New equipment for cinema students
Students are reveling in getting their hands on and trying out the new equipment in the cinema program. The department recently purchased $200,000 worth of cinema equipment so students will be prepared for their careers.

“Very few cinema programs in the country will be able to match the opportunity we provide students to work with this kind of equipment,” said Dallas Henry, assistant professor of theatre and cinema. “We’ve told students that ‘with this equipment, there’s nothing you can’t do: we have everything you need to make any shot you want.’”

Key pieces of equipment are 15 new high-definition cameras, new lighting equipment, new audio equipment and some items usually found only on movie sets, like a crane, a dolly track and a Steadicam. The new equipment complements the new bachelor of arts in theatre and cinema degree program that will be offered beginning this fall.

“One of the cool things about our program is that students will pick up a camera starting in their freshman year, and will learn more and more skills as they go along,” Dallas said. “By the time they graduate, they’ll have an impressive reel of work to give prospective employers that will showcase the variety of skills they’ve learned.”

Dallas said one of his goals for the new program is to teach an advanced course that will actually produce a feature-length film over two semesters.

The new equipment is being paid for by student fees in theatre and cinema courses.

 Engineering Technology agreement
Missouri Western signed an agreement with Southeast Community College in Lincoln, Neb., that allows SCC graduates with an associate of applied science degree in manufacturing engineering technology to transfer and earn a bachelor’s degree in the same program at Missouri Western.

“Missouri Western has been great to work with, and through the work we have done together, I find comfort knowing that our graduates will be well taken care of,” said Mark Eilers, chair/instructor of SCC’s program.

Dr. George Yang, chair of Missouri Western’s department of engineering technology, said graduates in the program qualify for jobs related to production, process and productivity improvement, and process design. They also qualify for supervisory and managerial positions in plant engineering. “Our graduates have a strong and broad foundation that enables them to perform well in any field in which application of manufacturing principles is required.”

Missouri Western also provides the opportunity for in-state tuition through the Neighboring States Scholarship program for students from Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska who meet the criteria.

Drum Major for Justice Awardees
The Center for Multicultural Education recently awarded three Drum Major for Justice Awards at its annual banquet in January: Suzanne Kissock, assistant professor of legal studies; Rev. Chase Peeples, minister at the First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ; and Cheryl Barnett-Bey, Missouri Western social work major.

The awards,  honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., are given to members of the Missouri Western and St. Joseph communities who are committed to social justice, multicultural education, community service and, in the case of student honorees, academic excellence.

Departments create wish list
Want to have your donation fund a particular item or support a specific department? Check out, and click on “Other Funding Priorities,” where several departments have listed items they have on a wish list.

Some of the items on the list include a camcorder and accessories for the art department, laptop computers and an inverted fluorescent microscope for biology, and software for the education department. The criminal justice program has several items on the wish list, including a firearms training simulator and two-way radios.

Thank you to Denise Offutt, with Epson America, Inc. Denise donated an Epson Printer that was on our wish list for the criminal justice, legal studies and social work department.

Missouri Western degrees make “Hot College Majors” list
U.S. News and World Report recently published an article, “Discover 9 Hot College Majors” in its September 19, 2011 issue, and two of majors on the list are offered at Missouri Western.

The nursing and allied health department offers a bachelor of science degree in health informatics and information management. “The need is huge for professionals who can help acquire, manage, and use information to improve health and manage payments,” the article, written by Christopher J. Gearon, stated. It went on to say the American Medical Informatics Association projects a need for more than 50,000 workers in the next five years.

A second major on the list was called “New Media,” which combines traditional journalism with digital media and design, according to the article. Missouri Western offers a bachelor of science degree in convergent media and a master of applied arts degree in digital media.

Campus Kudos

  • For the second year in a row, graduate students from Missouri Western’s human factors and usability testing program qualified for the second round of the highly competitive Human-Computer Interaction design competition. This year, the manuscript of Tyler Davis, Camie Steinhoff and Mari Telan Vela was chosen as one of the top 12 papers from more than 60 submissions worldwide.
  • Missouri Western was named the United Way 2011 Outstanding Partner by the United Way of Greater St. Joseph. The university was honored for its strong United Way campaign each year and for allowing employees to volunteer year-round. In 2011, as part of the United Way Campaign, Missouri Western employee Ryan Menley developed several videos featuring university employees. The Instructional Media Center has also created or been involved in the creation of the yearly United Way Campaign video for more than 20 years. Missouri Western staff helped organize United Way’s first 5K/10K Walk. Run. LIVE UNITED. event that was held on campus.
  • Psychology student Danielle Creekmore’s presentation won first place at the Missouri Undergraduate Psychology Conference.
  • Dr. Karen Koy, assistant professor of biology, was named Missouri Western’s recipient of the 2012 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education. Karen teaches physical geology, meteorology, paleontology and an honors colloquium on science and pseudoscience. Among the research projects she is pursuing are a multi-year study of vertebrate taphonomy, the decomposition that occurs prior to fossilization; the paleoecology of fossil outcrops; and the soils in Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge near Mound City, Mo.

 Campus clothes closet opens
Donnell Turner, director of the career development center, says first impressions for humans are made in the first 30 seconds of an interaction. And with the job market so competitive today, exhibiting a good first impression and a professional image to a prospective employer is more important than ever.

To help job seekers make a good first impression, the career development center has collaborated with the Student Government Association to open a clothes closet in Eder Hall for both students and alumni who are preparing for job interviews or career fairs. The closet offers work-appropriate separates and business accessories at no cost.

Donnell said they wanted to make sure that everyone is able to dress appropriately for an interview, and if they lack the resources to buy the clothing, the center’s clothes closet can help.

The center is accepting donations for the clothes closet, as well. All donated items must be pressed and on hangers. Specific needs include professional suits and separates for both men and women of all sizes, scarves, ties and belts for both men and women, and shoes in all sizes. Clothing must be in good condition, less than five years old and/or contemporary in style. Monetary donations are also welcome.

A big thank you to Eileen Dyer, of St. Joseph, who donated several items of clothing to the closet. “We really appreciated the suport of the community,” Donnell said. “Eileen’s donation was a great boost to the inventory in the closte.”

Those interested in visiting the clothes closet or making a donation can make an appointment by calling 816-271-4205. Monetary donations may be mailed to Career Development Clotes Closet, Missouri Western State University, Eder 202, 4525 Downs Drive, St. Joseph, MO 64507. Make checks payable to “MWSU Foundation” and write “CDC Clothes Closet” on the memo line of your check. Credit card donations can be taken over the phone.