M T H E M O N TA G E
On their FIELD of
DREAMS PAGE 6
PHOTO BY: CASSIE KIBENS Tom Estopare watches teammates on the jumbotron during STLCC Archersâ€™ baseball game at Busch Stadium.
Volume 49 Issue 2
September 19, 2013
2NEWS September 19, 2013
Meet the Administrator
In an ongoing series, The Montage gets to know leaders on campus MALAIKA TOLFORD STAFF WRITER On her tenure at STLCC ... Kim Fitzgerald began her career at STLCC-Meramec in 1987 as an academic advisor. “I advised students for about 20 years and eventually went full time when my kids got a little bit older. So the beauty of coming from an advising position is that I was talking to students, and helping them with their educational plans, and helping them problem solve, and think about how they worked. I still consider myself an educator even though I’m not standing in the classroom because my job as an advisor was to explain things to students and then if they didn’t get it explain it again in a different way. That was really good day-today experience, and at the same time I got to participate in committees and do things on campus,” Fitzgerald said. In 2008, Fitzgerald moved into the newlycreated position of enrollment management coordinator for the Meramec campus. “My job was to take what I knew day to day and then go out and develop relationships with high schools, high school counselors, high school administrators and conduct events that brought people to campus. I could go out there and let people know of the great work that happens here. It’s really one of those hidden gems,” Fitzgerald said. On her new position … After Linden Crawford was removed as the Vice President of Student Affairs (VPSA) in August 2013, Fitzgerald was appointed as the acting VPSA. “When I accepted this position, it seemed like the least disruptive thing for the campus and for student affairs. We’ve had a lot of activity in the last five years,” Fitzgerald said. When President Pam McIntyre asked Fitzgerald to step into the position, Fitzgerald said she looked at the move as an opportunity to make a difference. “I’ve worked along side all the managers in students affairs for a long time, and this
gives me the opportunity to provide some leadership. Having one more new experience is a good opportunity. I feel like it’s a nice match of my education background and my skills and really when you’re looking at jobs, that’s what you want,” Fitzgerald said. On Community Colleges … “We suffer from the same identity crisis that all community colleges do,” Fitzgerald said. “Students want to go away. They don’t want to stay. For many students, their goal is not to stay home. That said, for many students this is their one and only option. The beauty of the community college is that you serve your community, you serve all ends. That has been an easy thing for me to do because I believe in the work we do in student services and I believe in the work of our faculty.” Students attend community colleges for many different reasons, she said. “We all have to get past this idea that students just ‘end up’ at community colleges. People select community colleges every day for really good reasons. Sometimes it’s academic, sometimes it’s financial, sometimes it’s just social or emotional. Sometimes it’s the best place for them to start to prove to themselves, or their parents or other colleges that they can do college level work,” Fitzgerald said. On STLCC Students … “One of the biggest advantages that students have in coming to school here is the fact that they get such a connection with faculty,” Fitzgerald said. “When we tell students that we have small class sizes, it’s true. You might say, ‘But I’m in a class with 65 or 80 people in my political science class.’ Well, if you took that at a four year public [university] it would be like 650.” According to Fitzgerald, the faculty hired at community colleges are hired primarily to teach. “If you go to a four-year public [university], many times the faculty
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PHOTO BY: DAVID KLOECKENER Kim Fitzgerald took the position of acting Vice President of Student Affairs Aug. 26. Fitzgerald has been a faculty member at Meramec for 26 years.
are hired to research, to publish, to produce, to compose, to sculpt and all those things. We have tons of faculty at Meramec who do those things, but that’s not their primary focus. Their primary focus is to teach, and then if they do write, or produce, or publish, or compose, those are just things they do on the side. I think that part of it is a big advantage,” Fitzgerald said.
said. “The difference between high school and college is that once they’re here, they have to start asking questions, but once they start asking, there’s all sorts of ways to get them connected. But they have to be willing to step up and say ‘I don’t know where to go’ or ‘I don’t know what to ask.’ So I think the best advice for any first semester student is to ask questions.”
Advice for new students ... “What I always try to get students to do is to advocate for themselves,” Fitzgerald
If you have questions for Kim Fitzgerald, the acting Vice President of Student Affairs, stop by Clark Hall to meet the administrator.
National Depression Screening Day Thursday, October 10, 2013 Business Administration Building--Room 105 10am-2pm 4pm-6pm
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NEWS 3 September 19, 2013
A bit about the B.I.T. The Behavioral Intervention Team steps in to stop potential problems all across STLCC SPENCER GLEASON EDITOR IN CHIEF Since the board of trustees released the Investigation Report of the April 18 incident, on Aug. 15, the Behavioral Intervention Team (B.I.T.) process has been brought to light. “The B.I.T process needs to be formalized and revised,” according to the report. On Thursday, Sept. 12, a public safety forum was held on the STLCC-Meramec campus, in part to help explain the B.I.T. The four-member group consisting of acting Vice President Kim Fitzgerald, Interim Police Chief Lt. John Schwerb, Linda Nissenbaum from the Access Office and Hope Steiner from Counseling meet once a week to discuss problems with students that have been reported by other students or faculty. The B.I.T. relies on information given to them by faculty or students via the Behavior Incident Report Form on the Meramec website. “St. Louis Community College at Meramec is committed to the safety, security, care and welfare of its community. In order to continually evaluate this commitment, a B.I.T. team has been established to assess potential problems involving individuals who may be in violation of college policies or present a danger to themselves or others. The primary goal of the B.I.T. is to ensure early intervention and prevention,” according to the B.I.T. manual. Within a Behavior Incident Report Form, are six questions concerning the situation at hand, including the level of concern and if the behavior has been observed in the past. “They ask the person completing this [form] ‘Do you think this is a low, moderate or high risk?’ We rely heavily on the person who’s filling it out to determine if something really needs our attention,” Fitzgerald said. “There is an option on there that says, ‘Are you looking for action?’ Sometimes the best action is no action. They just want us to have this person on our radar, in case this pops up someplace else.” Once a report is filed, each member receives an email and the process for that situation begins. Fitzgerald, who has been in her position since Aug. 26, has seen “10 to 12” reports come through. “A lot of them are just for information only, which is not a bad thing,” Fitzgerald said. “A
handful of them have required some action. I’m finding out that it’s all different.” For situations that require immediate attention, Fitzgerald says that Campus Police would jump right in. “It’s a judgment call. If it was something that was threatening or alarming and something that required immediate attention, I think the best thing to do would be to contact Campus Police,” Fitzgerald said. “If it’s something that is troubling, like a student sitting in class and crying uncontrollably, then we would go right to counseling. We wouldn’t say, ‘Go fill out a report and we’ll get back to the student later.’ In each individual instance it’s nice to have this documented, so we get it firsthand from the person who observed the behavior and we know what was going on.” With some STLCC students taking classes at different campuses, each of the four main campuses have their own B.I.T.. Although STLCC-Forest Park, STLCC-Florissant Valley and STLCC-Wildwood each have their own B.I.T. programs, information is still shared between them. “The report doesn’t go directly to the B.I.T. team at other campuses,” Fitzgerald said. “Meramec ones go to Meramec people. That said, it’s all logged into a B.I.T. viewer. All the B.I.T. teams and all the Campus Police have access to the B.I.T. viewer. So if a student is going to school here and Forest Park, I can see any reports on them at Forest Park. It’s not such that we just pour over everybody’s information. It’s just gathered in one spot.” With the first few weeks of school Fitzgerald understands that students and faculty are getting into the swing of things. Although tempers may flare in the heat of the moment, Fitzgerald says it is best to catch situations early before they escalate. “I think the first couple weeks is mostly students making the adjustment to what the expectations are. It’s a stressful couple weeks for any student— getting into class and figuring out what’s going on,” Fitzgerald said. “People lose their tempers and have outbursts. Those things all need to be caught and dealt with, instead of letting things escalate until the point where they are out of control. The B.I.T. helps us catch behaviors that might require some intervention.”
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Kim Fitzgerald acting Vice President of Student Affairs
Linda Nissenbaum Access Office
BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTION TEAM Lt. John Schwerb Interim Police Chief
Hope Steiner Counseling
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4 OPINIONS September 19, 2013
MALAIKA TOLFORD STAFF WRITER
Getting an Education or Getting Schooled? It is a bright, crisp autumn day on the Meramec Campus. The heat has broken a third of the way into the fall semester, and it feels amazing. You are in a classroom, your notebook in front of you is open to a clean crisp new page, and yourV professor, who has been teaching for longer than you have been alive, is telling a story. It is a personal account of his experiences in the field. The field being the same as those three letters next to the course number. COM, PSY, EDU, whatever it is, he has been at it for a long time. He is wise, he is funny, he is imparting you with wisdom stored deep in a mind that has been actively engaged in academia for decades. Just as your professor is wrapping up this vignette, this glorious illustration, a high- pitched voice cuts through the air from the back of the classroom, “Um, Professor? Is this going to be on the exam?” You can feel this beautiful moment of shared knowledge flood out of the room. The professor’s face says, “you just don’t get it, do you?” But, being the professional that he is, he patiently advises the student on information that was probably provided on day one, or that is already in the syllabus. This scene should be familiar to most students at STLCC. Either you are the
ILLUSTRATION BY CORY MONTERO
student that makes sure to know exactly what course content will be covered on the exam, or you are a student that does not care to take it all that seriously. For those of you already concerned which student is the better student, let us assure you that there is no right answer. We come from a variety
of backgrounds and versions of schooling. Some of us have been taught that there is a right way to take notes, while others of us were never taught to take notes at all. There are many ways to be taught, to be schooled and to learn. Getting your schooling is important, but
getting your education is much more important. Letters and numbers on a transcript are essential, but knowing why you are in the classroom in the first place is paramount. Close your syllabus and start engaging in your education.
It is amazing how no matter what, we are never normal. What is normal anyway? Why do people choose to describe the complexity of normality? The things that we choose to do are the things that help change other people’s point of view. What I think normality is can be drastically different from what other people think it is. It does not matter what we look like, it does not matter what we choose. What matters is if we choose
to present ourselves through our own character. When does the bird fly to a more interesting point of sight? How can we, as humans even have the ability to choose what we think is “normal?” The answer is that we cannot. We do not really have that choice ever; we just decide to think. It is something unnatural to think normally, yet we do that every day, every second, every millennium. Even more, with just personal
experience, I have had people ask why I do what I do, why I dress the way I dress or why I act the way I do. Funny how most people say “am” rather than “can.” That is exactly the point. Just remember, who you are, that it is your “am”. What you do and express, that is your “can.” So live to the fullest— live to can—instead of “am.” When will it end?
NIKITA KASSE STAFF WRITER
EDITORS Spencer Gleason Cory Montero Cassie Kibens Jake Hunn David Kloeckener Cory Muehlebach Justin Villmer Shannon Philpott
Editor in Chief Managing Editor Production Manager Graphics/In Depth Editor Photo/Asst. Sports Editor Opinions Editor Sr. Copy Editor Faculty Adviser
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To place an advertisement, contact the advertising manager for rates, sample issues, etc., 314-984-7955. Editorial views expressed or content contained in this publication are not necessaritly the views of St. Louis Community College, the Board of Trustees or the administration. The Montage is a student publication produced seven times per semester at St. Louis Community College Meramec, 11333 Big Bend Blvd., Kirkwood, Mo., 63122. 314-984-7655. One copy of The Montage is free of charge. Up to 10 additional copies available, $1 each, at the office of The Montage, SC 220. Bulk purchases may be arranged with circulation manager. Editorial policy: All letters should be no longer than 500 words and must include identification as a student or faculty member, phone number and address for verification purposes. Phone numbers and addresses will not be published. All letters are subject to editing for content and length. All letters submitted will be published in print and online.
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OPINIONS 5 September 19, 2013
PHOTO BY: MALAIKA TOLFORD STLCC- Meramec’s Veterans Club, accompanied by Kirkwood Police and Fire Department, salutes the American Flag on Sept. 11. The flag was raised 10:38 a.m. in honor of the second twin tower falling.
Looking back on 9/11 From the perspective of a firsthand witness ROBERT KNIGHT STAFF WRITER Planes deliberately flying into their twin towers targets engulfing entire floors in jet fuel and flames. Thick black smoke billowing from the twin towers and a gaping black hole in the Pentagon. People – not bodies, but people – falling dozens of floors because they jumped to escape the scorching flames and choking smoke. Ambulances, fire trucks, police cars and dozens of first responders selflessly rushing into the maw of imminent danger to do their duty to battle the fire, smoke and death. The twin towers collapsing onto themselves as they pancake down when the strength of steel skeleton in the burning floors finally lost the battle against gravity pulling down the immense weight of the floors above. A huge cloud of billowing dust and smoke spreading from the rubble of the twin towers to engulf and choke many surrounding blocks. People reacting as they realize evacuees and first responders were crushed in the rubble. These are iconic images from the Sept. 11, 2001 we now refer to simply as 9/11. People will always remember where they were when they watched those iconic images
on TV. College students ask each other, tears flow again. If I “go there,” I may find “where were you on 9/11?” The question is depression or post-traumatic strss disorder less meaningful to those who were too young (PTSD), or I may find catharsis. The only in 2001 to have many significant memories. way I can know which is to “go there.” You Then there are those of us who cannot see, I was at the Pentagon Metro station forget because we were there. and bus stop about 20-30 minutes before First responders were there emotionally American Airlines Flight 77 hit its target. So, because their brothers and sisters died in for me “going there” means re-experiencing the twin towers my morning doing their duty. at the Navy People – not bodies, but people Every time they Annex near go on a call the Pentagon – falling dozens of floors because something similar as Flight 77 people jumped to escape the could happen to flew past just scorching flames and choking smoke.” them. Veterans before impact. and Department For me, of Defense “going there” employees may means hearing have an emotional connection because Flight 77 fly by again when I was seven their brothers and sisters were a target on minutes into interviewing a group from the 9/11; and again just this past Monday, Chief of Naval Operations’ (CNO) staff. when Naval Sea Systems Command HQ Flight 77 flew past close enough to shake the (NAVSEA HQ) in the Washington Navy building. “Going there” means feeling then Yard was the target of a mass shooting. hearing the plane hit the Pentagon because My last assignment in the Navy was as the the Navy Annex was so close. “Going Staff Equal Opportunity Advisor assigned there” means standing beside the stone to that same NAVSEA HQ. Ironically, my wall perimeter of Arlington Cemetery just NAVSEA duties put me at the Pentagon on outside the gate to Fort Myer and looking the morning of 9/11. into the gaping black hole in the side of the Because I was there, almost any day can Pentagon. be 9/11 if I dare to “go there” and let the Worst of all, “going there” means
— Robert Knight
feeling helpless again because I wanted to go help but we were ordered to stand fast. I wanted to go help because I had been through Advanced Shipboard Fire Fighting Training and was a Repair Locker Leader on my last ship. So, I knew more than a little about firefighting and providing first aid. But I had my orders. The only consolation I have from that terrible day is to know the only reason some people on the CNO’s staff survived that day was because it just happened to be my duty at that time on that day to conduct a group interview of part of the CNO’s staff. Unfortunately, that consolation is not yet cathartic enough at any given time to stop my tears. Though any day can be 9/11 for me and other people who have a strong emotional connection to that tragic day, 9/11 recognition ceremonies still serve a useful purpose. They allow everyone who chooses to remember 9/11 an opportunity to remember that day in a way that is uniquely meaningful to each person. Even those of us who sometimes go deeper than remembering by re-experiencing that day can benefit from doing something meaningful with other people to remember together.
6 In-Depth September 19, 2013
A night in the big leagues STLCC Archers take in the moment of playing at Busch Stadium SPENCER GLEASON EDITOR IN CHIEF
t is often that a young athlete dreams of playing their sport on the biggest stage. Playing basketball on an NBA court, football on an NFL field, hockey on NHL ice or baseball on a major league ballpark is a dream come true. For many, where their sports heroes call home is considered sacred ground and a baseball game at Busch Stadium means watching some of the greatest baseball players the world has to offer. Just moments after the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates, 9-2, giving them a three-game sweep over their National League Central Division rival, the STLCC Archers and Lewis and Clark Trailblazers took the field. Although the Archers came up on the short end of the stick in the 8-7 final, it was the moment of stepping out onto the same mound where Cardinal rookie pitcher Michael Wacha and former Meramec baseball player and now Cardinals’ third baseman David Freese stood before. “It was awesome,” Archers’ pitcher Blake Wellinghoff said. “Just to be on the same field as some of the greatest players
of our generation right now, it was just pitchers every inning, except for the first, first couple times it was kind of distracting awesome.” ensuring as many players as possible had a little bit, looking out at all of that. But STLCC pitcher Cody Starr started the the opportunity to play on their dream then I zoned in.” game for the home team Archers. The 5 field. Being in the zone of the game was a p.m. first pitch began the game of a lifetime. “We had different offensive groups, so common feeling among teammates. Once The scoring began right off the bat for we rotated those guys every three innings. their moment in the game was over, the STLCC. In the bottom of the first Archers’ All the position players got a chance to moment of where they were playing set in. outfielders Drew Kitson and Andrew play,” Dattoli said. “Unfortunately, there “Honestly, it didn’t really dawn on me Martin crossed home plate following Collin are four pitchers that did not. That’s the Zurweller’s double into right-center field. first time that’s happened in all the years until I was done pitching, that I was at The Archers followed up with two runs in we’ve done this. It is the first time that Busch Stadium,” Wellinghoff said. “It never occurred to me. I started taking the bottom of the second and third innings everybody didn’t get the chance to play.” respectively, giving STLCC a 6-0 lead, on The two teams have played each other at the moment in after I got done pitching. I six hits, after three innings. Busch Stadium every year since September started looking around and saw my family “It’s tough to be consistent and take 2011. Prior to playing the Trailblazers, and all my teammates. It was awesome.” good at-bats all the way through when STLCC played the now defunct STLCCFor Dattoli, winning the game is the you’re hitting 30 guys. To be able to have Forest Park Highlanders from 2005-10 and goal, but making sure that his players quality at-bats and produce runs, those Maple Woods Community College once take in the moment of playing on a major are things that we preached about before in 2007. Dattoli coached STLCC baseball league baseball field, is why they play we came out here,” Archers’ Head Coach teams have a 4-6 all-time record at Busch Busch Stadium. Tony Dattoli said after the game. “Let’s Stadium. “It’s a great experience to get an take advantage of the opportunity we get. From the batter’s box, Archers’ catcher opportunity to get out on the field,” Dattoli If we get an opportunity to score runs, lets Daniel Castillo had the view of the St. said. “Obviously they all have aspirations score runs.” Louis skyline. With the Gateway Arch in of playing at this level and just when you To go along with the 30 names in the background, Castillo kept his focus on get an opportunity to do it, on this stage, the lineup, Dattoli had three different the task at hand. defensive groups and threw multiple “It was really neat,” Castillo said. “The it’s worth the experience.”
PHOTO BY: DENNIS PARKS
In-Depth 7 September 19, 2013
PHOTO BY: DENNIS PARKS
PHOTO BY: DENNIS PARKS
PHOTO BY: JAKE HUNN
PHOTO BY: JAKE HUNN
PHOTO BY: JAKE HUNN LEFT PAGE: STLCC infielders Jake Walters (24), Adam Springmeyer (27), Brandon Zufall (7) and Ryan Fortner (10) stand for the National Anthem during their baseball game at Busch Stadium on Sept. 8. TOP LEFT: Archers’ starting pitcher Cody Starr pitches during the first inning. TOP RIGHT: STLCC outfielder Austin Martin hits an RBI double in the first inning to right-center field. MIDDLE LEFT: Cardinals’ public address announcer John Ulett announces the STLCC and Lewis and Clark game. MIDDLE RIGHT: Both teams congratulate each other after the game. BOTTOM LEFT: A 2013-14 STLCC Archers team photo after the Busch Stadium game. BOTTOM LEFT: STLCC Head Coach Tony Dattoli looks out to the field from the first base dugout.
PHOTO BY: CASSIE KIBENS
September 19, 2013
Brown Bag Cafe creates a recipe for success Organization stocks shelves with over 500 items donated this month CASSIE KIBENS PRODUCTION MANAGER
Tucked away on the side of the cafeteria, hidden behind unmarked doors, is the Brown Bag Cafe (BBC), STLCC-Meramec’s food pantry. Its shelves hold the fuel hungry students need in order to nourish their minds and stop the grumbles in their stomachs. Over 700 students have been fed since late March. Some in need of a lunch once in a while, some in need of a lunch every day and some homeless and in need of much more. The BBC is a joint effort between Service Learning, TRIO, Student Government and Student Assistance Program and is currently open to Meramec students. “I can’t imagine too many things worse than being hungry, and then you’re trying to succeed in classes,” English Professor, Pamela Garvey said. “No one should sit in class hungry.” Garvey is one of the faculty members highly involved with BBC. She suggested the idea of having different departments at Meramec adopt the pantry each month. This month the English department is working with the BBC. The BBC is being adopted by the library in November and by the Music Department in December. The adopt-a-month program goes through PHOTOS BY: CASSIE KIBENS May 2014. For Hunger Awareness month Brown Bag Cafe houses the donated items in a storage closet in the cafeteria. The closet space and shelves were aquired by Steve Brady, Manager of Campus Life. in October at Meramec the BBC is hosting various events with campus organizations. important to me,” Corson said. “Knowing “There’s lots of ways to make the Debora Jane Sears, her Assistant, oversee the “When you adopt someone you take that there are students that either really have connection between what we are doing and process of putting together the brown-bag good care of them,” Service Learning one meal a day or maybe skip a whole day of our academic coursework and the Brown lunches and also compile intake forms for the Coordinator, Debbie Corson said. “So if eating, and have to make a choice between Bag Cafe,” Garvey said. “It would be nice to repeat students. Durgins-Johnson believes you adopt the pantry, you need to take good buying books or eating, it was a real eye- see that happen more.” that this helps to identify other areas of need care of it.” opener, especially knowing that there are Since the beginning of September, the in which a student might be suffering. Corson works on the promotional side so many students on our campus who are English Department alone has collected “We wouldn’t be here without the of the BBC. She hands out pledge cards to hungry.” more than 600 items and raised more than students,” Durgins-Johnson said. “If the faculty and staff for the BBC and even enlists Garvey’s Composition 101 class put 200 dollars. The money raised goes to students are having difficulty, I’m having the help of together and purchasing food through local grocery stores difficulty. I mean when I see a student that’s graphic design administered the BBC has established a relationship with, having problems, I wish I was rich, I’d help classes to make hunger in order to get groceries at a discounted them all.” I can’t imagine too many things worse a the posters for survey to poll price. So far the BBC has made one trip this Students from various campus than being hungry, and then you’re trying various BBC M e r a m e c year to the grocery store in order stock the organizations want to help foster the to succeed in classes. No one should sit in students. The food pantry shelves. sponsored growing BBC by volunteering to host food class hungry.” events. Corson survey was “We want people to feel free to come up drives, helping to organize the donations and wanted to get then used and take a bag,” said Doris Durgins-Johnson, spreading the word about the BBC. involved with to create a Student Assistance Program Specialist. “But “The campus has needed something to the BBC due PowerPoint by the same token we have to be responsible bring our campus community together, and to the enthusiasm of Debby Caby, a former to better inform students about hunger on with the resources and make sure they are I think that this Brown Bag Cafe is doing Meramec student who cultivated the Brown the Meramec campus, to reach out to those allocated responsibly and fairly.” that,” Corson said. “And hearing the support Bag Cafe idea. who might identify as hungry and to let Durgins-Johnson, much like Garvey and of so many professors that say to me ‘This “We’ve been working with hunger for students know how they can help through Corson, became involved with the BBC from is great, these are our students, I want to a long time on this campus so that was item or money donations. the very beginning. Durgins-Johnson and support our students.’”
Items donated to the BBC are first put in general invintory then make their way into corresponding bins. The student workers volunteer to pack the lunches from the specific bins.
ART&LIFE 9 September 19, 2013
Clayton Art Fair A weekend filled with food, music and art DAVID KLOECKENER PHOTO EDITOR Families enjoyed three days of food, music and art at the art fair in Clayton, Mo. Artists showed off their work to over 130,000 spectators on Sept. 6, 7 and 8, 2013. Many restaurants and other businessâ€™ had specials to attract willing customers while attending the fair. Local bands performed on three stages giving spectators an easy-to-listen vibe. A couple hours spend at the art fair was worth the fight with traffic and crowds.
PHOTOS BY: DAVID KLOECKENER ABOVE: Sarah Jane and Blue Note perform at the Clayton Art Fair. TOP MIDDLE: The Silhouette Man. BOTTOM MIDDLE: Mike Swoboda (left) and Joe Chesla (right). TOP RIGHT: Dawn Weber of Naked Rock Fight. BOTTOM RIGHT: Emerging Artists as Entrepreneurs booth.
10 ART&LIFE September 19, 2013
Mastering Art in Saint Louis
Young Art Professionals Redefine Success for Future Generations MALAIKA TOLFORD STAFF WRITER The stereotype of the artist includes a furrowed brow, a pack of cigarettes and a head in the clouds. The culturally romanticized starving artist image may no longer be appropriate. So what does an art professional look like now? In profiling several working artists in St. Louis, a different picture is painted. Serious work ethic, a sharp intellect and the ability to not only solve problems, but hurdle them, are the traits of contemporary art professionals. The three artists profiled on this page have each graduated from a Masters of Fine Arts program in St. Louis within the last
Adjunct Professor of Art at Maryville, STLCC-FP, St. Charles Community College, BFA from Western Kentucky University, 2006 MA and MFA from Fontbonne University, 2010. Know what you want to do with your art degree. “Some people say, ‘I want to make museum quality pieces,’ and it’s like ok, you can do that, but are you going to live off of that? Is this about developing your skills? Or is this about making money? Because you can get into any art school in the country if you’re willing to pay. If you’re somebody who’s getting your education because you want to make money off of this, and need to survive off this, then my advice would be to make as much art as you can art and learn how to show it.” Make a lot of art and learn how to show it. “Don’t make art in the classroom and be afraid to put it in a hall display. I can’t tell you how many students take my classes and I’ll make it a requirement to enter into
Adjunct Professor of Photography at UMSL BFA, University of ILL at Chicago, 2010 MFA, Washington University 2013 Do your prerequisites at community college. “Universities can be competitive on the front end, when all these high school
few years. They are teachers, technicians, business owners and community leaders. These profiles invite STLCC- Meramec art students just beginning their careers to learn from the mistakes and successes of their contemporaries. Though their intentions may be to transfer to other institutions for their Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), Meramec art students may have a unique advantage on the cost of school and the quality of instruction. “Students can really find themselves in this art department,” Dean of Humanities, Yvonne Johnson, said. “I came here from
the University of Central Missouri where I was teacher for thirteen years and I think our art department here is every bit as good.” “The instructors really try to allow students to grow in terms of their creativity while letting them know what opportunities there are for intellectual development,” Meramec photography professor, David Hanlon, said. “At the same time we give them some knowledge that they can continue studying with other professors and students who are exploring similar things at other schools. Locally, there are a number of schools I would
refer students to” STLCC has comprehensive articulation agreements with many local and regional schools. “Because our program is accredited by the National Association of Schools for Art and Design, there’s not a problem with transferring credits,” Hanlon said. Metra Mitchell, Serhii Chrucky and Katie Millitzer have shared their unique stories with the hope that their advice reaches not only art students, but other young people with a variety of backgrounds, interests, and ambitions.
the student show - and they’ll not show up the day they have to turn the stuff in for jurying. You’re taking art classes. And this is the student show. If you’re not going to do this, you’re not going to be applying to other venues. Show as much as you can.” Teaching art is not easy. “If you’re looking at going the teaching route, try to teach whoever and wherever you can at whatever level, in order to learn how to do that. Most of my graduate school was spent making art in my studio and then being helping other people in the classroom. That was challenging. I had to learn how to juggle that. That was my real taste of what it’s like to not only have to deal with the struggles of your own creative process but have to deal with the things other people struggle with. And be able to handle 120 other people’s problems. I do think that not every great artist is cut out for being a great teacher, and I don’t think every teacher is a great artist.” Have a plan but be willing to embrace everything. “Figure out exactly what you want to do with your degree now, while you’re working with it. Even if it’s a creative degree, you need to have a plan of attack. Yeah, there’s a lot of happenstance. You might get a show because you know somebody. At the end of the day, it is important to have the goals and the deadlines. That’s how the work gets made. My whole career has happened because I’ve never said no to anything. I’ve always said yes to everything. You just have to embrace everything. It’s strange, but it’s almost like an artist has to be an expert oneverything.”
Make smart financial decisions about your education. “If you have well-funded parents that saved money for your college I don’t know what that’s like, but I hear that it happens - you take it however you wanna take it! But if you’re poor? Community college. Webster had scholarship transition out programs. If your family is broke, and you want to get into the arts, well, there’s no guarantee of a big salary. Depending on your circumstances, going to an art institute can be a very foolish move. Truth be told you should never take out more in student loans than you think you’re going to make in a year.” Get to know yourself in undergrad. “[At Webster] they give you really loose assignments and they want you to forge your own path. I had friends that were like ‘I cannot handle this, they are not telling me what to do!’ I was kind of like, angry
and tired from working so hard baking bagels all night long, and would try to take every assignment they gave me, turn it upside down and shove it back in their face in whatever way I could. And it always led to success for me, I always turned out a quality product. I thrived at a school like that. It was hard being poor in college, but it give me the ability to actually speak about my work and stand behind it in a more thoughtful way.” St. Louis is a good place for artists and entrepreneurs. “The beautiful thing about this town is that the cost of living is so low. You could work somewhere part time, like a restaurant or bar, or whatever silly little thing is that you don’t mind doing and can squeeze a life out of that, and you cannot do that in larger art cities. There’s also the freedom of time when you have that. You can work less than twenty hours a week and live in a nice apartment with a room that you can paint in, or if you work a little bit harder you can even pay for an art studio.” Create the environment that you see yourself working in. “Artists can build things with their hands. We’re almost better contractors than contractors. Use those skills to help create the venues that you see lacking. There are lots of secret art studios in this neighborhood, where groups of artists rent apartments. It’s not a big deal that they’re there, but they’re not allowed to put a sign out. I want my damn sign.” Stay connected. “Make good friends and quality contacts. You never know who you may reconnect with in a decade, and St. Louis is a small town.”
students are applying. But they’ll have drop outs from that group, and they’ll need to fill seats. Transferring from a community college is actually a good way to get into a good school with less competition. I did it backwards, though. I went to Columbia College, which is a private art school, and then transferred to UIC. But when I got out of high school, I didn’t want to do anything else besides study photography.” Get through the drudgery of prerequisites. “You need to take at least one class a semester that you truly enjoy.” On ending up at Wash U. “The right thing to do is to find a school based not on geography, but based on the work of the other students and the professors there. I looked at portfolios for lots of schools, and tried to figure out where I’d fit in. That’s how I made my selection. Your own work will get you there, but no man is an island.
You have to be careful where you pick, because you might get stuck there. I stayed here because of my friends from school. I decided to stay at least another year and ended up getting a teaching job which was through connections at Wash U.” Work hard and be patient. “Concentrate on practicing and getting good at what you do. Because if you put your stuff out there too soon and it’s low quality, people will disregard you. You should [critique] in your classes, with your peers. School is an experimental lab for learning stuff that ends up translating to an external world, but not immediately. Patience is very important. You have to be focused and patient, and not flip flop.” Learn how to talk about your work. “You have to be articulate, communicate well, and support your work in a number of ways. Graduate school is all about
learning how to talk about your work, and other people’s work, and assimilate your ideas into a community of ideas. Writing is just another form of thinking. Practice writing as much as possible. Especially if you’re planning to go to graduate school. It’s something that gets lost in a highly visual culture.” On the business of art and education. “Getting into shows seems to happen organically. I don’t like juried shows at all. I have a rule where I don’t pay any money to apply to something. Some would argue that that’s not a good thing, but it’s a principle of mine. It seems dirty, greasy, to try have to pay an application fee for a chance to show your work. But that’s business. [Application fees] are different, that’s a professional certificate. It’s all intertwined. There are no free schools in the United States, and that’s not my fault.
KATIE MILLITZER Owner of The Millitzer Gallery and Studio BFA 2002 from Webster University MFA 2012 Washington University
Park University is located in historic Parkville, Mo., only minutes from downtown Kansas City.
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PERSONAL CAMPUS EXPERIENCE
Make any day your visit day. Tour the Parkville Campus, meet faculty, talk with current students and discover historic Parkville. Schedule your experience at park.edu/montage or (816) 746-2533 Park University seeks comments from the public about the University in preparation for its periodic evaluation by its regional accrediting agency, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Center Association of Colleges and Schools. Comments addressing substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs should be submit in writing to: Third-Party Comment on Park University, The Higher Learning Commission, 230 S. LaSalle St., Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1411, or at www.ncahlc.org, no later than Oct. 21, 2013.
12 SPORTS September 19, 2013
PHOTO BY: DAVID KLOECKENER Jessica Smugala takes a shot on goal in the game against Northern Oklahoma A&M. The Lady Archers won 11-0 over the Norse.
Oh Captain My Captain Jessica Smugala helps lead the Lady Archers throughout the season DAVID KLOECKENER ASST. SPORTS EDITOR
Typically, players who have good talent on the field, a good head on their shoulders and are able to lead a team through obstacles are a dream for coaches. The Lady Archers’ sophomore and Seckman High School graduate Jessica Smugala is motivated to succeed in not only academics but also in her soccer career at STLCC. “I wanted to [play in college] but I didn’t know if I was good enough or if I was able to,” Smugala said. “I wanted to focus on school too. I love it.” Smugala started playing recreational soccer at a young age, but moved on to play for select teams including MC United and Ajax Elite. Smugala has even played for multiple teams at the same time. While playing for the Lady Jaguars at Seckman High School, Smugala played for Ajax Elite as well. “I played recreational soccer until sixth grade. Then I played for MC United, which is a select team,” Smugala said. “I played for Ajax Elite St. Louis because MC United and Ajax merged to became Ajax
Elite St. Louis.” According to Smugala, even though she played for her high school and select soccer teams, she feels coaches for select teams are more experienced and know more about soccer since it is more competitive than high school soccer. “For select [soccer teams] I feel the coaches were more experienced because the coaches in high school were just teachers,” Smugala said. “They know stuff but they’re not as experienced. Select is more competitive and fun.” Since joining the Lady Archers, Smugala has been proficient player and was second on the team in with five assists. In the 2013 seaon, Smugala leads the team goals with nine and is tied for second in assists with three. According to Lady Archers Head Coach Juergen Huettner, when looking for a captain, coaches and players look for someone who stands out and is able to lead the team on or off the field. The coaching staff is pleased with the performance of Smugala
as a captain. “Jessica is a good caption. She works hard and directs the players very well on the field. She gets things done and takes responsibility,” Huettner said. “That’s what you look for in a captain. Right now she is doing everything we ask her to do.” Since being named captain for the 2013 season, Smugala said she considers that something which has helped her as a player, person and leader. “I think it does help me. I feel like I’m a natural leader and it helps me talk more. I feel I’m a good leader when it comes to getting everyone involved because I don’t like anyone to be left out,” Smugala said. “I’m one of those people that like to talk to everyone and make sure everyone is happy.” Smugala enjoys the support the Lady Archers receive from her aunt and two uncles who own Smugala’s Pizza Pub. Smugala finds it remarkable that the team is able get food after games or practices.
“It’s my two uncles and my aunt that own it. They support us all the time. They threw a fundraiser and then we’d go there and eat as a team. We support each other back and forth,” Smugala said. “We ate there only a few times this year and did a couple times last year. It’s not an all the time thing but on special occasions.” Smugala considers the closeness of the team a quality that will be maintained throughout the season. “At first we weren’t that close but then throughout the year we got closer. This year we started off strong because we played summer league and we got all the freshmen to make sure they were involved in stuff too,” Smugala said. “We had a really good team last year. We lost a lot last year but we gained even more back this year. We have a really good bench to work from. Even if our starters come off and we put our bench on, we don’t lose much, which is really nice.”