 and upon graduation proceeded to the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine as a research technician in the Biochemistry Department working on a National Institute of Health cancer research grant.

In 1981, Gray joined Rider Drug Camera Corner on the Kirksville square. He and his wife Ellen opened Northeast Camera and Photo Lab in 1997. In 2006, Mark helped open the Walgreens store in Kirksville as the photo lab manager and acquired his pharmacy tech certificate as well.

The Mark V. Gray Honorary Scholarship is designated to support students with financial need who are studying visual arts or biology, with preference given to students with an active interest in photography and/or graphic design. The inaugural recipient is Sarah DeWolf of Pella, Iowa. A junior pursuing degrees in English and biology, she is active with the Catholic Newman Center and is a member of the Index staff.

Gray passed away March 24, 2017 at the age of 60. The Mark V. Gray Honorary Scholarship is an open fund capable of receiving additional contributions. It is designed to be awarded annually in perpetuity in loving memory of Gray’s years of devotion to his family and the community of Kirksville.