Columbia College Affinity Magazine Summer 2017

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Summer 2017


a f f i n i t y

Changing Trajectories

From combat boots to beauty pageants, Army veteran Renee Hamilton-McNealy ’12 is part of the growing class of Columbia College alumni who have realized their dreams through the Online Education program.


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Greetings from Columbia! When I began as your President three years ago, I committed to visiting all of the college’s locations over my first few months on the job. I knew there was no better way to hear from students, faculty, staff and alumni than to visit them personally. So Tina and I embarked on a coast-to-coast tour, visiting 36 locations in 13 states. They even made tour T-shirts for us. And yes — since everyone always asks — we did visit our location in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (Don’t feel too bad for us; the actual Navy base at Gitmo is quite nice. We went snorkeling and saw Avengers: Age of Ultron there in an open-air theater.) I never intended those visits to be one-time events, and this year Tina and I started all over. We’re spreading the visits out over a couple of years this time, but we plan to visit each Columbia College location again to meet new people and see what’s changed. So far in 2017 we’ve revisited CC locations in Missouri, Florida, Illinois and New York, with more states scheduled. We’re hosting a number of alumni events along the way, so please keep an eye out. We’d love to discuss your CC experience! Regards,

Dr. Scott Dalrymple Columbia College President

Columbia College Board of Trustees 2017-2018 Chair Walter E. Bixby III ’82


Mitchell R. Humphreys, MD

Lynne Stuver Baker ’64

Vice Chair Helen Dale Coe Simons ’65

June Viner Hurdle ’83

Lex R. Cavanah

Reverend Brad Stagg

Treasurer George W. Hulett Jr.

Jerry D. Daugherty

Gary A. Tatlow

Daisy Willis Grossnickle ’66

Matt Williams

Lt. Gen. Richard C. Harding

Carol J. Winkler ’93

David M. Hardy Jr.

Janet Carter Wright ’58

Secretary Jolene Marra Schulz ’61

CCAA Alumni Representative William J. Johnston ’82 Faculty Representatives Christina Ingoglia Ahoo Tabatabai


16 20 Christian College Reunion Weekend

My CCAA Alumnae come back to campus for Christian College Reunion Weekend, and the CCAA Scholars Program rewards four deserving students.


Alumni Profile Alumna Renee Hamilton-McNealy uses her talent to speak out for homeless female veterans.


In Tune with Online Columbia College combines accessibility with innovation to serve its sizable online student population.


Saluting Our Alumni Four alumni are named CCAA Alumni Award recipients for their accomplishments in service and leadership.

34 Saluting Our Alumni

40 40 Swing for the Fences

Inside the Gate Columbia College awards full-ride Presidential Scholarships, recent graduate and cancer survivor Pascale White overcomes the odds to finish her degree, and speakers for Schiffman Lecture and Women’s History month enlighten the campus community.


Cougar Sports Zone Baseball makes a successful return to the diamond after 35 years off, softball players in the NAIA World Series and Columbia College wins the AMC Presidents’ Cup for athletic excellence. CC Notes Find out what your classmates have been up to lately.

a f f i n i t y Summer 2017

On the Cover:

Army veteran Renee Hamilton-McNealy is a 2012 graduate of Columbia College Online Education. Photo by MooD-ology Photography; Cover design by Carolyn Preul

Managing Editor, Production & Design Carolyn Preul

Lead Writer David Morrison

Photo Editor Kaci Smart ’09

Editorial Review Board Dr. Scott Dalrymple Sam Fleury Ann Merrifield Dr. Jeff Musgrove Misty Phillips Suzanne Rothwell Dr. David Starrett

Contributing Writers Drew Grzella ’01 Maria Haynie Beth McWilliams Ann Muder

Contributing Photographers Cindy Fotti Potter ’05 Jaime Russell

Affinity magazine is published biannually by the Columbia College Advancement Division (1001 Rogers St., Columbia MO 65216). For assistance, please contact Alumni Relations at (573) 875-ALUM (2586) or © 2017 All rights reserved.

Table of Contents




Inside the Gate

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Executive Education Winners rewarded with surprise presentations of full-tuition scholarships BY DAVID MORRISON


Oscar Rivera thought he was in town for a soccer tryout. The high school senior and his sister, Jennifer Rivera Bell, made the 12-hour drive from Opelousas, Louisiana, to the Columbia College main campus because the Cougars’ soccer coaches had informed Rivera that they needed one more in-person look at him before determining whether he had a spot on the team. Except that’s not really why Rivera was on campus. He was part of this year’s batch of Presidential Scholarships, which cover full tuition for four years at Columbia College.

Out of the nearly 70 hopefuls who applied through interviews and essays on Scholarship Day, he was one of the 10 that won the oversized check for $87,744 and the surprise unveiling ceremony that goes along with it. When Rivera walked into Southwell Gym on February 24, heard admissions counselor Brianna Hickman’s voice echoing over a bullhorn and saw Scooter the Cougar among a throng of well-wishers, he knew what was up, even if he couldn’t quite believe it in the moment. “I had no idea,” Rivera said, beaming. “I can’t even talk straight right now. To be honest, I really didn’t think I was going to get the scholarship. I heard what other people had with GPAs and ACTs, so I knew it was tough competition. The scholarship really hits me that I really get to go to college. And it’s going to be a big next step for my life.” Rivera had been combing all the Missouri news he could find online to see how many students had already received Presidential Scholarships. As February wore on, he was starting to lose hope. His sister already knew the good news. She just couldn’t tell him.


“I felt bad the entire time. These past couple days have been really, really rough,” Bell said. “He’s been having super hard tests at school. I just wanted to relieve him of that. But I held it in. I held it in.” Darrell and Monica Widhalm, the parents of Presidential Scholarship recipient Logan Widhalm, didn’t have much trouble keeping the secret from their daughter until the day of the presentation, February 14. Oscar Rivera was the last of this year’s scholarship recipients, culminating a two-week stretch in which the Columbia College Admissions team also sprang the surprise treatment on nine other future Cougars.


Inside the Gate

Clockwise from left: Presidential Scholarship award winners Logan Widhalm, Aliya Christopher and Lukas Flacke

When they met at Columbia’s Rock Bridge High School before the presentation, they chose the parking lot in which they assumed Logan would not park. They saw her car pull up minutes after they arrived.

The 10 Presidential Scholarships are endowed by institutional funds. For scholarship recipients from Boone County, Missouri, such as Widhalm, the Boone County Endowed Fund also contributes.

“Monica and I had to get down behind cars in the parking lot as she walked in from her spot,” Darrell says. “I don’t think she saw us, but I was afraid we’d get arrested for crouching behind cars as she went by.”

Jeff Barringer ’12, Columbia College’s assistant director of Day Campus admissions, says his team has gotten pretty good about keeping things under wraps during his five years of big check presentations. He didn’t get the sense that any of this year’s recipients knew what was coming, which just made the payoff that much sweeter.

Still, Logan didn’t have an inkling until the Columbia College entourage barged into her AP Environmental Science class and broadcasted her accomplishment in front of family, friends and classmates. Fittingly, environmental science is what Logan wants to study in college. “Logan has two amazing older sisters, so you’re always kind of in that shadow of all the great things they’ve done,” Monica says. “We all adore her, and it’s been really fun to watch her blossom as her own person. It’s very satisfying to see it all come to fruition.”

“These students work so hard and, oftentimes, get very little recognition for the work,” Barringer says. “To be able to give a full-tuition scholarship, and also be able to do it in the way we do, is something they’re going to remember for the rest of their lives. Several of our students this year have said that this is the best thing that’s ever happened to them. To be able to be part of that is definitely the highlight of my year.”

2017-18 Presidential Scholarship Recipients Yuliia Bychkovska Ukraine

Katie Espen West Bend, Wisconsin

Abigail Meyer Ballwin, Missouri

Oscar Rivera Opelousas, Louisiana

Ebony Teter Clarence, Missouri

Aliya Christopher Kearney, Missouri

Lukas Flacke O’Fallon, Missouri

Bibek Poudel Nepal

Brianna Stevens Union, Missouri

Logan Widhalm Columbia, Missouri

Inside the Gate


Women’s History Month Author and activist Lindy West discusses unique challenges women face in society BY DAVID MORRISON PHOTO BY KACI SMART ’09 

Lindy West remembers the first negative comment she received from a reader that felt like a personal attack, the first one that referenced her appearance. It hit the internet on June 9, 2009, at 11:54 p.m. They haven’t stopped for the past eight years.

Shrill was a New York Times bestseller, served as the keynote speaker for Columbia College Women’s History Month programming, which centered around the theme of “Building Women’s Futures: Women and Work in the 21st Century.”

“While the tenor of my commenters was often snide and disdainful, they [had] stuck to hating the message, not the messenger,” West told a room of around 100 attendees in Columbia College’s Bixby Lecture Hall on March 20. “Those years were liberating in a way I can barely imagine now.”

Other events from the month included a brown-bag lunch on gender, vocation and occupation; a screening of the movie North Country, depicting the first successful major sexual harassment case in the United States; and a “Meet Your Future” panel discussion featuring community members who work in non-traditional professions for their gender.

West, a columnist for The Guardian newspaper, whose 2016 memoir

“The workplace now is not so clearly defined,” says Dr. Tonia Compton, associate professor of history and chair of the Columbia College Women’s History Month Committee. “There used to be a clear set of women’s work that women did outside the home. We’ve worked really hard at eradicating those stereotypes, but they’re still with us.” For West, a feminist and body image activist who uses her writing as a megaphone for these issues, internet “trolls” — commenters who post abusive messages about other people online — are a way of life in her workplace. Her experience is not unique among female writers. “When you feel invisible forces like this holding you back, believe yourself,” West said. “It is not part of your job, no matter how effectively the idea that it is has been coded into our society. You are not imagining it. Sexism is real. It has been documented over and over and over again. You are already experiencing it. You have experienced it your entire life, and you will experience it your entire life. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you can start fighting for yourself and the people around you.” Author Lindy West meets with students at a book signing after her talk at Brouder Science Center on March 20.


disenfranchised is that you look out at this chaotic world and think nothing will happen, that you can’t do anything. That’s bull. If everybody worked a little on the things they cared about, they’d change the world.”

Urged to Act Schiffman lecturer Jody Williams stresses importance of involvement to help change the world BY DAVID MORRISON


Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams’ start as a peace activist came in the form of Vietnam War protests in 1970. From there, she took up the cause of people living under oppression in Central America — especially El Salvador and Nicaragua — in the 1980s, a period of time in which she saw the devastation caused by landmines left over from previous confrontations. So Williams helped found the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), which organized 122 nations into signing a treaty banning the use, production, sale and stockpiling of landmines. That work garnered the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for the ICBL and Williams, who stressed the importance of activism to the Columbia College community during this year’s Althea W. and John A. Schiffman Ethics in Society Lecture on March 8. “The more I did, the more I realized this is what I had to do,” Williams told a crowd of around 250 in Launer Auditorium. “The thing that’s most important is finding the issue that really grabs your gut. One of the ways we’re

Williams’ talk, “The Ethics of Foreign Policy,” was the 15th in the Schiffman Ethics in Society Lecture series, which started in 2003. Dr. Anthony Alioto, Columbia College professor of history and the Schiffman Chair in Ethics, Religious Studies & Philosophy, says John Schiffman endowed this series precisely so the college could host such thought leaders as Williams. “He wanted Columbia College to be a force for the study, and especially the practice, of ethics,” Alioto says. “He was interested in ethical questions of honesty, integrity, passion and justice. He wanted us to convey this to students not in terms of indoctrination, but as an ongoing discussion.” Williams also discussed her life’s work in a more intimate session during a Q&A panel discussion earlier in the day. The panel in Dorsey Gym featured professors Dr. Terry Smith and Dr. Brian Kessel, as well as students Rachel Gilroy, Nate Milford, Hannah Siege and Breanna Troesser. It, like the lecture, was open to the public. From her small-town Vermont upbringing, Williams embarked on a career in activism that allowed her to cross paths with such dignitaries as Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama. Her work with fellow female Nobel Peace Prize winners through the Nobel Women’s Initiative continues to help promote grassroots organizations globally, lending their voices and the added publicity that tends to accompany a group of Nobel Prize winners rallying around a cause. “Knowing what I know and having done what I have done, there’s no way I can not do it,” Williams said. “I don’t know that I could look myself in the face when I have colleagues all over the world who are struggling every single day to make a difference.”

Learn more about the Althea W. and John A. Schiffman Lecture Series at

Inside the Gate

Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams (left) takes an audience question during the 15th Schiffman Ethics in Society Lecture on March 8.

Inside the Gate


Student Life Each week of the Winter Semester, a new Cougar took control of the Student Affairs Instagram account, ThroughRogersGate, to give an inside look at the Columbia College experience.

Student leaders

Cold mornings in the cafĂŠ

On the Quad

Student ambassadors

Softball win in Florida


Class time

Art show

Miller Hall

The Commons

Emerging Leaders Institute

Brain food

Campus intramurals

Student teachings




Inside the Gate

Professing His Passion Kansas City instructor Matthew Yaple brings enthusiasm to his lectures BY MARIA HAYNIE


As an undeniable Hibernophile, Matthew Yaple is fascinated with all things Irish. Listening to Irish folk music, reading Irish literature and even cooking Irish food rank high on Yaple’s list of hobbies. This Columbia College-Kansas City adjunct instructor’s intense appreciation for other cultures and perspectives comes through to his evening students. “I get excited about my topic as I get going, and students say that it helps them to get more interested in the topic,” Yaple says. Yaple teaches early and modern American history and Western civilizations. He received both his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in History from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Over the past 10 years that he has taught at Columbia College, several memorable experiences with his students stand out. “I’ve had students who served in the Middle East who have told me about their experiences, and that brought a new light to the history of Islam,” Yaple says. “I had a student from Liberia in Africa who had a completely different view of American history than I had ever heard before. It’s also exciting when the students learn new ideas and perspectives that they had never considered before.” Yaple has the opportunity to work with a great number of students, as he also works full-time as a high school social studies teacher. He also coaches the football

“I like to get students talking and thinking about the historical perspective of the time.” — Matthew Yaple team and scholar bowl team. Although he’s very busy, he manages to craft a classroom environment where students feel comfortable enough to engage and share their unique historical perspectives. “I have been described on evaluations as having a conversational lecture style,” Yaple says. “Students call my class ‘laid back.’ I like to get students talking and thinking about the historical perspective of the time, during both lecture and discussions over primary sources.” In his free time, Yaple is also interested in perspectives shown through films. “I’m a big film buff,” said Yaple. “I watch classic movies regularly. I enjoy watching documentaries on movies and movie-makers and reading books on film history.”

Inside the Gate


Overcoming the Odds Pascale White survived two bouts of childhood cancer. Now, she’s a Columbia College graduate. BY DAVID MORRISON


School had always been an uphill climb for Pascale White, through no fault of her own. When she was 6 years old, she suffered a relapse of the same acute lymphoblastic leukemia she first overcame as a toddler. This bout required three years of treatment before she was healthy again. That meant chemotherapy, bone marrow and stem cell transplants and wholebody radiation.

Not only did Pascale fall behind the rest of her classmates during her time in the hospital, but her physicians cautioned the family that she may never be able to learn normally because of the intensity of the radiation treatment she received. “I didn’t think I was ever going to graduate high school, just with how much of a struggle it was originally,” Pascale says.

In April, she graduated from Columbia College with a Bachelor of General Studies degree, minoring in psychology and business. After transferring from Moberly Area Community College, Pascale spent three years at Columbia College using all the resources her new home had to offer and pushing hard for the degree that once seemed an impossibility. She recently mentioned to her mother that she might even


“For her to even think that, Columbia College gave that to her,” says Pascale’s mother, Sylvie Carpentier, a chiropractor in Columbia, Missouri. Pascale says she chose Columbia College largely because of its small-school atmosphere. She was concerned that she would become anonymous on a larger campus, and Columbia College offered the free tutoring and one-on-one attention from professors that she desired. When Pascale first showed up at the Ether L. Bruce Math Center for help with a statistics course, a friendly face greeted her: tutor Tricia Vogt, who was her sixth-grade homeroom teacher at Columbia Catholic School. “She was not going to fail at anything. Challenges were just not a problem for her,” Vogt says. “That’s kind of what her norm was, to be challenged.” Pascale says she spent two hours a day with coordinator Susan Hughes, Vogt and the rest of the Bruce Math Center staff during that semester, dropping in whenever she could to take advantage of the center’s accommodating hours and flexible schedule. “I needed a lot of help. I knew that,” Pascale says. “They were very patient with me. It challenged me to do and learn on my own, too. Like, ‘I actually can do it, but they’re here if I need it,’ which was very helpful.”

“[Pascale] was not going to fail at anything. Challenges were just not a problem for her.” ­— TriciaVogt Pascale was also a frequent guest at the Elizabeth Toomey Seabrook Writing Center & Tutoring Services during her time on campus. Kate Denehy, the Seabrook Center coordinator, says the center schedules students for 30- and 60-minute appointments and had more than 1,400 visits during the 2016-17 school year. Denehy says it’s rewarding to track the progress of students such as Pascale, who consistently stop by the center, from reliance on tutoring to self-sufficiency. “What I admire about Pascale is that she really owns her success and her challenges,” Denehy says. “She always came prepared, always knew what she wanted to get out of the session. She just really was selfmotivated. She still is.” With the challenges Pascale has faced in life, she’s really had no other choice but to overcome and persevere. She doesn’t remember much about her first bout with leukemia, but the relapse left a lasting impression. She still needs her mother’s help to remain calm when she gets blood drawn for testing. She still finds it difficult to step foot in a hospital. “There were two years where many times they said she would not make it through the night. It was a

nightmare and a terrible experience for everybody,” Carpentier says. “I have seen a lot of kids pass, that unfortunately just did not make it, but she pulled through. We are truly blessed.” Now, Pascale serves as an inspiration for other children and families who are dealing with severe health issues. Carpentier started the volunteer organization “Pascale’s Pals” during Pascale’s first long hospital stay, to help support children and families staying at the MU Women’s and Children’s Hospital. In the 19 years since, Pascale’s Pals has raised money for gift baskets, emergency needs, hospital improvements and other services for patients and their loved ones. This year’s fundraising auction gala, held March 10, drew 930 guests. All of them wanted to meet Pascale: the woman who continues to defy the odds. “I’m very honored to be the image of it, because I am a cancer survivor. So a lot of people look up to me that way,” Pascale says. “For our organization to be able to do that for the families and give them hope, it’s such an honor. We’re proud to be able to do that. Without the support of the community, all our volunteers, the hospital, we wouldn’t be able to do it.”

Inside the Gate

consider pursuing a master’s degree, yet another surprise in a long line of surprises from her daughter.

Inside the Gate


A Special Connection Barnhouse Memorial Scholarship rewards hard-working female Evening Campus students BY DAVID MORRISON


For 30 years, Jack Barnhouse taught English literature and composition as an adjunct instructor for the Columbia College Evening Campus.

“They were both English teachers. They both shared a love of writing,” says McFarland, a retired Columbia Public Schools teacher herself.

Barnhouse was one of the first Evening Campus instructors at the school. It was a second career for the Army veteran and former CIA employee, and he had a special place in his heart for the type of students he encountered in the Evening Campus.

Kim Evangelista has been awarded the Barnhouse scholarship each of the past two years. The single mother from Mexico, Missouri, is raising two children while studying to receive an English literature degree with a middle-school education certification from Columbia College. She has been taking online and hybrid Evening Campus courses at the school since 2013 and hopes to graduate in the next two years.

“They worked all day long and then would come to school. How many people are willing to do that?” says Carla McFarland, who was Barnhouse’s wife. “Columbia College provided him an opportunity to do something that he was passionate about for 30 years.” When Barnhouse’s daughter from a previous marriage, Jackolyn Lois Barnhouse, died in 1998, he and McFarland created a scholarship in Jackolyn’s name to benefit a female Evening Campus student. When Jack passed away in 2013, McFarland expanded the scholarship so it could benefit two students a year and had it renamed the Barnhouse Memorial Scholarship in honor of Jack and Jackolyn.

She is just the sort of recipient Barnhouse and McFarland envisioned. “She seems very intelligent. She’s very friendly. She’s very open,” McFarland says. “She’s trying to look for a way to provide for her kids. She works a job, goes to school fulltime and raises two kids. That’s what he admired so much about his students.” Evangelista got the chance to speak with McFarland at the Honors and Awards Luncheon in Dulany Hall on April 11, just as she did last year. She says it’s important to her to be able to let McFarland know how much the philanthropy of all who contribute to the Barnhouse scholarship means to her. “They get to know me and see where their money is going to go and how it’s going to benefit other people,” Evangelista says. “With me getting into education, I just want them to know that their money is not going to be wasted, and that it’s going to be invested in other people, too.” It’s just how Jack and Jackolyn would’ve wanted it. “It’s been very rewarding,” McFarland says. “I enjoy being able to help people. You know that, later on, they’ll turn around and do the same thing.” Carla McFarland and Kim Evangelista, one of the two recipients of the 2017 Barnhouse Memorial Scholarship


How Will You Be Remembered? Leave a legacy that supports the next generation Perhaps you don’t think you are the type of individual who will leave a legacy. The truth is, anyone can do it, and every effort to support future generations helps. Leaving a legacy can be as easy as naming Columbia College as the beneficiary of a portion of your retirement plan assets or including a couple of sentences in your will or trust.

It’s never too early to leave a mark on your alma mater. You can take control of how your assets will be distributed by meeting with your estate planning attorney to implement taxsaving strategies. If you are interested in extending your support for Columbia College into the future, we’d be happy to work with you and your advisors to formulate a tax-wise gift.

Contact the Office of Development at or (573) 875-7563 to learn more.

Inside the Gate


Trustees Update The Columbia College Board of Trustees welcomes St. Louis Public Schools educator David Hardy and former Air Force Lieutenant General Richard Harding. BY SAM FLEURY

As superintendent of academics for St. Louis Public Schools, David Hardy brings a wealth of knowledge in the areas of primary and secondary education. He is the leader of the district’s academic vision, along with the driver for the overall direction of the district. Hardy is responsible for leading 75 school facilities in an effort to improve academic and behavioral outcomes at each site. Hardy provides leadership to those directly responsible for the support of those schools, as well as 12 additional district offices with the main task of helping these schools achieve stronger academic outcomes for all children.

Given Columbia College’s presence on 18 military installations around the country, Lieutenant General Richard Harding’s experience in navigating different challenges that exist for higher education institutions in the military arena is of great value. During his 34-year career, he was awarded a direct commission in the U.S. Air Force as a first lieutenant in 1980 and rose through the ranks of the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) over the next few decades and served as the staff judge advocate to six separate commands. Harding retired from the U.S. Air Force on April 1, 2014. He currently assists universities and interest groups in eradicating campus sexual assaults by utilizing his military experience. He also serves on the Advisory Council of the National Crime Victims’ Legal Institute and is chair of the Welcome Home, Inc., community in Columbia, Missouri, which provides services and resources for homeless veterans. See inside cover for a full list of the Columbia College Board of Trustees.

Judy Cunningham ’64 recently transitioned from her role as member of the Board of Trustees after 14 years of faithful service. A graduate of Christian College, she served as a member of the Columbia College Alumni Association Board of Directors for more than a decade and was presented the CCAA Service Award in 2011. Cunningham, who resides in Scottsdale, Arizona, is a friend of the college in the truest sense. Her passion for helping students achieve their goals is remarkable, particularly in her support of the Columbia College Emerging Leaders Institute, which strives to connect students to the college as well as prepare them to take active roles in the community. Cunningham continues to support many campus initiatives, student-centric projects and scholarship programs. She aided in bolstering the sciences at Columbia College through a transitional gift that assisted in the construction of the Gerald T. and Bonnie M. Brouder Science Center in 2013. She continues to serve as a great ambassador for the college and its mission.


Inside the Gate

Copies of the Spring 2017 Literary Review are available for purchase at

When the Muse Strikes… Columbia College Literary Review celebrates new edition with Bad Poetry Reading event BY DAVID MORRISON


Dr. Terry Smith, Columbia College political science professor and Honors Program director, stood near the back of the Lee Room in Dulany Hall on April 10, sizing up the crowd of around 60 that would soon be his audience. “What I’m about to do is easily the most ridiculous thing I’ve done in public,” Smith said. “Ever.” Not long after, Smith strode to the lectern in the front of the room and recited a four-line poem about split personality, to the delight and applause of those in attendance. This was the Bad Poetry Reading, the annual launch party for the Columbia College Literary Review (CCLR). Ridiculousness is encouraged. “We do like to emphasize that the poetry in our journal is not bad,” says Christina Ingoglia, assistant professor of English and one of the review’s two faculty mentors, along with Dr. Peter Monacell, chair of

the Language and Communication Studies Department. “Just at the Bad Poetry Reading.” Smith was one of 11 artists who exposed their bad poetry to the masses to ring in this year’s edition of the CCLR, along with Ingoglia, Monacell, Dr. Melinda McPherson (assistant professor of forensic science), review editor-in-chief Anna Ralls, managing editor Allison Krieg, assistant editor Emily Holt and others. Ralls and Krieg emceed the event. “Celebrating the good things is about celebrating the bad things as well,” Ralls said at the event. “We celebrate the awesome writing in this year’s journal by reading some bad, bad, bad, bad poetry.” The five-student staff of the CCLR — also including editor Ashlea Hearn and designer Savannah Padgett — judged more than 200 submissions for inclusion from the

start of the academic year in August through February, then compiled the journal in time for an early April launch. Work from current Columbia College students, faculty and staff is not considered for the journal, but Ingoglia says alumni who have been out of school for two or more years are welcome to submit. This year’s sixth annual edition includes 31 pieces of poetry, prose and artwork from 21 authors and artists. “These students are getting a professional editorial experience, which is one of a kind,” Monacell says. “Students are making editorial decisions, they’re communicating with authors. They are copy editing professional work, making decisions about how to lay out the journal and also publicizing the publication. They’re doing all these things. For students who want to be literary professionals, this is an incredibly valuable experience.”

Inside the Gate


Getting Her Point Across Dr. Lisa Ford-Brown finds creative ways to communicate BY MARIA HAYNIE


It only took one class for Dr. Lisa Ford-Brown to switch her undergraduate major from sculpting and ceramics to communication studies. When she took a general education course in the Oral Interpretation of Literature, she became “hooked” on communication. “I went from molding clay to molding messages and human interaction,” Dr. Ford-Brown says. “How humans communicate is integral to every personal and professional activity we engage in. That is exciting and powerful.”

Now, she is a communication studies professor at Columbia College and an established author. Her books include three titles produced for the United Kingdom-based publisher Dorling Kindersley (DK): DK Speaker (2013), DK Communication (2016) and DK Guide to Public Speaking (DKPS). The third edition of DKPS came out in February. The book is divided into nine tabs for easy reference, with each tab covering a specific content area. In it, Dr. Ford-Brown provides an overview of public speaking; instructions on how to research, create and present

to an audience; different kinds of occasions for speaking in public; different kinds of public speaking and more. She describes the process of working with a London-based layout designer and domestic publisher as “both an artistic and writing event.” “This book is highly visual,” Dr. Ford-Brown says. “It’s set up with text, graphics and white space to look more like the internet and to improve readability. The gist of basic communication has been around since Aristotle and before, but what


Inside the Gate

Students and alumni may borrow a copy of DK Guide to Public Speaking from Stafford Library on main campus.

made this book take off is that we put this information in an interface that students can use today.” The book is very striking with its glossy cover, smaller size and spiral binding. There are colored tabs and borders along the sides that make it easy to flip right to certain sections. Dr. Ford-Brown recalls students performing usability testing with early versions of the layout. “The students would get the pages in a brown paper bag, basically, with no cover or title. Then they’d be given a task and Pearson (the publishing company) would see how they handled and used the pages,” Dr. Ford-Brown says. Acknowledging that students love examples, she called on both her 25 years of teaching the Introduction to Public Speaking course and her Columbia College resources. “I reached out to Evening Campus teachers and asked for examples of their ‘A’ speeches that students have written,” Dr. Ford-Brown says.

“Student assistants also helped me put content together, and I consult with my students on things like communication through text messages, emojis or examples that apply to their lives.” Dr. Ford-Brown also focused on integrating learning objectives into her book. With a background in assessment, she wanted to make sure students and teachers would be able to use assessment tools effectively. To do that, her team turned to the National Communication Association’s (NCA) latest communication learning outcomes. “In this edition, I applied the entire book to the NCA learning objectives for students studying human communication,” Dr. Ford-Brown says. “That was tough to do, but we did it and I’m proud of that.” Understanding that strong communication skills are always essential, no matter the industry or topic, Dr. Ford-Brown was involved in the expansion of the communication

studies program at Columbia College. From 2003 to 2005, she chaired the Columbia College Humanities Department and served as a faculty representative for the Board of Trustees from 2008 to 2010. During that time, she assisted in the creation of the communication studies major and minor. When not working on her books or serving on multiple campus, regional and national committees, she focuses on the favorite parts of her job: the students and the classroom. She teaches many courses at Columbia College’s Day Campus, such as Understanding Human Communication, Gender Communication and Organizational Communication. “I try to be engaging and expect my students to discuss the material with me, especially the upper division classes,” Dr. Ford-Brown says. “Students don’t sit and absorb my lecture. They engage with my lectures.” Outside of the classroom, Dr. FordBrown enjoys camping, fishing, traveling and gardening with her life partner, Bruce. Her small 20-acre farm is home to her cats, Sadie and Falstaff, and her golden retriever, Zelda.




a f f i n i t y College roommates Joshua Muder ’99 (left) and Richard Moore ’99 caught up last fall in Jefferson City, Missouri.

Columbia College Alumni Association Advisory Board

A Time for Change I can tell it is late spring in Kansas City as I drive home and see all the cars at different houses for graduation parties. It is a time for change, transition, new adventures and celebration of a significant step in life. This year, Columbia College celebrated with our extended community as thousands of students joined the ranks of alumni. Everyone’s path to degree completion had its unique challenges, but all evoke a deep feeling of pride and accomplishment. For the Columbia College Alumni Association, it is also a time of change, of “graduations,” as board members retire and move on to other roles in the campus community. Structural changes to the organization are being enacted, some minor and some more intricate. We have changed how we organize ourselves and have streamlined how we conduct business when the association meets. At the transition of these changes, I started my term as the president of the Alumni Advisory Board, following decades of darn fine people who have come before me as leaders of our organization.

This past April also saw the awarding of our annual Alumni Awards that were given at an alumni banquet and awards program at the main campus. After much deliberation, the awards subcommittee of the advisory board chose a slate of accomplished Columbia College alumni to recognize. Meeting these interesting, strong fellow alums and hearing their stories drives home how large and diverse our alumni community has become over the past 150 years. Turn to page 34 to meet this year’s recipients. While our stories may differ, we’re all a part of the proud history of Columbia College. I look forward to serving as your advisory board president and hearing more about your own path since graduation. I hope that you continue to embrace your alumni status as a source of pride and reach out to support fellow alumni in your community.

Director of Alumni Relations Ann Merrifield Executive Director of Advancement Suzanne Rothwell President Joshua Muder ’99 Day Campus Vice President Jonathan Dudley ’10 Day Campus Board of Trustees Alumni Representative Bill Johnston ’82 Day Campus Advisors Sonya Garrett ’96 St. Louis Marjorie Thomas Gutelius ’69 Christian College Courtney Lauer-Myers ’11 Day Campus Bill Leeper ’04 NAS Jacksonville Chris Lievsay ’09 & ’11 Kansas City Lollie Zander Reed ’68 Christian College Ed Sasan ’11 Redstone Arsenal

Joshua Muder ’99 CCAA Advisory Board President

Lisa Kowalewski Sweeney ’05 Day campus Norris Tanner ’10 Kansas City Carol Winkler ’93 Evening Campus



an award or expanded your repeat customers? There are many ways you can showcase your skills so the message comes through clearly.

Career Corner

What is your resumé telling an employer? BY DAN GOMEZ-PALACIO

Probably the most used service in the Career Center is our resumé review. Every year we see thousands of resumés and, if we were grading those resumés, most would get a passable but hardly exciting “C.” The biggest overall mistake we see are resumés not written for the needs of the employer but rather following a standard blueprint. As you look to create a new resumé or rework an existing one, ask yourself the following questions to be sure you are writing to help an employer understand the value and strengths you bring. Do I have the skills to not just complete the tasks in this job but to really thrive in this position? Generally, if an employer is seriously considering you, they feel you can likely do the position. However, they want someone who will succeed in the position. When

reviewing your resumé, think through your accomplishments. What have you done to make the workplace better? How have your responsibilities grown as you gained new knowledge and skills? Make sure that your resumé clearly communicates these ideas and that you are not asking the reader to guess your value. Resumés are not meant to be humble documents — make sure your successes and values are loud and clear! Am I proving my skills? It’s very easy to write “excellent customer service skills.” I see it on countless resumés but, unless it’s backed up by proof, it can be empty. Employers want to see demonstrated ability, not just a list of clichéd phrases. So rather than listing a vague skill, explain how you can prove you have excellent customer service. Have you been recognized by management, won

Is this resumé really targeted toward the field? Whether on the job or in school, you have probably developed a wide variety of skills and abilities, so why just have one resumé for everything? Unless you are applying to a very specific range of jobs, you might need different versions of your resumé that showcase your talents as needed by that position. Read through the job description and explore the company. What wording and ideas come through? Use that in your application so you are connecting with the employer. If you are looking to make a career transition to a new field, research the needs of the aspired area. For instance, a candidate moving to accounting should think about what is needed in that position. Highlight traits like attention to detail, organization and the ability to communicate complex situations to people outside the field. What in your academics, current job or volunteer position have you done to showcase these strengths? Even if that experience is in a completely different field, those traits hold true. You can still showcase readiness through the skills you have developed. Dan Gomez-Palacio is the director of the Grossnickle Career Services Center. Career counseling, networking and resumé assistance are available free of charge to all students and alumni. To get started, contact Career Services at (800) 2312391 ext. 7425 or visit careercenter.



Out and About Regional alumni networking socials provide Columbia College graduates and friends an opportunity to get to know fellow Cougars in their area. Earlier this year, the CCAA hosted events in Florida, Georgia and Arizona.

Teresa Adams and Rick Adams in Orlando, Florida

Barbara Mortenson and Jeff Mortenson ’11 in Melbourne, Florida

Robert Lee ’14, Colleen Daley, Paul Daley ’02 and Paul Gagnon in Melbourne, Florida

Lawrence Doerfler ’16 in Savannah, Georgia

Cynthia Whitfield ’13, Shari Yates Phillips ’13 and Sylvia Whitfield ’12 in Savannah, Georgia


Vanessa Swindell, Director of Columbia College-Jacksonville, and Shelby Walden in Jacksonville, Florida

Alumni Social at Schlafly Brewery July 20 St. Louis, Missouri Alumni Social August 2017 Rolla, Missouri Speed Networking co-hosted with Grossnickle Career Services Center September 26 Columbia, Missouri CCAA Advisory Board Fall Meeting October 7 Columbia, Missouri Columbia College Homecoming October 8 Columbia, Missouri Alumni Social at Boulevard Brewery October 11 Kansas City, Missouri

Bill Leeper ’04, Bill Wright ’09, Jan Smith, Kathleen Ritchie and Sean Smith ’11 in Jacksonville, Florida

Jack Moore and Nancy Christy Moore ’59 in Scottsdale, Arizona

Christian College Alumnae Luncheon at the Webster House October 12 Kansas City, Missouri Alumni Holiday Party at Wilmore Lodge December 7 Lake Ozark, Missouri Alumni Holiday Party at Columbia College main campus December 14 Columbia, Missouri

Register for an event and view photo galleries at


Raphael Albea, Eli Shaul ’17 and William Keys ’99 in Jacksonville, Florida

Mark your calendar for upcoming events!



CCAA Scholars Supporting the next generation of alumni starts with today’s students. Nearly 300 candidates applied for the CCAA Scholars Program over the last year, and four outstanding individuals were awarded $1,000 each to assist with expenses during the 2017-18 academic year.

Kyle Alston

Leah Hoveln

Kadeem Mitchell

Albert Sardinas

Kyle Alston will be the first member of his family to complete a college education.

Leah Hoveln credits Columbia College for helping her grow not only as a student, but as an adult.

Since his first class in 2011 at Columbia College-NAS Jacksonville, Kadeem Mitchell has made the most of his education. Kadeem completed his Associate in General Studies degree in 2013, followed by an Associate in Science in 2015 and a Bachelor of Science in 2016.

Albert Sardinas takes education seriously. He invested four years into a biomedical engineering degree at another institution but left the program before graduating.

“After facing family difficulties during my first college endeavors, I had to make the difficult decision of putting my education on pause to provide support for my family,” he says. An Online Education student from Laguna Niguel, California, Kyle is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in Healthcare Management. The program’s flexibility and his strong GPA have given Kyle the confidence to continue in higher education and reach for his fullest potential.

“As a Day Campus student, Columbia College has been able to provide me with experiences that no other college ever could have,” she says. A chemistry major with a legal studies minor from Urbana, Illinois, Leah is active on campus as a member of the Student Government Association and Mock Trial team. With her sights set on a 2018 graduation, Leah is prepared to graduate with a “top-notch” education. “Columbia College has been my home and will always be part of my life,” she says. “This school is so important to me, because it has surrounded me with people that support me, push me to be the best I can be and, most importantly, people who will help in any way they can for me to succeed.” After graduation, Leah plans to attend law school.

“Being in the military, education is very difficult, and Columbia College has provided me the opportunity to complete my classes,” he says. “The tools I have learned from the college gave me resources on how to manage and lead from my juniors, superiors and even my peers.” Kadeem now lives in California, serves in the United States Navy and currently holds a 4.0 GPA working toward a Master of Business Administration degree through Columbia College Online Education.

To apply, donate or learn more, visit

“My experience left me broken and my confidence shaken,” he says. In 2014 Albert began classes at Columbia College-Jacksonville and regained his passion for higher education. He earned an Associate in General Studies degree in 2015. Now a resident of Renton, Washington, Albert is working toward a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in Healthcare Management. “The staff, professors and advisors have all been tremendous,” he says. “I’ve been on the president’s list and achieved academic excellence. I’m going to graduate, and my goal is to do it with honors.” Albert’s wife, Paula, graduated from Columbia College in 2016.


As a member of the CCAA, explore the benefits you have earned, valuable resources and opportunities to stay connected to your alma mater.

For assistance accessing your member benefits, contact or (573) 875-2586 (ALUM).





Christian College

Reunion Weekend Since the college’s modest beginning in 1851, it has flourished in size and become a nationally recognized educational institution. Each spring, the CCAA takes time to reflect on the time-honored traditions that our students and alumni have embraced for generations. Christian College Reunion Weekend provides two days for classmates to re-establish the everlasting bond of being a Christian College “Cathy.” Members of the 1937, 1947, 1957 and 1967 honor class years were invited to share memories and updates to be added to special memory books that were distributed to their classmates.

Archives Presentation Bradley Meinke ’14, collections manager of the Columbia College Archives, took guests on a journey down memory lane. He reflected on life as a student at Christian College, including fashion, college events and favorite pastimes among the ladies. Cheryl Elbe Ward ’57 (pictured at right) took a moment to share her gratitude to Dona Sue Black Cool ’53, who was Cheryl’s longtime role model and inspiration for attending Christian College.

Sightseeing Tour In the morning, attendees boarded a bus to see how things have changed around town. Highlights of the tour, led by Jolene Marra Schulz ’61 of Tiger Trolley Tours, included stops in downtown Columbia and the columns at the University of Missouri.


Honor Classes Pictured below from left: Daphne Harwood Sumner ’57, Carol Welsh Wright ’57, Linda Haynes Johnson ’57, Ruth Scott Klaus ’57, Jane Canedy Crow ’57, MJ Rodgers Nelson ’57, Gracile Pigmon Gicker ’57, Janie Galloway Kemp ’57, Donna Wilson Edgar ’67, Susanna Hale Day ’57, Mary Oates Nesladek ’67, Sheree Dorner Skiles ’67, Sister Sharon Sullivan ’67, Carol Hicks Lawrence ’67, Nell Gillespie Riechers ’67, Mary Harrington Flanagan ’67 and Diane Lodge ’67

Ivy Chain & Remembrance Ceremony Graduates who have celebrated a 50th reunion and beyond are invited to participate in a re-enactment of the Ivy Chain Ceremony. Alumnae lined up in the Christian College Garden, where they were draped in ivy and given roses as they walked into Dorsey Gym. Above right: Sister Sharon Sullivan, Mary Harrington Flanagan, Nell Gillespie Riechers and Diane Lodge replayed their placement in the 1967 Ivy Chain procession (inset, standing from far left).


Campus Tour Left: MJ Rodgers Nelson ’57, Carol Welsh Wright ’57 and Janie Galloway Kemp ’57 reminisce during a walk through campus.

Alumni Profile


Alumna Renee Hamilton-McNealy uses her talent to speak out for homeless female veterans


A love of painting came naturally to Renee Hamilton-McNealy ’12. As a child, she would go to art galleries with her mother and discuss the works they’d see. She painted in the backyard with her father. From that passion, she branched out as a makeup artist and aesthetician, which flowed organically into an interest in body painting. After all, body painting is just another form of fine art, using the human body as a canvas. “What I gravitate toward is usually healing experiences for people beyond just paint to skin,” Hamilton-McNealy says. “It’s a whole beautiful world out there. Everybody I’ve worked with always felt like it was a therapeutic experience for them.” Body painting is a mode of expression for both artist and subject. HamiltonMcNealy learned about the power of body painting while assisting world-renowned artist Trina Merry at a workshop at the San Jose Museum of Art, then brought her own works to life during the Ms. Veteran America competition last year.





In the talent competition, she performed a spoken-word piece about women serving in the US Army since the time of the Revolutionary War while painting an American flag on a model. In the finals — she was one of 10 chosen out of about 400 competitors — she presented a video of her art that raised awareness of the plight of female veterans who become homeless after serving, while a model she pre-painted in a camouflage pattern stood on stage. “I was showing that even the art doesn’t cover up the camo,” Hamilton-McNealy says. “It enhances it, sheds more light on it.”

“Even the art doesn’t cover up the camo. It enhances it, sheds more light on it.”

It’s a cause that’s near and dear to Hamilton-McNealy’s heart. She’s a master sergeant in the Army Reserves in her 18th year of service, 10 of them on active duty.

for active duty shortly after Sept. 11, 2001. She had just lost her mother and wanted to keep her commitment to earn her degree, but she wasn’t sure of her next step.

Through her work with the Final Salute foundation, which helps find safe and suitable housing for homeless female veterans and their children, and her advocacy as a Ms. Veteran America contestant, Hamilton-McNealy strives to make her art imitate life.

She visited the education center at Fort Stewart, Georgia, where she was serving in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. There, a representative from Columbia College offered her a solution.

Getting a degree Hamilton-McNealy was not aware that the Army could pull her out of school when she got called up

“They explained how it could work, even though I was on active duty,” Hamilton-McNealy says. “Due to one of the reps being really helpful and showing the way, learning I could take some classes online

and go to the classroom — which is what I truly wanted — it worked exceptionally well with my schedule and how I learned.” Hamilton-McNealy earned her Associate in General Studies in 2004 and served eight more years of active duty as a financial manager/budget analyst, four in Atlanta and four in the San Francisco Bay area in California. When she relocated to California, she knew where to turn to complete her bachelor’s degree. She took online classes through Columbia College until earning her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 2012.

Alumni Profile


Alumni Profile


She then completed a Master of Business Administration from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. “I feel that what is great is women who are building themselves prior to transitioning [from military to civilian life], and education is a part of that,” Hamilton-McNealy says. She serves as a mentor for around 2,500 non-commissioned officers through a Facebook group. She has a go-to message when someone asks her for advice on how to pursue a degree along with a military career. “All I could think about is there was a school I went to when I just got called into active duty, lost my mother and got pulled out of school that still helped me focus and move ahead,” Hamilton-McNealy says. “I didn’t go to Columbia College for my MBA, only because I wanted to go in person. But if that was an option where I worked, I would have, because it was a great support beyond education at the time. “I think it’s a good school for anyone who’s still serving to be able to go to.” Making a Difference When she applied for the Army Entertainment’s traveling Soldier Show as a volunteer, Hamilton-McNealy was thinking she’d fit best in the hair and makeup department.The director had another idea. In the production there was a Tina Turner “Proud Mary” number for which Hamilton-McNealy would be perfect. So she found herself performing and in charge of hair and makeup on a 10-month nationwide tour of Army bases and other communities. They worked

From left: Alumna Renee Hamilton-McNealy with Final Salute and Ms. Veteran America founder Jaspen Boothe; Hamilton-McNealy on stage with her body paint model, delivering a monologue during the Ms. Veteran America competition

16-hour days for 75 minutes on stage, singing and dancing for servicemembers and their families, sharing the Army’s message of “ready and resilient.”

Hamilton-McNealy raised nearly $3,000 on her own.

“It was just awesome serving primarily the military and veteran community, but also children, youth, the homeless, Wounded Warriors,” HamiltonMcNealy says. “You had soldiers come together like a family to perform.”

“It made me want to cry. To see a population of other women who were just as driven, it was just phenomenal,” Hamilton-McNealy says. “It felt good to come together and say, ‘We have these solutions to provide support for other women veterans.’ It extended beyond just the sisterhood of the Army and opened up to all other branches. It just felt really infinite, and something that’s truly needed.”

At one stop, she met a man who said he came to the show every year, but this one would be his last. He planned on taking his life. He changed his mind after hearing the messages of affirmation offered by the Soldier Show. “Seeing the show really changed him,” Hamilton-McNealy says. “That just made the whole thing valid, if nothing else ever did. Just another way to reach out to people.” That’s how she viewed her Ms. Veteran America candidacy. She joined a dedicated group of women from all branches and levels of the military to showcase “the women beyond the uniform” and benefit homeless female veterans and their children through Final Salute.

The competition was secondary. The message was foremost.

Hamilton-McNealy is lending a helping hand to a friend in the Air Force who is running for Ms. Veteran America this year. She’s willing to offer advice or organize events for any other candidates that call on her. She hasn’t exactly ruled out another run, but she also feels a desire to welcome more women into the fold. “I think the journey was so honorable I’ll make room for others, but be the support that they need for their own given journey,” Hamilton-McNealy says. “I’ll be an ambassador, always.”

Breaking Down the GI Bill Columbia College serves thousands of veterans and active-duty military personnel every year. In fact, about a third of Columbia College students are affiliated with the military in some way, many using the educational benefits available under the GI Bill to pay for college.


Apply for admission to Columbia College at


Submit transcripts from any previous colleges, plus your military transcripts.


Apply for VA educational benefits on the VA website at


Provide the following items to the Columbia College VA Certifying Individual:  Veterans: DD-214 Discharge Document, provided at completion of your enlistment.  Completed Veterans Request for Certification Form provided by Columbia College.  Certificate of Eligibility provided by the VA after your benefits application is processed. Your application for VA benefits will be accepted as a temporary replacement for the Certificate of Eligibility while the VA is processing your application.

Learn more at

In Tune with Online


In Tune with

Online Columbia College combines accessibility with innovation to serve its sizable online student population. BY DAVID MORRISON PHOTOS PROVIDED BY COLUMBIA COLLEGE


Vice President of Online Education

Columbia College was on the leading edge when it launched its Online Education program in 2000. In the nearly two decades since, as online course offerings and degree tracks have become ubiquitous in higher education, Columbia College has still found ways to maintain its position as an innovator. Dr. Piyusha Singh, Columbia College’s vice president of Online Education, doesn’t need to rely on anecdotal evidence to know this is true. She has seen tangible proof when her staff works with the software renderers who help produce the school’s online course offerings. These engineers work with hundreds of other schools across the country and, if what Columbia College requested for its course models was commonplace, the renderers would already have a plan for it. “We have to do a lot of custom solutions,” Singh says. “So that tells me we’re a little ahead of the game.” The average online students are decidedly different from the ones who populate more traditional college settings. They’re predominantly adult learners, resuming their education after some sort of hiatus following high school or part of a college career. Some, such as Columbia College’s sizable military community, don’t always have easy access to a physical location in which to take classes, so they need the ability to learn wherever is most convenient.

They’re far more likely to have families, careers and other obligations outside of school, meaning they prioritize having the flexibility to dictate when they get their schoolwork done. They seek out classes and degrees that have practical applications, so they can more easily advance in their current profession or jump to another one. Just like more traditional students, they put a lot of themselves into their education. They expect a lot in return. “They are people who have more life experiences, sometimes have had more educational experiences. They want to be taught in a different way,” Singh says. “Adult students want to bring something to the table and help you make sense of what they have experienced. They want to get a combination of their life, what they know and what you are teaching them.” Singh says adult students also tend to be less tolerant of what she calls “jumping hoops.” “That goes back to them having a lot more demands on their time,” Singh says. “If you’re going to make an adult student do something, you had better be clear about why. You need to really be respectful of their time and resources.” Singh came to Columbia College as its first vice president for Online Education in 2015. Since then, her focus has been normalizing

In Tune with Online

dr. Piyusha Singh

In Tune with Online




the online experience for students, so that they can more easily find the resources they need and become familiar with a similar format throughout all Columbia College online classes. Quality, all across the board. “We think very carefully about the student. We are very careful about the academic content,” Singh says. “From the beginning to the end, we’re constantly asking ourselves, ‘What are the students supposed to get out of this? How do we get them there?’” The Students During the Fall 2016 semester, 73 percent of Columbia College students took at least one course online. A majority of them combined their online education with in-seat offerings. These online students came from all 50 states and 23 countries. The average age for these students was 33 years old, 11 years older than the average Day Campus student and four years older than the average Evening Campus student.

teaches for other schools around her home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. But she knows online students have the same desire and aptitude. “The students who have a strong will and dedication, they can organize their studies and they’re disciplined enough to be good both in-seat classes and online,” Francis says. “Once they’ve experienced it, they’ve seen how their studies can combine their potential family obligations and, at the same time, study so hard. You can do both.” Whether an online student is 19 or 65 years old, living in Miami, Florida, or Oak Harbor, Washington, the goal, Singh says, is to bring them all under the Columbia College umbrella. That means everything from organizing the homepage in a way that makes key links easy to find, to ensuring that adjunct instructors and the support staff at Federal Hall in downtown Columbia, Missouri, are accessible and able to address students’ needs.

Online Education students boasted an average GPA of 2.83, which compared favorably with the marks for Day (2.98), Nationwide (2.85) and Evening (2.76).

“We’re always looking to support our students in ways that keep them motivated and keep them aware of their options and kind of humanize the experience as much as possible,” says Amanda Harms ’04, an online academic advisor. “It’s easy for online students to start feeling detached or distanced from the school. We all have a role in making sure the student feels supported and connected to Columbia College.”

Dr. Yelena Francis has been teaching Russian language and culture courses online for Columbia College since 2012. She doesn’t see her online students face-to-face, as she does the pupils who take the in-seat classes she

The Instruction During the 2015-16 school year, Columbia College offered 3,561 course sections over its 388 accredited online classes. The school employs 653 adjunct faculty


In Tune with Online

members to teach in its 27 accredited online degree programs. If a prominent degree field is missing from the offerings, it may well be there in the near future. With the founding deans and new three-school structure — Business Administration; Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences; and Natural Sciences & Mathematics — taking effect across all Columbia College venues in 2016, Singh expects online offerings will only become more robust. “The deans are really going to look at what their offerings are and where they think we can see some growth,” Singh says. “They work with [our departments of Adult Higher Education] and Online to create these different courses and programs and roll them out. We do definitely look at who we’re going to serve with them.” To ensure the continued quality of the courses, the curriculum is approved by the full-time faculty at Columbia College. They oversee course content and testing to make sure it’s living up to the school’s standards. As the 2017 Spring Semester drew to a close, Francis was in the midst of the second round of editing for her next Russian Culture and Society course, the same process every online instructor goes through. Crib courses, they are not. “I need to give the students who enroll more general features in a more concentrated way,” Francis says. “I try not to overload them on the one hand and not to make it too diluted on the other. It is difficult to find the golden middle line, but I have to for the students to be in a more comfortable way of studying.” Francis also makes it a habit to learn from her students, to keep lines of communication open so that she can see what is working for them and what needs to be adjusted. Even though she can’t point to a raised hand, she can still aid through email, posts on discussion boards or phone calls.

What online courses do Columbia College students flock to the most? Here are the top 10 classes in terms of students enrolled for Fall 2016:


English Composition II


Introduction to Computer Information Systems


Introduction to Business


Human Biology


Personal Financial Planning


English Composition I


General Psychology


College Algebra


Accounting I (Financial)


Principles of Management

In Tune with Online


Singh puts a premium on responsiveness for online instructors. She has taught online classes before, so she knows what a time drain it can be for students to reach you at all hours of the day. But she also knows that one of the main perks of online learning is the flexibility, the fact that a student can put something on hold momentarily if life gets in the way. As such, instructors need to be responsive and cultivate relationships. “The knock on online is you don’t see your faculty member,” Singh says. “But I would argue that when you have an engaged faculty member, you can ‘see’ them more often and get more instruction from them [than inseat classes]. It’s just more continuous, instead of broken up into a certain time at a certain week.” The Future Not long ago, Singh says, employers may have looked down on a degree earned online. Now, with a few exceptions, that’s no longer the case. Some employers even encourage their staff to pursue online degrees through tuition subsidies. They can receive vocational training without having to take time away from work. “What’s more important now is the reputation of the institution,” Singh says. “Frankly, I think employers have started to see the value of online degrees.”

Columbia College, with its accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission, checks that box. The new six-session format introduced across all venues in 2016 also makes it so that devoted adult learners who want to take an accelerated path to a degree can earn an associate degree in just more than 18 months, a bachelor’s in less than 3 1/2 years and a master’s in less than a year. The school has put in the groundwork to stay at the vanguard of online education. Singh says that, while nobody can foresee the future, she feels as if Columbia College is well-positioned to meet whatever comes next. One national trend she has her eye on is a move toward personalized or adaptive learning, in which educational software can drill and test students on the more rudimentary aspects of a subject — and provide more information if needed — to get them to a level of competency where the instructor can delve into more complex concepts. Another trend is toward “competency-based education,” in which instructors focus less on evaluating a student after a specific timeframe and more on evaluating how long it will take a student to gain a mastery of the subject. “For somebody it might mean four weeks, somebody else eight weeks, somebody else 16 weeks,” Singh says. “How can we get to a more mastery and competencybased review of what we do?” Technology has already given online students the ability to keep up with their studies on their cell phones. The Online Education program staff has already taken steps to make the path to a Columbia College degree more user-friendly. To Singh, adjusting to whatever comes next in online education is still going to rely heavily on a rather antiquated concept. “Good old, plain, solid, engaging faculty instruction,” Singh says. “The good part about online education is you can do it anywhere. The bad part is, when you can do something anywhere, you sometimes don’t do it. Having good faculty who really are invested in students — the bread and butter of education — is still important.”

“we’re constantly asking ourselves, ‘What are the students supposed to get out of this? How do we get them there?’” – Dr. Piyusha Singh


In Tune with Online

Bricks engraved with the names of each Nationwide location surround the water on Alumni Fountain at main campus.

a helping hand: Online advising Amanda Harms’ favorite questions from her students fall into one main category: Tell me more about Columbia College. “The conversation usually revolves around the fact that we’ve had such a longstanding presence and have many different locations around the country and have such an old campus and a longstanding history here in Columbia,” says Harms, a 2004 alumna of the Columbia College Evening Campus. “I have a lot

of love for Columbia College, so that’s an opportunity for me to express my own personal experiences with it. Growing up and going to school down the street, trying to have some of that rub off on our students.” As an academic advisor for online students, Harms rarely gets to meet her advisees face-to-face. Some local ones will stop by the office, or she’ll get to see them on graduation day if they walk in the main campus commencement ceremonies. The majority are authors of emails, voices on the other end of a phone line. Still, Harms sees the benefits of providing a personal touch.

*Locations as of June 1, 2017

Since 1973, Columbia College has been expanding its offerings nationwide. The red dots indicate locations on military bases.

“We definitely develop a relationship with students,” Harms says. “Some more than others, but we’re there for each student equally that wants it or needs it.”

Lately, Harms and the other advisors have been focusing on taking a more “appreciative” approach to advising. That means, rather than keying in on what courses students need in order to achieve their degree, they delve more into the person’s backstory and motivations. “What are you strengths, your goals, your values? How are you going to put all of this together?” Harms says. “Really focusing on how this is going to enrich the person’s life as a whole, instead of just how to get from A to Z.” Her goal is to serve as a guide for these nontraditional students. “It all comes back to if a student is independent and self-directed, then the online program offers an amount of flexibility that you just can’t replicate with an in-seat format,” Harms says.










Saluting Our Alumni


alumni awards 2017 BY ANN MUDER PHOTOS BY KACI SMART ’09 Columbia College alumni are building and shaping our communities with expertise in their fields and dedication to helping others. These four award winners were recognized for their accomplishments in service and leadership at the Alumni Awards Banquet and Presentation on April 21. Submit nominations for the 2018 Alumni Awards and view a complete list of past alumni award recipients at alumniawards.


Janette Roberts Nichols ’00 & ’02

“It’s always been important to me to live my life to serve others.” helps find one from local shelters. Janette has been involved with the organization for three years, serving as fundraising coordinator, a member of the board of directors and public relations coordinator. In addition, she volunteers her time to assist Central Missouri Honor Flight, a group that transports America’s veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit their memorials.

For Janette Roberts Nichols ’00 & ’02, passion for volunteering started with her family. “I was raised that way,” she says. “It’s always been important to me to live my life to serve others.” Even with her busy jobs as a regional recruiter and adjunct professor in the criminal justice program at Columbia College, Janette always finds time to support the community. Her work with veterans is especially close to her heart, she says, in part because her grandfather served in World War II. Janette devotes much of her time to Missouri Patriot Paws, an organization that works to train and provide service dogs for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury. The organization not only helps the veterans but the dogs as well. If a veteran needs a service dog, the group

Janette says she hopes to continue to serve others in whatever capacity she can, whether through her job as a recruiter or through volunteering. Her interest in helping the community influenced her graduate work as well. She’s currently pursuing her doctorate degree from Walden University in Human Services/Social Work with an emphasis in military families and cultures. Janette has an extensive background in law enforcement and worked for the State of Missouri for several years. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Columbia College in 2000, and her master’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Columbia College in 2002. She received a graduate certificate in Geographic Information Systems from the University of Central Missouri. She received a Mother of Eagles Football Award from Southern Boone High School in Ashland, Missouri, for her volunteer work. She has also served as a member of the Columbia College Alumni Association Board of Directors and various committees.

Saluting Our Alumni


Saluting Our Alumni



Anna Gotangco Osborn ’91 “When I walked back into that classroom, I knew I would never leave.” “Literature can build relationships,” she says. “It helps people see beyond their circumstances. No matter how hard life is, you can escape through books.” Anna’s work with students has received recognition both regionally and nationally. This past year, she was selected as one of 11 education leaders to be designated as a Heinemann Fellow. With this fellowship, she plans to conduct research projects in the classroom and meet with the other leaders in education to learn various teaching methods and problem-solving tactics.

Anna Gotangco Osborn ’91 hadn’t planned to become a teacher. After receiving degrees in English and psychology from Columbia College, she moved to New Orleans and worked in the casino business for six years. When she saw a report on TV about the “No Child Left Behind Act,” it stirred something inside of her. “It challenged me,” she says. “I felt like it said, ‘Are you good enough to be a teacher?’” Anna immediately started looking for teaching jobs and found one as an English teacher in a public school.

Anna returned to Columbia College in 2015 to earn her Special Reading certification. She is an adjunct professor at Columbia College, where she uses her reading expertise to teach a course that deals with analysis and correction of reading disabilities. Anna’s other honors and accomplishments include the Aspiring Leaders Cohort for Columbia Public Schools, October 2014-May 2015; Teacher of the Month for the Columbia Kiwanis Club, November 2013; and Outstanding Middle/Junior High Educator of the Year, 2010-2011. She has served as a volunteer at St. Thomas More Newman Center. She received her master’s degree in Learning and Instruction at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

“When I walked back into that classroom, I knew I would never leave,” she says. “It’s just too important. This work can change the world.”

She’s currently working on her doctorate degree at the University of Missouri. She says she hopes to continue to show her students how literature can open doors and enrich their lives.

Today, Anna teaches reading at Jefferson Middle School in Columbia, Missouri. She says she’s rewarded every day by seeing how books can impact students’ lives.

“I want to get them sharing more and dreaming more and talking about their identities,” she says. “Kids need to see the future and imagine what they can be.”


Randy Sanchez ’83 “I like to say it’s like I’m the mayor of a little town called Coronado Center.” shopping center management and marketing in 1983. Soon after, at 22 years old, he landed a job in Dallas as an assistant general manager of the Galleria. “A lot of shopping center developers would recruit from Columbia College,” says Randy. “Seymour Helfant started the program there, and he knew a lot of bigwigs in the shopping center industry. It was more than just textbooks; they flew in experts to teach us.” After his time in Dallas, he worked in management positions in Laredo, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; Charleston, South Carolina; Freehold, New Jersey; and Mansfield, Ohio.

When Randy Sanchez ’83 was in high school and working part-time at Jeans West in Albuquerque, New Mexico, he attended a college fair at the mall. That’s when he learned about Columbia College’s shopping center management curriculum. “Columbia College was the only one that offered that program,” says Randy. “It became pivotal in my career choice.” That led to a 33-year career in the shopping center industry, including managing eight different malls throughout the country. Today, Randy is the general manager of Coronado Center, the largest shopping destination in New Mexico and the same place he worked while in high school. Randy graduated from Columbia College with a bachelor’s degree in Business with an emphasis on

In 1993, Randy and his wife, Angela, had their first child. Soon after, his mother, who lived back home in Albuquerque, found a want ad in the Albuquerque Journal for a marketing director at the mall. “She sent it in a manila envelope with a note that said, ‘Maybe you can find a job here,’” he says. “She just happened to be looking through the want ads, and it only ran once in the paper. It must have been meant to be.” He worked as marketing director for Coronado Center for three years before being hired in 1997 as the general manager. Today, after 20 years as general manager, he’s still passionate about his work. He says he loves that it’s never the same from day to day, and it keeps him engaged. “My team makes this place what it is,” he says. “I like to say it’s like I’m the mayor of a little town called Coronado Center, where we have 3,000 residents, or store employees, with 12 million visitors who come to our town every year.”

Saluting Our Alumni


Saluting Our Alumni



Rena Day ’05

“I’ve found my home.” When she arrived in the United States on a Saturday in 2000, she had $43 dollars in her pocket until getting her monthly allowance on the following Monday. “My first meal in America was hot dogs, Coke and a Snickers bar,” she says. She met her husband while studying in Arkansas. After completing her master’s degree, the couple later moved to Missouri, where she pursued a Master of Business Administration degree at Columbia College. “I thought an MBA would be a good complement to the degree I had,” she says.

Rena Day ’05 was just 12 years old living in the Republic of Azerbaijan when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. For years, the former Soviet republic’s political system was in a state of transition. From 1995 to 2000, as Rena was pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Banking and Finance, she was also working in the Ministry of Finance, where she earned $60 a month as head economist managing the state international debt budget. As the borders opened for new investments in a newly independent republic, Rena realized that she needed a different education to meet the new demands of a growing economy. She applied for the highly competitive Edmund S. Muskie Program and was accepted to receive a scholarship to the University of Arkansas, where she would take classes towards a master’s degree in Economics.

After graduation and working for a couple of years at the Missouri State Department of Economic Development, she took over a small branch of Edward Jones in Palmyra, Missouri, in January 2007. Eight months later she moved to Monticello, Arkansas, where she opened a new branch and became the third financial advisor serving southeast Arkansas. “I started from zero,” she says. “I knocked on more than 2,000 doors to build up my client base.” Her persistence paid off. Even with English being her second language, she’s consistently built strong relationships with her clients and has received awards as one of the top offices at Edward Jones for customer satisfaction. While Rena occasionally returns to her home country of Azerbaijan, she says she now feels most at home in America. “I always wanted to get out and see the world,” she says. “One of my friends in Azerbaijan said, ‘You changed and look and act like an American.’ I’ve found my home.”


Award recipient Anna Osborn ’91, Michelle Care Wix ’90 and Jeffery Wix

Bill Johnston ’82, Joshua Muder ’99 and President Scott Dalrymple presented Lynne Stuver Baker ’64 with a CCAA Director Emerita award. Baker retired from the board after 25 years of service.

Former Dean for Student Affairs Faye Burchard and CCAA Advisory Board President Joshua Muder ’99

Ken Glass ’83, Kevin Shultz ’83 and award recipient Randy Sanchez ’83

Norris Tanner ’10, Darrell Winkler, Carol Winkler ’93 and Jeff Musgrove, vice president for Columbia College Adult Higher Education

Rev. Jimmy Spear and Missy Montgomery Carberry ’06

Saluting Our Alumni

alumni awards Banquet & Presentation

Cougar Sports Zone


Swing for the Fences Cougars score big win in first home game since 1982 BY DAVID MORRISON


For a moment, as Ethan Howser rounded the bases at Atkins Field on March 3, he thought he might be dreaming. Howser, a sophomore center fielder from Waynesville, Missouri, was the leadoff hitter for the Columbia Cougars baseball team in its first home game in 35 years, the first batter to head to the plate before a home crowd after the program had been dormant since 1982. And he socked the first pitch he saw from Williams Baptist over the fence in left field for a home run. “It was kind of like a movie, you know?” Cougars coach Darren Munns said after the March 3 home opener. “You couldn’t write a better story.” Howser’s shot set the tone for a successful homecoming for Columbia College, as it blasted Williams Baptist, 16-5, in seven innings. Cougars hitters pounded out 16 hits and

scored 12 runs over the fourth and fifth innings in support of starting pitcher Zach Maskill, who gave up two runs on four hits and struck out five over five innings of work. Leftfielder Tanner Allen ended the day in style, diving to snag a sinking line drive for the final out. “We were pumped all season just for this day,” Howser said. “We came out and killed it, in my opinion. It was a good day.” Columbia College had a lot of good days during its first season back in action. The Cougars finished with a 34-17 record and a 24-6 mark in American Midwest Conference play, earning a regular-season conference co-championship. That’s despite the fact that their roster included only 10 juniors and seniors to go along with 24 freshmen.


Baseball Reunion

“We have a lot of great upperclassmen that are leaders and really kind of show us the ropes on how their programs have been before,” says freshman second baseman Ward Mershon. “Our coaches kind of set the example on what to expect from us here at Columbia College. I think we just kind of all come together and play the game.” The Cougars scored 7.6 runs a game offensively, and first baseman Andrew Warner, a junior transfer from Longview Community College in Missouri, hit .478 with 17 home runs and 69 RBI. Maskill, a senior from Kansas City, went 6-4 with a 2.84 ERA on the mound, and junior Jeremy Rettig was 7-3 with a 4.63 ERA. On March 17, junior pitcher Cody Ebert threw a no-hitter against Morthland College, only the second no-hitter in Cougars baseball history and the first since 1977. Maskill came to Columbia after the program at his former school, Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri, folded. “It’s honestly the nicest thing I’ve ever been offered in my entire life,” Maskill says. “I’m 100-percent blessed and thankful. So I’m going to try to make the most of it.” A spirited crowd of Columbia College faithful showed up on a cold, blustery afternoon to cheer on Maskill and his teammates in the home opener March 3. Columbia College President Scott Dalrymple threw out one of four ceremonial first pitches, along with Jim Sublett, who played baseball for the Cougars in the late 1970s; trustee George Hulett — who played baseball at the University of Missouri and in the minor leagues — and Columbia Public Schools Athletic Director Bruce Whitesides. All the fans received a commemorative baseball emblazoned with the interlocking “CC” athletics logo and “2017 Columbia College Home Opener.” The team on the field was able to feed off the energy coming from the stands. Even if it took players an inning or two to shake off some jitters. “There was some nervous energy, for sure. A lot of adrenaline, but definitely ready to play,” Munns said.

Former Columbia College baseball players reunited in Columbia, Missouri, to attend the Cougars baseball games on April 28. They were introduced between games and had the opportunity to shake hands with current players. After the game, the reunion moved to the Fifth Down for appetizers and celebration.

“We’ve been chomping at the bit to play at home for a long time now. We finally got to play at home, and guys were excited. I’m glad we came through.” Munns says the excitement from alumni who played for the Cougars during the program’s first stint — some of whom he knows personally from his time living in the community — has been palpable. He saw a number of them in attendance at the home opener and at the baseball alumni reunion April 28, a day on which the Cougars hosted conference foe Freed-Hardeman. “We’re definitely going to get them involved as we move forward,” Munns says. “We want to play well, play the right way and make those guys proud of Columbia College baseball.”

Cougar Sports Zone

Opposite page, inset: Jim Sublett ’77 (right) congratulates Cody Ebert after Ebert pitched the second no-hitter in Cougars history on March 17, a full 40 years after Sublett threw the first in 1977.

Cougar Sports Zone


On Top of Their Game Columbia College captures AMC Presidents’ Cup BY CINDY FOT TI POT TER ’05 & DAVID MORRISON


Behind five outright conference championships and a share of two others, Columbia College captured its first-ever American Midwest Conference Presidents’ Cup awarded to the conference’s top all-around athletic program. In doing so, Columbia becomes just the third school to capture the award in its 17-year history, ending the five-year run of William Woods University, which followed an 11-year run by former AMC member McKendree College. Scoring for the Presidents’ Cup is awarded as five times the number of competing teams in inverse place finish. For example, sports in which all 13 AMC schools sponsor a first-place finish is worth 65 points, a second-place finish is worth 60 points, etc., and tied teams split the available points for tied spots. Columbia won conference titles in men’s cross country, men’s basketball, men’s indoor and outdoor track and field and softball, and tied for first in women’s soccer and baseball. The Cougars finished in the top three in 13 of the 15 sports in which they compete. To go along with five outright conference championships the Cougars also had six AMC Coach of the Year award winners, three AMC Newcomer of the Year award winners, seven AMC Freshman of the Year recipients and 11 AMC Player of the Year recipients. One year after finishing second in the closest Presidents’ Cup race under the current scoring format (15 points), the Cougars won the Cup by a record 115 points over five-time champion William Woods, eclipsing the previous highest point differential of 67.5 (McKendree over William Woods in 2010-11). Columbia’s 690 points are also the most ever, eclipsing William Woods mark of 577.5 points last year.


Julianna Waldner

It was a record-setting season for Columbia College’s softball team. The Cougars finished the regular season ranked third in the NAIA and posted a 48-7 record, claiming their most wins since 2005, taking both the American Midwest Conference regular-season and tournament championships and advancing to their first NAIA Softball World Series since 2010. Columbia College earned the No. 2 seed in the 10team national championship tournament in Clermont, Florida, and won two games there to finish fourth nationally, its best World Series finish in program history. Sophomore Molly Carter led the Cougars at the plate, hitting .430 for the season and setting program records with 14 home runs and 87 RBI. Senior Carly Spalding also set program single-season records in hits (95) and stolen bases (57). Columbia College’s pitching staff posted a pristine 1.47 ERA, with seniors Lauren McCroskie (22-2, 1.40 ERA) and Paxton Welch (23-5, 1.44 ERA) leading the way.


The Columbia College men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams continued to make strides this season under first-year head coach Tracy Jex. Jex, who was named the AMC Men’s Indoor Track and Field Coach of the Year, led the men’s team to its first-ever AMC Indoor Championship while guiding the women’s side to a thirdplace finish in Elsah, Illinois.

On the women’s side, the Cougars sent four athletes to the national championships, including Abby Stricker, who competed in both the long jump and triple jump. Stricker, a sophomore from Labadie, Missouri, placed 25th in the long jump with a distance of 5.15 meters and placed 15th in the triple jump with a distance of 11.15 meters. Renee Rhodes tied for 13th place in the pole vault competition after clearing the bar at 3.47 meters, Riley Fader placed 21st in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 18:23, and Nikki Smith placed 20th in the 400-meter run with a time of 59.90. Renee Rhodes

On the men’s side, eight athletes competed at the national championships in three events. The 4x800 relay team, which had qualified for the national championships at the Principia Relays earlier in the season, placed 22nd with a time of 8:05. The championships were highlighted by back-to-back All-America finishes for the Cougars, with Tommy Skosky placing eighth in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 15:06, followed by the distance medley relay team placing third in the 4,000-meter race with a time of 10:04. The distance medley relay team — Seth Schenck, Alex Fritz, Travis Line and Tyler Lawson — was able to knock 10 seconds off its preliminary time to solidify third place in the meet. In addition to being an NAIA All-American in the 5,000-meter run, Skosky was also recognized as an All-American on the distance medley relay team from his performance in the preliminary race.

Outdoor Track & FIeld

Tommy Skosky

The Cougars’ track and field success continued to the outdoor season in the spring. Abby Stricker won the school’s first national championship, taking the long jump title with a jump of 5.91 meters after finishing second in 2016. The men’s 4x800-meter relay team of Malik Holman, Tyler Lawson, Travis Line and Seth Schenck also earned All-America honors with a fourth-place finish in the finals.

Cougar Sports Zone

Indoor Track & Field

Cougar Sports Zone


Men’s Basketball The Columbia College men’s basketball team won its 12th conference regular-season title under coach Bob Burchard. The team ranked ninth in the final postseason poll, finishing 27-6 overall and 19-3 in conference play. The Cougars started the season strong, winning 20 of their first 21 games, with a loss to the second-ranked William Penn (Iowa) University Statesmen in the 2016 Hampton Inn Thanksgiving Classic. The team continued to play well but cooled off toward the end of the season, losing two of the last three games in the regular season, and was defeated in the first round of the AMC Championships. Columbia College ranked fifth in the NAIA in 3-point field goal percentage (39.5 percent), seventh in scoring defense per game (66.3), eighth in scoring margin (13.8) and ninth in field-goal percentage defense (40.6 percent). In addition, the team ranked in the top 15 in free throw percentage (73.5 percent), total blocks (126) and defensive rebounds per game (29.2). The Cougars’ season ended in the second round of the 2017 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championships, when they were defeated by the University of Pikeville in Kentucky (56-51).

Guard Nic Reynolds (above) led the team in scoring this past season, at 14.0 points per game, and became the 25th player in Columbia College history to score 1,000 points in his career.

Third-team NAIA AllAmerican Jackson Dubinski (left) led the Cougars in assists and steals while also ranking second on the team with 11.7 points per game.


Cougar Sports Zone

Freshman Raegan Wieser averaged 11.2 points per game this past season for the Columbia College women’s basketball team, which posted a 26-7 record.

Taylor Possail ’15 Named New Women’s Basketball Coach Taylor Possail ’15, who was an assistant to coach Jessica Keller for the past three seasons, was named Columbia College’s new head women’s basketball coach on May 4. Possail earned his Master of Arts in Teaching from Columbia College in 2015. Keller led the Cougars to a 75-24 record over three years. She took the lead assistant job at Illinois State, a NCAA Division-I school, on April 24. “I am extremely excited and beyond honored to be the next head coach of the Columbia College women’s basketball program,” Possail says. “I want to thank Coach [Bob] Burchard and the rest of the athletic department for the opportunity to lead such a storied program.”

Women’s Basketball The Cougars women’s basketball team ranked 12th in the Top 25 poll for the season with a 26-7 overall record and 19-5 in conference play. This marked the third consecutive season that Columbia College won 20 or more games under coach Jessica Keller. The team won 10 of its first 11 games, delivered three winning streaks of five or more games and rose to 11th in the nation toward the end of the season. As a team, the Cougars finished in the top 10 nationally in seven statistical categories, including scoring margin (17.8), total 3-point field goals made (290), turnover margin (4.33) and total blocks (137). In addition, the team only allowed its

opponents to score an average of 56.4 points per game, which is the lowest scoring average in the program’s history. The season ended in the first round of the 2017 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship presented by Wells Fargo, when the team was defeated by the University of Montana-Western (63-53). Assistant coach Taylor Possail was named the 2017 WBCA NAIA Assistant Coach of the Year. The award is presented to one assistant coach in each membership division who demonstrates commitment to his college’s program, student-athletes and head coach.

Cougar Sports Zone


Midwest Campus Clash More than 1,000 people attend Columbia College’s inaugural gaming event

Lights flashed and music blared in the Southwell Complex at Columbia College, as the host Cougars eSports team took on Ohio State during the quarterfinals of the League of Legends tournament at the Midwest Campus Clash and Gaming Expo on April 8.


The atmosphere was electric. The hometown crowd cheered for every kill or assist registered by a Columbia College gamer, and, finally, when the Cougars took down Ohio State’s nexus to end the game.


Columbia College’s Southwell Complex was transformed for the inaugural Midwest Campus Clash and Gaming Expo.

The players plied their trade behind computer monitors on a raised stage underneath an enormous video screen, with “Shoutcasters” broadcasting the action to the room. The spectators gathered on the court below, transfixed. “There was a lot of energy,” says Dr. Scott Dalrymple, president of Columbia College. “I know it must’ve been a really big moment for the team. It shows Columbia College is a serious place for serious gamers.”


Exhibits around Southwell Complex included a classic gaming lounge, a virtual reality station and a gigantic screen on which people could play the classic video game Pong. At the opposite end from the League of Legends action, the Collegiate Starleague held the North American

“It’s always been my vision that gamers throughout the Midwest will ask each other, ‘Are you going to Columbia this year?’” – President Scott Dalrymple finals for the Madden 17 football game on both PlayStation4 and Xbox, complete with bleachers, an artificial turf playing surface and Shoutcasters of its own. Dalrymple heard from people throughout the day who said that Columbia College’s gaming bonanza went toe-to-toe with other events they’ve attended around the country.

Clockwise from left: Spectators watch Columbia College take on Ohio State in the quarterfinals of the League of Legends tournament at the Midwest Campus Clash and Gaming Expo; Columbia College President Scott Dalrymple talks with Cougars eSports player Jonathan Song (middle) and a coach from the University of Kansas; Attendees try their hand at Absurdly Giant Pong.

“I’ve been really happy with the support that the Columbia College community and the Columbia community has given this event,” Columbia College eSports director Bryan Curtis says. “Everybody has just absolutely loved it.” Columbia College fell in the semifinals of the League of Legends tournament to Robert Morris, finishing in a tie for third place and earning $2,500 in scholarship money. Who’s up for a rematch next year? Columbia College will host. “It’s always been my vision that gamers throughout the Midwest will ask each other, ‘Are you going to Columbia this year?’” Dalrymple says. “Next year will be even better.”

Cougar Sports Zone

The inaugural Midwest Campus Clash and Gaming Expo drew more than 1,000 people to Southwell Complex for the daylong event. The League of Legends tournament, involving seven of the top eSports teams in the region battling for a trophy and a pool of $25,000 in scholarship prize money, was the main attraction, but it was far from the only thing to draw attendees’ attention.

Cougar Sports Zone


View scoreboards, read athlete bios and more at

Ian Wolfe Men’s lacrosse coach

Don Cope Women’s bowling coach

Ready for Action Men’s lacrosse and women’s bowling start play in 2017-18 BY DAVID MORRISON


This is the third time Ian Wolfe has been part of building a lacrosse program from scratch. As a player in 2010, he was a member of the inaugural recruiting class at NCAA Division II Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio. Four years later, as a graduate assistant, he helped start the new program at NAIA school Lourdes University in Sylvania, Ohio. Now, he’s serving as the head coach and architect at Columbia College, where men’s lacrosse begins play next spring. “Being able to start it from the ground up is a unique experience. Not just for me, but for players as well,” Wolfe says. “Some kids want to just fall into a fold or are very familiar with a program. You also get a lot of kids who really want to help build the program and create something.” Don Cope is going through the same thing with the Cougars’ new women’s bowling team. While Wolfe is new to the city, Cope has

lived in Columbia for 45 years and spent the past 10 or 15 coaching groups of community bowlers while continuing to compete in tournaments himself. The Columbia Bowling Hall of Famer says the new program is garnering interest from bowlers around the state. “It’s an honor to be affiliated with Columbia College,” Cope says. “We’re well-known in Kansas City, Kansas, St. Louis, Illinois. One of the things that we also have is a real big college town. Kids are looking for a big college town atmosphere, but they don’t want the big college to have to go to.” Cope and Wolfe are both in the midst of signing their initial classes to enroll for the fall semester. Cope is looking for 12 bowlers, while Wolfe is keying in on 23 to 25 lacrosse players. Their sports are experiencing a period of exponential growth

within the NAIA as well. Collegiate women’s bowling, a fall sport, is offered at more than 40 schools and seeking invitational status, the step below being a championship sport. Collegiate men’s lacrosse can seek championship status beginning this school year. The Cougars are already a part of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, with Missouri Valley College, the top-ranked team in the NAIA at the time of publication. While lacrosse has been mostly a coastal sport, Wolfe feels that the new addition of programs such as Columbia College, Westminster College in Fulton and Maryville University in St. Louis, can help grow the sport in Missouri. “It’ll be a tough conference schedule for us, but I think it’ll be good to get our young team out and exposed to some of the better lacrosse that’s being played in the NAIA right now, just from the growth factor,” Wolfe says.


Alumni, students and Cougar fans of all ages cheered on the men’s and women’s basketball teams during Columbia College Senior Day on February 25. Between games, alumni and their guests enjoyed a private reception hosted by the Columbia College Alumni Association and Cougar Club. The event included a snack buffet, coloring station for the kids and photos with Scooter the Cougar.

Cougar Sports Zone

Alumni Appreciation Day 2017



CC Notes

a f f i n i t y


’60s Christian College alumnae Sally Miles Dickinson ’66, Susan May Lindquist ’66 and Lynn McCormick Guyot ’46 reunited for lunch in Tucson, Arizona. Columbia College trustee Dale Coe Simons ’65 was named a “Most Distinguished Alumni” at Bay City High School in Bay City, Texas. Barbara White Houser ’66 serves as chaplain at the South Carolina Department of Corrections. She is a professor of humanities, religion and music at Midlands Technical College and music director at Protestant Chapel, Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina.


Penny Rafferty Hamilton ’76 authored a children’s history picture book, A to Z: Your Grand County History Alphabet, as a legacy gift

for the Grand County, Colorado, Historical Association. Jim Butler ’78 retired after 31 years as creative group head with CheckMark, the internal creative communications and design agency for Nestlé Purina PetCare in St. Louis. Rebecca Lacy ’79, co-founder of Pinnacle Management Group, coauthored Leadership in Wonderland: Because sometimes leadership feels like you’re falling down the rabbit hole, a self-discovery guide to increase confidence in leadership abilities.


Crystal Williams ’85 is serving a second four-year term as Jackson County legislator, 2nd District at-large, in Kansas City, Missouri. In January 2016 she was elected by her peers to be the first woman to serve as chair of the Jackson County legislature. Crystal has a long history of working in the non-profit sector as an advocate giving voice to the needs of women, families and children. Colonel, USAF Retired, Rob Walker ’87 accepted a position with Lockheed Martin Space Systems

Company as a senior program manager, where he is responsible for managing and leading the Combined Orbital Operations and Logistics Sustainment (COOLS) program for factory engineering support and operations and sustainment of the Defense Satellite Communications System, MILSTAR and Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite programs.


Llona Weiss ’91 retired from Missouri state government in January 2017 after nearly 18 years of service. She last served as deputy director and director of the Division of Energy, Missouri’s state energy office. In February 2017 she was awarded the Chairman’s Award for Inspiring Efficiency from the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) in Chicago, Illinois, having served on the board of directors since 2012. Charles Meek ’93 is president of Meek’s The Builder’s Choice, the fourth-generation, family-owned operation, which has substantial operations split between divisions in the Midwest and West. Meek’s received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award for 2017 in the category of “Sales Over $50 Million.”


CC Notes


Tony St. Romaine ’95 joined the House of Brokers Realty in Columbia, Missouri. Tony retired from the city of Columbia, Missouri, in December 2016 after 32 years in public service to join his wife, Sherri, in real estate as a partner on the St. Romaine team. Linda Smith-Sepac ’95 is the owner of West Shore Gems in Camdenton, Missouri. Columbia College volleyball coach Melinda Wrye-Washington ’95 received the Decade of Excellence award at the 20th annual Women’s Intersport Network for Columbia luncheon in February 2017. Zafar Ahmad ’96, MS, PA-C, an employee of University Hospital in Columbia, Missouri, was nationally recognized for earning a certificate of added qualifications in emergency medicine from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. Zafar is one of only 15 physician assistants nationwide to hold certificates in two specialty areas, as he also earned one in hospital medicine in 2014 and is the only physician assistant in Missouri to earn the certificate in hospital medicine. He is one of 11 in the state to have earned the certificate in emergency medicine.

Miranda Schuster ’14 married Cody Waibel in a New Year’s Eve celebration on Dec. 31, 2016, in Pilot Grove, Missouri.

Nathan Stephens ’03 married Kristen White on Oct. 22, 2016, in Columbia, Missouri.


Anthony Cubito ’95 is the Central Region director of operations for Minnesota-based Americold Logistics. He and his wife, Tracey Porpiglia Cubito ’94, reside in Peachtree City, Georgia.

Lauren Bremer ’13 and Matthew Howell ’12 married July 29, 2016, in Columbia, Missouri.

Jessica Sullens ’14 and Dwayne Dade ’15 married May 21, 2016, in Fayette, Missouri. “We met in 2012 when we both attended Columbia College. The rest is history,” Jessica says. “We are so thankful to have met at such a wonderful place, as Columbia College will always hold a place in our hearts.”

CC Notes


Missouri. She credits the basis for her role in activism and feminism to her education at Columbia College.

Jamie Melchert ’96 celebrated his retirement from military service with the Army National Guard at the Missouri Museum of Military History at the Ike Skelton Training Site in December 2016. Jamie served in the Army National Guard for more than 17 years of military service, which included two combat tours to Afghanistan and Iraq. He resides in Columbia, Missouri. Tassoula Kokkoris ’98 was named director of marketing for XumaK. She lives in Seattle, Washington.

’00s Jeannie Lahman ’00 has been a member of the National Organization for Women (NOW) for two years. A new chapter was recently formed, Capital Area Missouri NOW, with Jeannie serving as president. Jeannie is also a volunteer at the Rape and Abuse Crisis Service in Jefferson City,

Shalon Schonhardt ’00 works with traumatic brain injury clients through the Cole County Health Department in Missouri. “I link them to resources after we identify their goals in how they want to recover,” she says. “Maintaining and improving their quality of life is what we’re looking to do.” Deb Cody ’01 was appointed to the 5th District legislative seat for Onondaga County. Deb lives in Salina, New York.

Nathan Stephens ’03 was named director of the Bruce D. Nesbitt African-American Cultural Center at the University of Illinois-Champaign. Gary Tegerdine ’03, a mergers and acquisitions manager at MFA Oil Company, was named a 2017 “20 Under 40” recipient by the Columbia Business Times. Lt. Dusty L. Hoffman ’04 was promoted to captain and designated director of the Governor’s Security Division at the Missouri State Highway Patrol General Headquarters in Jefferson City. Dusty resides in Columbia, Missouri.

New Belgium Brewing named N.H. Scheppers Distribution Co. a 2016 Distributor of the Year. Joe Priesmeyer ’01 is president of the family-owned business based in Columbia, Missouri.

Joe Hudgins ’04 was named director and division controller at SRC, Inc., where he works in the radars and sensors division. He has been with SRC for 12 years. Joseph received an MBA from Columbia College and a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University.

Greg Brennecka ’02 received a Master of Science in Geology at Oregon State, followed by a Ph.D. at Arizona State in Cosmochemistry. Greg worked at Lawrence Livermore National Lab in the nuclear forensics group and is currently at the University of Münster in Germany, where he researches meteorites and the early solar system.

Marlene Straughan ’05 is an assistant principal at Mt. Dora High School in Mount Dora, Florida. For her success in increasing the graduation rate, Marlene was named the Lake County School District’s candidate for the state’s 2016-17 Assistant Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership.

W. Brent Copple ’02, an asbestos and mesothelioma attorney, was named a shareholder at Simmons Hanly Conroy in Alton, Illinois.

Penny McQueen ’07 is one of two recipients of the Clerkship Coordinator of the Year award for 2017 from the American Academy of Neurology for her role as medical student coordinator in the department of Neurology at the University of

Tiffany Yarnell ’02 was appointed associate circuit judge for Taney County, Missouri. Tiffany obtained her law degree from the University of Missouri School of Law.


Meet our Future Cougars!

Stephanie Kababie ’07, a former Cougars softball player, and Ryan Steinhoff ’07, a former Cougars basketball player, welcomed Hannah Rae on Jan. 23, 2017.

Skylar Madison joined Amber Groves Barringer ’12, Jeff Barringer ’12 and big brother Logan on Dec. 1, 2016.

Harper Ann joined Tony and DeAnn Prettyman ’06 and big brother Jackson.

Sasha McMillin ’06 and Michayah McMillin ’09 welcomed twin boys, Liam James and Mason Alexander, on Nov. 8, 2016.

Shop The Cub Club gear on page 63, and submit photos of your future Cougars to

CC Notes


Blanca Jose Smiley ’15 welcomed son Jamar.

CC Notes


Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine. She has served in this position for five years. An inspiration to future students, Byron Wilson ’07 shared his story on becoming a deputy juvenile officer on the college’s career resources blog, “Education is the key to success, but what does that mean when the realities of life are blinding you to other ways to live?,” he says. Byron is a contract specialist for the Air Force and is the 2016 recipient of the CCAA’s Distinguished Alumni Award. In early 2017, Anne Churchill ’08 opened Jubilee Planning Studio, a collaborative workplace offering one-stop shopping for event and wedding planning in Columbia, Missouri. The studio is a sister office to AnnaBelle Events (now housed in Jubilee), where Anne is the owner and leading event and wedding planner for mid-Missouri.

The CCAA Advisory Board held its spring meeting on April 21 at main campus. The board is made up of alumni volunteers who are committed to the success of the Alumni Association.

Jason Jameson ’08 was awarded the Medal of Valor by then-Governor Jay Nixon at the state Capitol in Jefferson City in November 2016 for actions taken in the line of duty in 2015. Jason is a former sergeant in the Boone County Sheriff’s Department and is now in the police academy in Arlington, Texas. Michayah Brown McMillin ’09 owns a home-based custom embroidery business, Monogram Eye Candy, in Columbia, Missouri.


Brenda Slivinski ’10 works for Marathon Financial Advisors. She is responsible for client relations, including scheduling appointments, receptionist duties and providing clerical support to financial advisors. She resides in East Syracuse, New York. Teana Allen ’11 completed her Master of Arts in Organizational Management from Ashford University. Teana received two bachelor’s degrees from Columbia College-St. Louis and is the founder of two nonprofit organizations, Sistahs of Soul and Sassy Sistahs. She works at the Washington University School of Medicine. Christopher Hammann ’11 & ’15 was appointed chief of police for the Vandalia Police Department in December 2016. Chris resides in New Bloomfield, Missouri. Courtney Lauer-Myers ’11 graduated with honors from the University of Missouri School of

Law in May 2017. She was inducted into The Order of Barristers, one of the program’s highest honors that celebrates students who excel in advocacy. Courtney is a member of the CCAA Advisory Board. “Brewing better lives, one leaf at a time” is the tagline for St. Louisbased tea shop Teatopia, opened by Reginald “Reo” Quarles ’11 in January 2017. Brittany Berk ’12 became a fiscal assistant for the Mizzou Alumni Association in November 2016. Megan Carnahan ’12 is a social worker II/case manager at Lutheran Family & Children’s Services. To support her passion for working with children and their families, Megan received a master’s degree in Social Work from the University Of Missouri in December 2016. She lives in Columbia, Missouri, with her 1-year-old daughter, Adalynn, and 5-year-old basset hound mix, Bruno. Yvonne Clark ’12 is a senior home loan consultant at Veterans United Homes Loans in Columbia, Missouri. Mitch Gosney ’13 joined Columbia College as a Development Officer in January 2017. Mitch served on the CCAA Advisory Board from 2014 to 2016. Christopher Itai Cardona ’13 received a Community Service award, presented by the mayor of Desert Hot Springs, California, and is a member of the California


Kayla Boss ’14 completed her Master of Arts in Social Work in May 2016 and works at Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House, a nonprofit in East St. Louis, Illinois. Her work focuses on the collective impact and system building in the early childhood sector. Avery Bourne ’14 was re-elected in 2016 to continue her service to Illinois District 95. First appointed in 2014 at 22 years old, Avery is the youngest person to ever serve in the Illinois House of Representatives. Cassaday Ukele Hood ’14 earned a Master of Education in Counseling and is working as an elementary

school counselor for Fort Osage School District in Independence, Missouri. She and her husband, Travis, married June 4, 2016, in Unity Village, Missouri.

his Columbia College education for his ability to start and maintain a profitable business in the technology arena. Brian resides in Bonita, California.

Bradley Meinke ’14 is the creator and owner of Purple “B” Emporium, a handcrafted miniatures business specializing in 1-inch scale furniture and accessories. He recently achieved artisan status in the International Guild of Miniature Artisans. His work can be found online and at trade shows around the nation.

Chris Bass ’15 launched his own business in November 2016. Based in Columbia, Missouri, Versatile Innovations specializes in photography, video production and web design.

Carleen Pensero ’14 was appointed vice president of physician enterprise and innovation and executive director of Crouse Medical Practice. Carleen joined the hospital in 2015 as the director of provider services. She has extensive experience in physician relations and recruitment; contract management; and physician referral relationship development. Carleen earned an MBA from Columbia College and is a 2011 graduate of Leadership Greater Syracuse. Brian Adams ’15 has transitioned from United States Army first sergeant to business owner of Adams-Tech Solutions. Brian credits

Keith Glindemann ’15 serves as the current president of the National Association of Veterans’ Program Administrators (NAVPA), an organization of higher education institutions and individuals who are involved or interested in the operations of veterans’ affairs programs and/or the delivery of services to veterans as schoolcertifying officials across the country. A veteran of the U.S. Army, Keith is the director of Veterans Services for Columbia College. One Columbia College star basketball player found his way back to his passion to coach for the Tolton Trailblazers. Forward Zach Rockers ’15 & ’16 traded in that title for “Coach Zach Rockers,” as an assistant for the boys basketball team. He is a theology teacher in

Ready. Aim. Hire. Do you have experience or interest in blogging about your career? The editors of Columbia College’s career and workplace blog, Ready.Aim.Hire., are on the lookout for new contributors. Guest blogging opportunities on a regular or onetime basis are a great way to get published, and write about subjects you’re passionate about. Contact for more information.

CC Notes

State Assembly. In a note to Kathy Gress, director of Columbia CollegeSpringfield, where Itai attended, he said: “I could not do what I do without the education I have. That is due to the staff at Columbia College opening their hearts to me. You all saved me in so many ways.” High school sweethearts and former Columbia College cross country athletes Lindsey Martin Andrews ’14 and Jordan Andrews ’15 opened a running store, Heartland Soles, in central Iowa on July 1, 2016. The couple married June 13, 2015.

CC Notes


his first year at Father Tolton High School in Columbia, Missouri. St. Louis native Ashley Thomas ’15 is the salon manager of B. Fab Hair Studio and Cosmetics in Columbia, Missouri. The salon caters to the “mommy and me experience,” with stylists who specialize in children’s hair and “spa parties” for kids, as well as makeup services, manicures and pedicures for all ages. Paul Bricker ’16, RPh, MBA has been appointed to the solutions architect team at Riskonnect, where he will support its expanding health care client base. Paul holds a certificate in Pharmacy Informatics from the American Society of Health System Pharmacists and is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. Whitney Burns ’16 has been promoted to the corporate director of Human Resources at Integrity Home Care & Hospice, a team of professionals dedicated to living out a passion for improving the health care system. Whitney resides in Brookfield, Missouri. Bryan Fulcher ’17 joined Columbia College as an Admissions Process Coordinator. Bryan can also be heard every Saturday on Q106.1, Cumulus Media’s Top 40 radio station in Columbia, Missouri. Jordan Ulrich ’17 was the first student to graduate from Columbia College with the reinstated Bachelor of Arts in Music. Jordan will continue his education at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music graduate program for vocal performance.

We’re Here For You The best part of our jobs in Alumni Relations is meeting you — our alumni — and hearing your stories! Alumni relations is a long-term relationship-building process. Those of us in this profession enjoy the conversations we have over the years and the lifetime of friendships that result. We make friends like Carla, who we met in Florida a few months ago. She graduated in 2012 with a degree in business administration. She is dedicated to continuous improvement and lifelong learning. We talked about how our Grossnickle Career Services Center could help to update her resumé as she searched for more challenging job opportunities. We also met Rico, a 2016 alumnus with a degree in general studies, who utilized the Career Services Center to find a most rewarding job as a paraprofessional. And then there is Carlos, who graduated in 2014 and now serves as an adjunct faculty member in Columbia College’s School of Business Administration. We truly appreciate making friends like Frank, a proud veteran and alumnus, who serves as an informal ambassador and recruiter for Columbia College everywhere he goes. We want to build a lifetime friendship with you. We hope to see you at alumni events and invite you to drop by, call or email us any time. We can help access college resources, connect you with classmates or flip through yearbooks while we chat about the good times at your alma mater. Remember, we’re here for you. Keep in touch. The Office of Alumni Relations is located in St. Clair Hall, Room 11, at main campus in Columbia, Missouri. Please call (573) 875-ALUM (2586) or email for assistance.

We’ve made it easy for you to share your good news with fellow alumni. Turn to page 64 for a Class Notes form.


CC Notes

Scootergraphs It’s a big world out there. Check out where Scooter has traveled lately. Ron Ward, regional recruiter for Columbia College, took a Scootergraph to cheer on the Poteet High School football team in Mesquite, Texas.

Watch out, Scooter! Stanley Keely ‘11 volunteered with Alaska Missions in Nome, Alaska, the same week as the Iditarod Sled Dog Race.

Columbia College students Jesenia Rosales and David Rogers, who both work at Columbia College-San Diego, were invited to appear on a college episode of The Price is Right and took Scooter along for the ride!

Scooter the Cougar visited NAS Whidbey Island to help celebrate the location’s 15th anniversary.

Members of the Columbia College Art Club pose under the “Hanging Heart” by artist Jeff Koons in Great Hall at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Send your #Scootergraphs to

Chris Coleman ’12 and his mom, Joyce Gentry, director of the Columbia College Nursing department and assistant professor of nursing, visited the Whidbey Island location during spring break.

CC Notes

58 To notify the CCAA of Columbia (Christian) alumni who have passed recently, please send an email with the link to the obituary to

In Memoriam Ruth Rhodes Ethridge ’30 September 26, 2016

June Million Haseman ’42 December 15, 2016

Barbara Inez Brewer ’47 October 24, 2008

Ruth E. Stevinson Godwin ’30 October 21, 1994

Louise “Lou” Helm ’42 October 15, 2016

Joan Lindsey Dickenson ’47 September 27, 2013

Dorothy Douthat Manley ’31 June 16, 2005

Bobby J. Brown Murchison ’42 February 28, 2010

Patricia L. Moss Harjo ’47 February 8, 2007

Frances Moureau Reid ’37 May 9, 2007

Joan Haiston O’Brien ’42 October 2, 2016

Beverly J. McPherson Higgins ’47 February 13, 1994

Doris Warr Thorne ’37 November 5, 2015

Eunice M. (Schroder) Ramey ’42 January 24, 2003

Marian Erganian Izmirlian ’47 February 20, 2015

Betty Winstrom Boardman ’38 August 16, 2008

Betti Friedel Saunders ’42 September 19, 2016

Sarah Durst Kjoss ’47 January 3, 2012

Mary A. Crenshaw ’38 October 3, 2014

Marigold B. Walker Shellard ’42 October 19, 2013

Patricia Dinan Masterman ’47 December 15, 2016

Beth L. Wisner Cover ’39 February 13, 2017

Sara Schurz Witt ’42 November 21, 2015

Kathryn G. Sims ’47 February 9, 2015

Mabel G. Geoghegan Smith ’39 March 23, 2017

Francelia Helvey Wood ’42 November 9, 2015

Mary N. Campbell Smith ’47 July 16, 2016

Minerva Bartelt Hines ’40 November 3, 2016

Clara Anne Peggs Tomlin ’43 October 12, 2016

Dorothy Simmons Ullman ’47 January 1, 1983

Bonnie J. Beger Mueller ’40 October 5, 2016

Eleanor J. Smith Mackey ’44 January 5, 2010

Joy Barnacastle Utitz ’47 July 24, 2009

Martha G. Thompson Bland ’41 December 18, 2014

Elizabeth “Betty” C. Caldwell Montgomery ’44 April 24, 2008

Mary Ann White Burnett ’48 February 14, 2017

Bette J. Rakow Killeen ’41 October 8, 2015 Charlotte R. Frichot Wood ’41 May 24, 2014 Betty Jane Payne Dilts ’42 December 13, 2016 JoAnn Reed Fedderson ’42 October 23, 2014 Eunice A. Summers Gehlbach ’42 December 3, 2000 Eloise Peterson Hanson ’42 December 22, 2011

Sue (Marshall) Daulton ’45 February 4, 2017 Kathryn “Kay” Brummall Doolittle ’45 October 7, 2016 Ola Elaine Hedrick Dry ’45 October 6, 2016 Jacqueline Dickson Hipskind ’45 December 11, 2015 Natalie L. Breedlove Brandenburger ’47 February 3, 2013

Mary Keeling Strohm ’48 December 11, 2015 Etta J. Boney Watters ’48 December 28, 2015 Sarah J. Reed Branstetter ’49 February 6, 2017 Gloria Johnson Mansager ’49 August 22, 2013 Katheryn Philippi Robinson ’49 May 27, 2016 Helen L. Smith ’49 January 11, 2014


CC Notes

Beverly Carr Gray ’50 February 9, 2017 Jane Reed Marchand ’50 May 12, 2015 Halene Empie Smith ’50 June 10, 2014 Jane Wiggins Eckert ’51 February 10, 2017 Mary J. Kaiser Gough ’51 July 23, 2014 Margaret L. Witten Loudon ’51 October 28, 2008 Winifred A. Timins Weiss ’51 July 8, 2016

Dee Ruthenberg Janet “Dee” Ruthenberg, wife of former Columbia College President Donald Ruthenberg, died peacefully on March 5, 2017, at age 84. Dee served as First Lady of Former Columbia Colleg Columbia College from 1984 e President and First lady, Donald and De to 1995, a period during which e Ruthenberg President Ruthenberg opened the way for international students to join in campus life, helped return the college to financial stability and oversaw the construction of both the Southwell Complex and the J.W. and Lois Stafford Library.

Dorothy Boillot Miller ’52 October 11, 2016

“Mrs. Ruthenberg was a kind, gracious person who was always warm and welcoming,” says President Scott Dalrymple.

Nancy Youngblood Beier ’53 February 4, 2017

Dr. Ruthenberg called his wife “my best friend and best supporter” and “a part of all I do.” She was always supportive of his endeavors and traveled extensively with him as First Lady.

Carolyne Tucker Tomaszewski ’53 August 1, 1980 Ann Kirkpatrick Shires ’54 July 28, 2014 Ada Lee Dey Lewis ’55 January 17, 2009 Claire Crystelle Conner Rapp ’56 April 7, 2014 Shirley A. Perry Carty ’57 October 28, 2012 Gwyn Lee Fiser Crake ’57 December 4, 1996 Eva Lyn Maddox Dean ’57 February 5, 2014 Mary Janelle Farris ’57 May 30, 2015 Elizabeth “Betsey” Eades Gilbreath ’57 September 9, 2016 Frances L. Henderson Gleason ’57 October 30, 2016

Dee was also active in the United Methodist Church in Columbia, Missouri, and an advocate for foster care and adoption. She was committed to volunteer efforts at Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, a former member of the board for the Salvation Army and a vocal supporter of her political causes. A loyal Columbia College basketball fan, she also worked as a parttime volunteer in the Stafford Library for three years. Even after retiring to the Lake of the Ozarks, the couple remained active with Columbia College and were welcomed guests at numerous college and alumni functions. “The Ruthenbergs have been a valued part of our Columbia College family for more than three decades,” says President Dalrymple. Dee is survived by her husband of 63 years, Donald, their five children – Brian, Charlene, Donnell, Janet and Mark – 11 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and her sister.

CC Notes


Beverly J. Brown King ’57 July 12, 2015

John C. Baremore ’75 September 19, 2015

Maurice J. Took ’77 December 25, 2013

Margaret Van Meter ’57 July 10, 2016

Gilman Bouchard ’75 July 7, 2013

Charles A. Leonard ’78 August 19, 2015

Martha Jean Tanner Nelson ’57 September 15, 2015

Ronald J. Conners ’75 January 16, 2016

John “Jay” M. Marksbury ’78 February 1, 2008

Doris E. Epperson Shannon ’57 December 2, 2016

Bob G. Cook ’75 November 8, 2013

Ralph R. Porter ’78 November 27, 2014

Suzanne Dunscombe Davis ’58 December 21, 2016

Debra Finkenkeller Leonard ’75 September 17, 2014

Chris J. Maxwell ’79 May 31, 2013

Diane J. Winkelmeyer Goodding ’58 May 30, 2015

James F. Torpey ’75 January 20, 2010

Larry D. Nichols ’79 December 5, 2014

Jane B. (Logan) Reid ’58 September 20, 2015

David A. Bamford ’76 December 15, 2008

Ernest E. Winterhalter ’79 January 25, 2017

Ann K. Davis Gutman ’59 March 9, 2017

Annette J. Douville Bergstrom ’76 September 27, 2006

Jeffrey C. Wright ’79 March 23, 2014

Jane Baker Buie ’61 June 20, 2016

Maynard L. Brazeal ’76 January 23, 2017

John F. Carper ’80 July 22, 2012

Linda C. Hester Radke ’61 September 20, 2016

Kenneth W. Dermann ’76 February 4, 2017

Jeanne Ramlow ’80 March 13, 2017

Trudy Sundstrom Bassett ’63 February 12, 2017

William H. Harvey ’76 April 12, 2015

Kevin J. Whitted ’81 June 27, 2012

Judith Ann Clay ’66 October 4, 2016

George H. Lacoste ’76 February 27, 2001

Kenneth N. Brandal ’82 April 23, 2014

Nancy J. Kasmarik Smith ’66 August 1, 2015

Tommie D. O’Cain ’76 February 7, 2009

Paulette A. Gresham ’82 December 23, 2016

Claire M. Briggs Mack ’67 June 9, 2015

Lowell West ’76 April 7, 2015

Gloria D. Page Jones ’82 June 14, 2014

Margaret “Peggy” Bell Adams ’69 May 18, 2014

Ross V. Winters ’76 June 26, 2015

Dell S. Mourtray ’82 March 25, 2015

Barbara A. Clark Burrell ’71 December 7, 2010

George F. Hansen ’77 February 15, 2017

Scott A. Frumhoff ’83 December 7, 2014

Warren K. Heyer ’73 January 2, 2012

Ronald D. Marlow ’77 March 5, 2011

Mark L. Overton ’83 December 14, 2016

Eldon L. Gamel ’74 March 1, 2010

John G. Maxey Jr. ’77 June 23, 2014

Thomas E. Newingham ’85 January 24, 2015

William P. Klaus ’74 October 5, 2015

Winford L. Popphan ’77 July 21, 2013

Billy Joe Ford ’86 July 31, 2015

Barbara Glendinning Lundy ’74 August 10, 2009

George R. Reynolds ’77 October 3, 2006

Mary Jane Bergman Hansen ’86 May 12, 2013


Joyce M. Goelzer ’98 January 22, 2017

Robert E. Knight ’87 November 2, 2013

Carl D. Peterson ’98 January 21, 2017

Donald E. Thorpe ’87 September 9, 2013

Clarence L. Kelly ’01 October 6, 2014

Allan N. Dancy ’90 October 22, 2016

Sheri K. McDonald Osment ’01 February 25, 2017

Billy J. Love ’90 June 26, 2016

Jeni B. Park ’02 January 26, 2013

Louis H. Grueber ’91 October 29, 2014

Courtney Gibbs ’03 October 19, 2012

Darryl J. Rhen ’91 October 15, 2010

Todd Edward Gould ’04 January 17, 2017

Larry W. Johnson ’92 January 13, 2015

Craig Allen Moyer ’06 October 3, 2016

Randy J. Walton ’94 August 26, 2015

Ronald L. Hutchins ’07 June 9, 2014

Wanda F. Hagedorn ’95 November 16, 2016

Brock A. Vogt ’07 October 31, 2016

Walter J. Ketts ’95 June 26, 2015

Melynda L. Surber ’09 November 7, 2016

James R. Caldwell ’96 November 28, 2011

Veronica D. Evans ’11 March 23, 2017

Morris J. Trujillo ’96 October 6, 2014

Kelley J. Heather ’13 December 10, 2016

Joyce N. Finch ’97 December 2, 2015

Gary Jerome Taylor ’13 December 1, 2016

Melinda K. Stanley ’97 October 13, 2014

* In recent months, the Office of Alumni Relations has updated records on many “lost” alumni. This list includes updates reported by family members, newspapers and other sources. Notifications provided Nov. 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017.

Robert L. Felton Jr. ’98 October 12, 2016

CC Notes

Val R. Rideout ’86 March 18, 2015

Penny Carroll Braun Penelope “Penny” Carroll Braun was born June 4, 1941, in Putnam, Connecticut. She graduated from Sacred Heart University in Tokyo, Japan, and was active in Alpha Chi Honor Society. In 1963, Penny joined Christian College as a personnel assistant in Missouri Hall, where she was available to the students for counsel. She was then named an assistant to Dean of Students Mary Kirkman. While working on a Master of Arts degree, Penny began to teach English and Literature. During her 27-year tenure at the college, she also served on the Board of Directors and impacted thousands of students and colleagues. Penny moved on to become the executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association of Mid-Missouri until her retirement. A community activist in Columbia, Missouri, Penny served as president of the Golden Kiwanis Club and was a member of many boards of directors for numerous groups, including Central Missouri Stop Human Trafficking Coalition and Welcome Home Inc. Penny received numerous awards and accolades for her commitment and service to her community. Penny died peacefully Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, at age 75, surrounded by her family and loved ones.

The CC Alumni Collection


Cougar Gear The online CC Alumni Merchandise Store features a variety of apparel and accessories available 24/7.

Lamis tote bag Stylish faux leather with CCAA logo embossing. Gray or navy; $15

White Alumni Wrap Mug 12 oz. white ceramic; $12 Double Wall Insulated Tumblers 15 oz. plastic cup with lid and straw. Alumni text wrap or blue plaid; $10

Baseball hat “ALUMNI” embroidered on back. Navy, khaki or pink; $14

Featured Item! CCAA Woven Polo Brand: Zorrel; Navy Men: Medium-XL: $15 Women: XS-4X: $15

Columbia College Alumni license plate covers White plastic with navy imprint; $5 Metallic with navy and white imprint; $10

CCAA Satin Polo Brand: Port Authority; Gray or navy Men: Small-4X: $20 Women: XS-4X: $20

Nationwide T-shirt Brand: Gildan Softstyle; Light gray, heather gray, navy or black Small-2X: $12 or 3X: $14

Visit to view the entire catalog of Christian College and Columbia College merchandise. Proceeds benefit the CCAA.


Block CC Alumni T-shirt Brand: Gildan Softstyle; Charcoal gray or navy Small-2X: $12 3X: $14


The CC Alumni Collection

Playing Cards Honoring the past, present and future of the college; $5 Keyboard Sweeper Dual keyboard sweeper and felt cleaner for computers and tablets with white CCAA imprint; $3


CCAA iWallet Silicone stick-on wallet with printed logo; $1

#1 / #2

4GB flash drive Swivel style, printed logo; $5 CCAA keychain Silver metal with blue band and printed logo; $5


#4 1. Future Cougar onesies Navy/Gray/Pink, 6 mo-24 mo; $12

Christian College picture frame 6” x 4” glass frame with silver base featuring blue engraved logo; $15

CCAA silver picture frame 4” x 6” brushed metal finish with etched logo; $8

Make check payable to Columbia College Alumni Association or charge to:  MasterCard


 Discover

Account number _________________________ Expiration date: _____/________ CVC ______ Order Total _____________________________ FREE shipping is provided on all orders. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery. U.S. postage paid only. You will be contacted if an item is out of stock and no longer available for purchase.

2. Future Cougar infant lap shoulder T-shirt Navy/Gray, 6 mo-18 mo; $12 3. Future Cougar infant basic T-shirt Navy/Gray, 6 mo-24 mo; $12

4. Future Cougar navy toddler T-shirt 2T-4T; $12 5. Columbia Cougars navy T-shirt Juvi 5/6 & 7; $12 Youth XS-XL; $12

Name____________________________________________________________________ Class Year __________________ Address ______________________________________________________________________________________________ City________________________________________________ State _________________ Zip ______________________ Phone number____________________________ Email address _______________________________________________

Item description___________________________________ Color _____________ Size _________ Cost ______________ Item description___________________________________ Color _____________ Size _________ Cost ______________ Item description___________________________________ Color _____________ Size _________ Cost ______________ Item description___________________________________ Color _____________ Size _________ Cost ______________ AFFSUM17

Alumni Information Update


what’s new with you? Send back this form so we can update your alumni record and share your good news in Class Notes.

Submit the digital form with photo upload at





Preferred name: Address:

 Check if new




Home phone: (


Cell phone: (



Date of birth:

Location attended:

Class year:

Employer:  Check if new Effective:

Job title: Business Address: Name of spouse: Spouse’s job title:


Business address: Wedding announcement (within the last 12 months) Married to:

Date of marriage:

CC location attended (if applicable):

CC graduation year (if applicable): _______




Birth (Adoption) announcement (within the last 12 months) Birth of a: Name:

 Daughter

 Son

Date of birth: Spouse’s name:  Check if CC Grad year

Career Notes/Retirement Update/Community Service/Military (within the last 12 months) Please attach additional information if necessary. ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Mail this form: Columbia College Alumni Relations, 1001 Rogers St., Columbia, MO 65216 Fax this form: (573) 875-7733 Email photos: AFFSUM17

Looking Back

The College Girl’s Record BY BRADLEY MEINKE ’14 PHOTOS BY KACI SMART ’09

Bradley Meinke ’14 is collections manager of the Columbia College Archives. He may be contacted at or (573) 875-2749.

The College Girl’s Record was a very popular gift to high school graduates at the start of the 20th century. Young ladies relished the idea of keeping track of their new adventures, and keeping tangible mementos only added to the fun. Sentimentality was a common theme for young ladies, and this book allowed them to track the details of their own college experiences. They recorded school mottos, colors and professors, as well as dances, travels, classes, friends and, most importantly, beaus. This particular book was kept by Elizabeth Latham, a member of Beta Sigma Omicron, an early sorority at Christian College. Latham was an exceptional recordkeeper, and the mementos of her senior year provide a glimpse into the daily life of college girls in 1910. Her scrapbook includes handwritten notes and 3-D objects, such as invitations to functions, valentines, menus and photographs. The silk ribbons Latham collected offer a special look at the times. Her black, gold and CC blue ribbon was worn to a football game at the University of Missouri. While female students attending a football game was a bold action for the time, changes were brought forth by the forward-thinking president Luella St. Clair. She relinquished the idea that young ladies should be sequestered on our wooded campus. The importance of collected memories, and the fact that Latham’s record has survived 107 years, proves the lasting appeal and importance of shared moments of the college experience.

1001 Rogers Street Columbia, MO 65216

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