March 20, 2023–Students in Missouri Western State University’s Griffon Production House have released their latest “Griffon University” video, spotlighting the research of a Missouri Western faculty member.

“Griffon University’s mission is to highlight student and faculty research and provide engaging content to a wider audience, letting them see what we do at Missouri Western,” said Thomas Brecheisen, assistant professor of cinema and director of Griffon Production House.

Last fall, Dr. James Okapal, professor of philosophy, published “Fantastic Beasts and How to Categorize Them” on The Prindle Post, a digital publication of the Prindle Institute for Ethics at Depauw University in Indiana.

In the article, Dr. Okapal explores and critiques the moral framework behind the distinction between “beasts” and “beings” in the J.K. Rowling book, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” The video features Dr. Okapal talking about his article and graphics created by digital animation students.

The short film was created by:

  • Content director: Rebecca Evans, junior performing and cinema arts major from St. Joseph
  • Script supervisor: Blake Elder, sophomore performing and cinema arts major from Lathrop, Missouri
  • Editor: Brecheisen
  • Graphics: Digital animation majors Dana Vinson, sophomore of Roland, Iowa; Andrew Holcomb, senior of Bartlesville, Oklahoma; RJ Cousins, sophomore of St. Louis, Missouri; and Lexi DeLapp, junior of Blue Springs, Missouri

The film is available on YouTube at

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