UCM Magazine: Vol. 15, No. 4

Page 1


Vo l . 1 5 , N o. 4

The Curious


contents We knew this science issue had to come to life when we read about these alumni, faculty and students so involved with fish, snakes, drought, grasshoppers, plants and birds. We hope you enjoy reading more about a subject so fundamental to our university’s prominence.

cove r story


S ect i o ns

At Risk, the Curious Monstrous Paddlefish Scott Lankford never caught a paddlefish but like anyone who has fished, he has a favorite tale. This one is about how he used his biology know-how, figured out which bait fish were biting that day and left other anglers agawk and empty-handed. That combination of fish and science riddles Lankford’s life as he investigates solutions to help sustain Missouri’s state aquatic animal, the paddlefish.



with the Plan

From Genes to Genomes and Beyond

Preventing the costliest natural disaster is just a matter of emergency preparedness, so why aren’t we doing this?

As a little girl, she followed her horticultural father around the greenhouse fascinated less by the plants than the slime on the water.

Speed Demons of the Snake World David Penning’s research on the speed of ratsnakes challenges the vipers’ top spot.

Campus Currents

14 central yesterday 24 philanthropy 26 Class Notes 29 Awards & Honors 30 In Memoriam

fe at ure s

10 Dr. Drought, the Man



find us online at ucmo.edu/ucmmagazine Email us at ucmmagazine@ucmo.edu or call 660-543-4545

What’s the Ideal Microclimate for Chimney Swifts?

Gold Award

Challenge Jesse Holmes with the unknown and odds are, she’ll dive into it.

on the cover:

Tim Pinkston ’86 BFA, illustrated our cover paddlefish. The award-winning designer also is the illustrator behind Mo’s various poses. Learn more at pinkstondesignart.com.

31 st annual


Educationa l advertisin g awards



A gold in the 31st Annual Educational Advertising Awards is the third national award for the UCM Magazine, signifying our commitment to bring you the best!

p resid ent ’s message

MAGAZINE Vol. 15 No. 4, Spring 2016

executive Editor

Dalene Abner ’09 Designer

Julie Babcock Photographer

Bryan Tebbenkamp ’15

Published by Alumni Relations and Development. © 2016 by University of Central Missouri. All rights reserved. Find us online: ucmo.edu/ucmmagazine Contact the editor at ucmmagazine@ucmo.edu or 660-543-4545. Submit your address updates online to ucmo.edu/mynewaddress, by email to alumni@ucmo.edu or telephone, 660-543-8000 or toll-free, 1-866-752-7257. UCM Magazine (USPS 019-888) is published quarterly by the University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO 64093. Printed by Lane Press, 87 Meadowland Drive, South Burlington, VT 05403. Periodicals postage paid at Warrensburg, MO, and additional offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to UCM

Magazine, Smiser Alumni Center, University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO 64093. To view the University of Central Missouri’s Nondiscrimination/Equal Opportunity Statement, visit ucmo.edu/nondiscrimination.

A Time-honored Commitment to STEM


ithin a few days after the University of Central Missouri celebrated a record number of graduates for Spring 2016 Commencement exercises, work was beginning on a new initiative that represents the institution’s long-standing commitment to science, technology, engineering and mathematics education (STEM). Thanks to support from our Board of Governors, the university embarked on an $18 million renovation project for the W.C. Morris Science Building that will have a tremendous positive impact on our ability to serve students in STEM areas. While we strive to meet our goal to complete this much-needed renovation of the science building by fall 2017, this issue of UCM Magazine reminds us just how important it is to provide the types of classrooms, laboratories and other facilities that contribute to the intellectual growth and success of our students. Retracing our roots, natural science was part of our university’s original curriculum, and UCM’s graduates in the 145 years since have made their mark in the world as scientists, inventors, researchers and scholars. This issue of UCM Magazine profiles several faculty, alumni and students who are researching areas of our natural world, coming up with solutions that include protecting Missouri’s state aquatic animal, the endangered paddlefish; fascinating millions of viewers around the world with research disproving that vipers are the fastest striking snakes; discovering that plant genomes and human genes have a lot in common; examining the ideal microclimate for the tiny chimney swift; and helping communities throughout the world adopt emergency plans for droughts just as they have for tornadoes, floods and hurricanes. As you view this issue of UCM Magazine, we hope you will discover how UCM positively impacts STEM fields and beyond, as well as the lives of students past, present and future. Joining you in service,

Chuck Ambrose P res i d e n t

University of Central Missouri Magazine


C amp us C urrents

UCM’s Two Top Seniors Receive Charno Award Josephine Diekemper and David Rogers received the Charno Award as the top female and male student of the 2016 graduating class. Diekemper, a dietetics major from Springfield, MO, has served as a volunteer for the Warrensburg Senior Center, the UCM Campus Cupboard and several UCM blood drives. She served in leadership roles for several campus organizations, including vice president of Rho Lambda; treasurer of the Panhellenic Hall Council; vice president, secretary and historian of Student Dietetics Association; and vice president of alumnae and heritage for Alpha Sigma Alpha. Rogers, a political science and international studies major from Warrensburg, is a member of Students for Political Action, Honors College Student Association and Pre-Law Student Association. He served as vice president of Pi Sigma Alpha, philanthropy chair of Phi Kappa Delta, captain of the UCM Mock Trial Team and vice president of Sigma Pi fraternity. He also served in 2015-2016 as president of the UCM Student Government Association.


future FOCUS

Concept Turns to Reality with Construction Kickoff for Missouri Innovation Campus


or its unique collaboration and innovative educational approach, the Missouri Innovation Campus has been singled out by U.S. President Barack Obama, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and a host of other national and state leaders. Now, it’s becoming a physical reality. With strong participation by UCM, the Lee’s Summit community celebrated the construction kick-off this spring of a new facility that will house nationally recognized programs reshaping the way students experience education. The one-of-a-kind school is made possible thanks to voter approval of a 2015 Lee’s Summit R-7 no-tax-increase bond issue. The approximately $40 million facility will house Lee’s Summit R-7 Summit Technology Academy, programs currently housed at UCM–Lee’s Summit, and the Missouri Innovation Campus, a trailblazing partnership involving R-7, UCM and Metropolitan Community College. Gov. Jay Nixon was a special guest at the event, calling the project a pillar of excellence that will stand as an example of how to successfully prepare students to compete in the world economy. “We stand here ready to turn these shovels to begin to do something that’s never been done before in the United States of America,” he said. David McGehee, Lee’s Summit R-7 superintendent, said, “With this state-of-the-art facility, we can build on our already successful programs. I am looking forward to having the opportunity to better prepare students for their future through this out-of-thebox approach that involves educators and industry partners working together in an innovative and collaborative environment.”

Vol. 15, No. 4 | ucmo.edu/ucmmagazine

Terri Harmon, Lee’s Summit R-7 Board of Education president, noted, “This school is not only changing the way students experience high school and college, it is saving money for our taxpayers by allowing us to share resources with UCM.” UCM President Charles Ambrose said, “Since collaboratively opening the MIC four years ago, we have broken new ground in redefining education and student success. We look to the future excited about taking our partnership to the next level

We have broken new ground in redefining education and student success. through this shared facility, and the opportunity to extend elements of the MIC model into other parts of the metropolitan area and the state.” The MIC focuses on preparing students for high demand careers while accelerating the time it takes to complete a college degree and greatly reducing the cost of a college education. The first cohort of MIC students, who graduated from high school and received their associate degree from MCC in 2014, graduated from UCM with a bachelor’s degree in May.

cam p us currents

“Pick battles big enough to


matter, small enough to win.”


— Jonathan Kozol, nationally acclaimed author and keynote speaker, 2016 UCM Politics and Social Justice Week

Te ac hing Ex perti se

Staff Reco g n i t i o n

Be st St u d e n t E mp loye e

Koehn Honored as Top Faculty Member of 2016

Top Staff 2016 J.P. Mees Award Goes to Polychronis

Duthoy Named Best Student Employee of 2016

Jo Lynne Koehn, Ph.D., has developed a reputation as an outstanding mentor and colleague to faculty members in the Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies with a passion for teaching that contributed to hundreds of successful graduates. Such qualities contributed to her selection for the 2016 Byler Distinguished Faculty Award, the top honor presented annually to a UCM faculty member. “The things that I enjoy most about working at UCM are the people, my departmental team and university colleagues, and also the students who have enriched my life immeasurably. I feel humbled to be receiving this recognition given the quality of educators nominated,” said Koehn.

Paul Polychronis, Ph.D., director of the UCM Counseling Center, was named the 2016 recipient of the J. P. Mees Outstanding Professional Staff Award. The award is the highest honor bestowed upon a member of the university’s professional staff. It honors the legacy of the late John Paul Mees, who died in 2000 while serving as vice president of planning and policy/executive assistant to the president at UCM. Polychronis joined the UCM professional staff in 1990 as a psychologist in the Office of Counseling and Psychological Services. He was named its director in 2010. One colleague who nominated Polychronis said, “When a call came in, Paul didn’t hesitate. He dropped everything and went where he was needed. He has demonstrated time and time again that he will be there in a student’s moment of need.”

Cameron Duthoy, a sophomore aviation major from Warrensburg, was named 2016 UCM Student Employee of the Year. One of 23 nominees, he is employed as a flight operation line technician at Max B. Swisher Skyhaven Airport. In his position, he provides ground support for UCM flight operations, including fueling up to 23 different aircraft and operating an 8,000-gallon fuel truck. He also manages the movement of aircraft, provides customer support for transient aircraft using the airport, and acts as an overall safety facilitator for the airport. “Cameron stands out as the best student worker who has served our team during my three years at UCM,” said Tony Monetti, assistant dean of aviation. “He is an amazing individual who cares for others over himself with integrity and humility.”

UCM is now an official LEGO Education Academy training site. Learn more at ucmo.edu/summitcenter/lego.cfm.

LEGO® Learning

Hunger is rarely discussed as a need for students, faculty or staff but that is often a reality. In 2015, the UCM Campus Cupboard served 1,223 people. There were 4,380 visits. And the need is growing. Learn how you can help at ucmo.edu/life/cupboard.

It’s the World! From 50 to 400 The number of UCM students studying abroad is growing, from about 50 students two years ago to more than 400 participants this year, thanks to a partnership between UCM and the Institute for International Education. Almost every place in the world is open for study abroad through a host of exchange agreements in western Europe and Asia, thirdparty providers and faculty-led programs.


Reflects a Best Value College Values Online has ranked UCM’s program as #13 among the 20 best values in occupational safety degree programs. Our alumni and student feedback also constantly tells us, this program ranks among the best in the nation for quality and professional success.

University of Central Missouri Magazine


“ T h at d ay i t pa i d t o k n o w a l i tt l e something about fish and science.”


Vol. 15, No. 4 | ucmo.edu/ucmmagazine

The Curious

Monstrous by Da l e n e A b n e r I l lu s t r at e d by Ti m P i n k s to n a n d Dav id B a b co c k


e n e v e r c au g h t a pa d d l e f i s h but like anyone who

has fished, Scott Lankford has a favorite tale. “One early morning, I arrived to the East Walker River in northern California to fish with a great friend. Three people were already fishing that river section, but we noticed no one was catching any fish. After 20 minutes of observing the fish behavior and the insects in the water, I selected a fly and proceeded to catch the biggest brown trout of my life on the second cast. After I released it, I caught another on the very next cast. I then walked down to my friend and gave him three flies of that pattern and kept three for myself. We caught about eight huge trout each in the next hour, and before we knew it the other folks fishing were just watching us. That day it paid to know a little something about fish and science.�

University of Central Missouri Magazine


...or small shar


Lacks sc ales an d has a c ar ti la g in o u s sk el et o n li ke a sh ar k

e! Like a whal

the er from its dinn Filters le a leen wh ike a ba wat e r l

That combination of fish and science riddles Lankford’s life these days as he investigates solutions that would help sustain Missouri’s state aquatic animal, the paddlefish. This is no ordinary fish. Paddlefish are scary looking. Anyone catching the curious, monstrous looking fish would proudly hoist

This ancient fish is t h r e at e n e d, p oa c h e d f o r i t s e g g s s o l d a s c av i a r for as much as


5 5 0 / p o u n d.

it up for a photo, probably getting a friend to help. Paddlefish can grow to six or seven feet, weigh up to 200 pounds and live up to 30 years. The paddlefish is the only species of the family Polyodontidae in North America. The species name, spathula, derives from a Latin word, spatula or blade. Their genus name, Polyodon, comes from the Greek word meaning “many tooth” referring to their gill rakers. These extensive gill rakers are used to filter the big creature’s food, mostly plankton such as shrimp and water fleas. They can locate these tiny creatures thanks to that big


Vol. 15, No. 4 | ucmo.edu/ucmmagazine

nose, which is equipped with special cells, electroreceptors, that can detect the electrical current in anything living. The paddlefish’s distinctively long nose, or rostrum, makes up half of its body, leading to its nickname, the spoonbill. They were made Missouri’s state aquatic animal in 1997, the same year Missouri named the channel catfish its official fish. Because they are filter-feeding planktivores, paddlefish cannot be caught by conventional fishing techniques. The fish’s body, including the physical structure of its brain, rostrum, gills and mouth are coordinated to eat only zooplankton. They eat neither worms nor large insects so are oblivious to fishermen’s lures. Anglers have turned instead to snagging in states where the technique is legal, including Missouri. Unfortunately, this ancient fish, older by about 50 million years than dinosaurs, is threatened, devastated not only by an irreversibly changing habitat and overfishing, but hunted by poachers, plundering its eggs to sell as caviar, commanding up to $550 per pound on the black market. The scarcity of the paddlefish is the purpose behind Lankford’s collaboration with the Missouri Department of

Associate professor Scott Lankford is working to save the paddlefish by examining how it relates to stress in terms of its reproduction and muscle development.

Conservation’s Blind Pony Hatchery to examine its reproductive physiology. The UCM associate professor of biology and a handful of his students are investigating the fish’s molecular characteristics through a genetic and physiological approach, involving genetic sequence alignment, the polymerase chain reaction primer design, quantitative PCR and hormonal analyses. They are working with two UCM biology alumni, Jake Colehour ’09, the hatchery manager, and Ryan Little, assistant hatchery manager. Paddlefish take many years before they are mature enough to spawn – nine years for a female and seven years for a male. “Paddlefish are either a boom or a bust type of species,” said Colehour. “They have to have particular flow, temperature and substrate to spawn on. So, in some given years they don’t have that substrate and other years they will, and when they have that substrate, they have a very high survival rate, and then other years it’s very low.” Lankford noted, “This pilot project is a crossroad between molecular science and management biology. It gives our students a worldly perspective for the conservation efforts that go into producing a valuable fishery and sustaining endangered species,” he added. “By having this real wild-life question and these sophisticated research tools, our students will become complete and employable scientists.”

Wh at a no se !

O n l y f i s h i n No rth America w ith a pa d d l e f o r a snout, expl aining its nickname s p oo n b i l l .

University of Central Missouri Magazine


? Is it a di no sa ur ion , by 50 mill Even older o t g n i d r years, acco ings fossil find

He’s grateful also for the UCM Foundation Opportunity Grant allowing them to develop the working protocols to successfully obtain additional state grants. The university’s official nonprofit arm, the UCM Foundation has a mission to cultivate, manage and distribute resources in support of the university and empower students’ dreams to succeed. The Opportunity Grant Program helps faculty lacking needed resources to introduce additional ideas into the classroom. Grants range from a few hundred to $5,000 and have assisted such projects as a transmedia storytelling lab, 3-D mapping, masculinity sensitivity training, West African drums, a pantry for food insecure students and staff, and research such as Lankford’s. “As a research group, we have identified novel molecular targets to address both the spawning capability and egg quality in the paddlefish. We did that through an extensive online literature search and discussions about

the targets,” he said. “Next we initiated the process of optimizing the RNA isolation techniques required to monitor the mRNA targets in the eggs.” There’s real science to get paddlefish to spawn successfully, Lankford explained. He believes an index of measurable characteristics (e.g., egg diameter, gene expression, and hormone levels) can be used to help MDC select the best fish to spawn, increasing its efficiency and reliability yearly production rates. “Paddlefish are an important game fish in Missouri,” said Lankford. During the paddlefish season from mid-March to April, anglers from throughout the nation come to areas where the fish congregate, such as the Lake of the Ozarks, Harry S. Truman Lake and Table Rock Lake, as well as the Mississippi and Missouri rivers and their

Scott Lankford supervises Laci Darling, a 2014 graduate from Winfield, MO, and Callie Edwards ’16, from Springfield, IL, as they simulate a step in the isolation of RNA from paddlefish eggs. a b ov e : George Boddy, director emeritus of extended campus, considers this 30-pound paddlefish that he caught at the Lake of the Ozarks average size. His largest weighed 70. LEFT:


Vol. 15, No. 4 | ucmo.edu/ucmmagazine

“ Fish are at t r a c t i v e research animals a s t h e y s e rv e as wildlife and ag r i c u lt u r a l resources and e n v i r o n m e n ta l Jake Colehour, biology alumnus Central Missouri helped by is and hatchery left, manages the n Little. Rya s, mnu alu y another biolog

s e n t i n e l s. ” The bulk of the physical work to spaw and release n, hatch the paddlefi sh happens Blind Pony at the Hatchery in Saline Coun ty, MO.

tributaries. While it will take more funding and years of research, their goal is “to produce the most offspring with the least amount of staff hours and resources.” Realizing the extent that paddlefish impact the world first attracted Lankford to the subject. Otherwise, it might have been squirrels. When he was an undergraduate at the University of Kansas, Lankford sought out a research project, which turned out to be helping a graduate student analyze the behaviors of squirrels. “I was introduced to a new level of knowledge and detail about an animal I had seen everyday of my life but clearly never understood, and I thought, ‘what else have I been missing?’ From that minute forward, my

How big can it get?

curiosity to understanding animal physiology and behavior has been growing.” He said, “Fish are something that I loved since I was a kid. They are attractive research animals as they serve as wildlife and agricultural resources and environmental sentinels.” They have enormous value in the world’s economy and “any disturbance to their health indicates the ecological health of our environment.” Fish research impacts so many other areas of research, including other vertebrates, mammals, the environment and food securities. “Paddlefish are such an ancient species that their struggle to acclimate is important to understand because, unlike the dinosaurs, they are surviving after millions of years of change.” n

How long does it live? Av e r a g e s 5-8 year s

but can get old er than 30

H e av i e r t h a n 1 5 0 p o u n d s a n d lo n g e r than six feet, e at i n g lo t s o f t i n y wat e r f l e a s

University of Central Missouri Magazine


“ If the droughts of the last decade teach us nothing else, they should at least teach all of us that we need to be better prepared.” – don wilhite


Vol. 15, No. 4 | ucmo.edu/ucmmagazine

Dr. drought the man with The Plan

“ We prepare for floods, earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural hazards, why not drought?” is a question that puzzles and frustrates Donald Wilhite. The 1967 University of Central Missouri geography graduate has been making progress on this issue since he started a university research career on climatology and water resources four decades ago. He is so respected throughout the world that he’s earned the title, “Dr. Drought.” “Drought is the costliest of all natural hazards,” Wilhite said. “It’s a pervasive natural hazard with no political boundaries that threatens, and kills, millions of people each year and results in enormous economic, social and environmental impacts.” Drought has fascinated Wilhite since he became interested in geography in high school. Raised in Sedalia, he transferred to UCM from the University of Missouri Columbia to be closer to home, his job and future wife. “My first year at UCM, I took a geography class from Dr. [Fred] Lampe and soon decided to switch my major. He was a strong mentor for me in my early college years,” he said. His educational path next took him to Arizona State University for a master’s, then to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln for a Ph.D. in geography and climate and water resources. He became a professor there in 1977 and founded the National Drought Mitigation Center in 1995. He left the NDMC in 2007 to become director of UNL’s School of Natural Resources until 2012. Today, he’s a professor in the school. “Ironically, I always intended to work at a university and ‘teach.’ After all, that’s how we mostly associate higher education. In reality, I’ve done very little formal teaching, working mostly outside the classroom.” His research program has focused on improving drought management across the U.S. and globally.

Wilhite’s work entails more than 130 journal articles, monographs, book chapters and technical reports. He is editor or co-editor of several books on drought and drought management. He’s lectured and managed workshops in countries throughout the world, always addressing the same question, why do droughts come as such a surprise to government? “I have been preaching this message throughout my career, and it has had a major impact at the state, national and international level. When I began my work, only three states in the U.S. had drought plans. Now, there are 47 states. The White House has just issued an executive action on drought management. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration now leads a program called the National Integrated Drought Information System, which I recommended in the 1990s.” Most people treat drought as an “uncommon visitor when it actually is a normal part of virtually all climatic regimes,” he said. Drought occurs somewhere in the nation every year, frequently affecting more than 40 percent of areas and resulting in billions of dollars in economic, social and environmental damage.

Most people treat drought as an “uncommon visitor when it actually is a normal part of virtually all climatic regimes.” Wilhite added that his work internationally with governments and United Nation agencies is having remarkable results. He described his publication on national drought policies as a recipe or template for countries to manage drought risk instead of managing the disaster. “I call it breaking the hydro-illogical cycle,” he said. n

University of Central Missouri Magazine



ho knew that researching how fast snakes strike would fascinate more than 75 million people around the world or media such as National Geographic, Smithsonian, Discovery Channel, New York Times and BBC? Yet, that’s the life in recent months of University of Central Missouri biology alumnus David Penning whose findings debunk a centuries-old belief that venomous vipers, like the rattler and cottonmouth, have the fastest striking speed.


Vol. 15, No. 4 | ucmo.edu/ucmmagazine

illustration by david babcock

speed demons of the snake world

For his research, David Penning has received a fully funded trip to speak at the 8th World Congress of Herpetology in China. BELOW: High-speed cameras recorded snakes biting stuffed gloves. LEFT:

lower right: Photo by brad moon

Upper left: Photo courtesy of UL Lafayette,





The blink of an eye in humans

How fast a ratsnake can reach its prey

Penning, who received his bachelor’s from UCM in 2010 and master’s in 2012, is a Board of Regents doctorate fellow at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In studies that began with the common ratsnake, a non-venomous constrictor, he quickly realized how inconceivably fast it struck at a stuffed glove. In tests comparing the ratsnake to the western diamond-backed rattlesnake and the western cottonmouth, the strike speeds were too close to call, up to about 11.5 feet per second. All three could reach their prey in about 70 milliseconds, literally faster than the blink of an eye, which takes 202 milliseconds in humans. All snakes were able to reach their targets so quickly by producing very high accelerations during their strikes. “I was quite shocked to see the short strike durations and high strike accelerations coming from an unassuming, easily found ratsnake,” said Penning, whose worldwide

publicity began when the research made the cover of Biology Letters. “The ratsnake is not rare or hard to care for. They can even be found in the pet trade.” Because they produce such high accelerations, snakes have to withstand extraordinary forces on their bodies, upwards of 28 times the force of gravity, he said. At that acceleration, even fighter pilots wearing the most advanced technology would easily lose consciousness. “Essentially the prey doesn’t stand a chance in most encounters,” Penning said. “We’re talking about animals that can strike out and reach their target before the prey is even aware that it’s being attacked.” Research is scant on the speed of the planet’s 3,500 snake species. Of those investigated, many can generate these mind-boggling accelerations, thanks to their unique physiology – muscles, nerves and skeleton finely honed over millions of years. It may seem a stretch, he said, but further studies on how snakes behave under extreme conditions could lead to other research breakthroughs that may keep people safe when they are exposed to dangerous forces.

it’s not that vipers are slow but other snakes also have evolved a lightning strike. “We’re currently trying to work out exactly what happens on impact when the snake hits its target,” he said. “Snakes are able to launch their heads, stop, immediately withdraw to a defensive position and then repeat this again and again and again.” Brains, he added, can’t withstand that kind of powerful acceleration. “So, the question is, what is it about snakes that enables that impact to be sustained relatively easily, and can we use that for our own benefit in the future?” n

University of Central Missouri Magazine


central yester d ay

Education meant more than equipment for practical life. It was a means of enlightening and unfolding human nature.

What’s for Dinner? What do you do when a plague of grasshoppers eats everything in sight? You have them for dinner.


he year was 1875 and James Johonnot, the university’s second president, had recently recruited two new faculty members: Miss Emma Dickerman, who taught drawing, and Henry Straight, who followed his wife-to-be to become professor of biological science and natural history. All three were serious educators. Johonnot was described by an 1874 Popular Science Monthly for “making science the most prominent and fundamental thing in the school. Science occupies first place. One of the features is an explanation of the new discoveries and important results as fast as they occur in the scientific world. That’s the greatest compliment paid to any school in this country.” These three caused ripples within the Warrensburg community for their educational

pedagogy. At the time, churches dominated American education, and people thought of school business as mainly literal and biblical. The trio was strongly criticized for believing in the Pestalozzian ideals, an inclusive approach that every person had a right to education and that learning should be student-centered, inquiry-based and active, not the classic, passive classroom lecture style then used. This theory went hand-in-hand with Straight’s and Dickerman’s backgrounds. Both were from England. Dickerman grew up somewhat privileged in Illinois. She started teaching at age 14, then taught Normal School in New York before moving to Nebraska. Straight was orphaned as a boy and got by working on a farm to earn money for an education. He started teaching college Latin and Greek, became a school principal, then shifted his interest to teaching natural science. Straight was called a daring pioneer “whose story is one of great absorbing enthusiasm and who wishes to teach his pupils how to make themselves better men and women.” He was considered singularly focused, “lacking the gift of diplomacy, seeing but one thing and moving directly

Henry Straight followed his future wife, Emma Dickerman, to Warrensburg as professors. She taught drawing and illustrated pictures for her husband’s science classes. Their education ideology was more in keeping with today’s than those of the late 1800s.


14 14

Vol. 15, No. 4 | ucmo.edu/ucmmagazine Vol. 15, No. 4 | ucmo.edu/ucmmagazine

central yesterd ay

7 18 5

toward it.” In contrast, Dickerman saw a thousand possibilities and “was vividly alive to everything.” Johonnot called them “his left and right hands.” All the science emphasis, however, led to a clash with Warrensburg fundamentalists who condemned Johonnot as an infidel. About this time, 1875, the great grasshopper swarm hit the Midwest. This infestation of Rocky Mountain locusts was the largest ever recorded, measuring 198,000 square miles and containing an estimated 3.5 trillion locusts. Not only did they wipe out crops but on the railroad tracks, grasshoppers would get so thick and became so dangerously slick that passengers had to get out to shovel them off. Otherwise, the tracks were impassable. A Warrensburg banker made an offer to pay $1 per bushel of grasshoppers but the response was so overwhelming and costly, that he withdrew the offer after only two days. Enter the picture Henry and Emma Straight, along with their friend Charles Valentine Riley, who later would become Missouri’s first entomologist. Recognizing that horses and chickens ate the dead locusts and came to no harm, and having read that American Indians collected the locusts to roast and eat them, Riley proposed entomophagy, simply eating the bugs as a way to reduce the number of locusts while simultaneously feeding the starving populace. Think of this as an early Andrew Zimmern Bizarre Food episode as Riley, the Straights and another friend, Miss Lucy Waltby, supervised the cooking and serving of a four-course meal at the Eads Hotel. The menu, which consisted of locust soup, baked locusts, locust cakes, locusts with honey and just plain locusts, apparently pleased the five guests. “We believe this is the first attempt at putting this insect to his best use, and the result is not only highly satisfactory but should this insect make his visit oftener and cause greater destruction, future generations will hail its presence with joy.” n

a b ov e: Charles Valentine Riley suggested entomophagy or simply, “let’s eat the bugs,” as a solution to the worst grasshopper swarm in U.S. history. He became Missouri’s first entomologist and later worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Editor ’s Note : Sources for this story include Les Anders’ Education for Service, Herbert Croly’s Willard Straight, Effie S. Bass’ Notes on CMSTC, Johnson Co. Historical Society Bulletin April 1968, Bates County Record June 19, 1875

University of Central Missouri Magazine



Vol. 15, No. 4 | ucmo.edu/ucmmagazine

human nature

Debris from Houston waterways provides images of simple artifacts that challenge viewers to reflect upon our consumer culture, relationship to the environment and the pervasion of pollution. These images by Jeremy Underwood ’03, assistant professor of photography, inspire curiosity and intellectual debate, a goal of the college experience. So, too, do the people who give to The Fund for Excellence also inspire by providing resources that help professors pursue teaching innovations for their classrooms. Please support The Fund for Excellence by returning the enclosed envelope with your gift.

about the photographer Jeremy Underwood’s award-winning photos manage to evoke emotions and thought, whether it’s Fortune 500 executives, society’s elite weddings or provocative abstracts, like his Human Debris series.

University of Central Missouri Magazine


Physarum polycephalum Bright yellow plasmodium on agar culture medium

From Genes to Genomes and As a little girl, she followed her horticultural father around a greenhouse fascinated less by the plants than the slime on the water.

sydney everhart The UCM biology alumna is now the principal investigator of a fungal genetics research lab in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

“I always liked creepy, crawly, slimy things,” Sydney Everhart said. “When I was young, no more than five years old, my father taught at Iowa Lakes Community College. He started there when he finished his Ph.D., creating their horticulture program and managing the greenhouse. I distinctly remember the smell of that greenhouse. Although there were all kinds of plants, I often took more interest in the slimy microbes growing in the cooling and irrigation equipment.”

Her father became a horticulture specialist for Iowa State University, advising Iowans in both commercial and residential horticulture. He taught master gardener courses for more than a decade, resulting in Everhart herself becoming a master gardener at age 16. “My father is a very humble person, and he encouraged me in my pursuit of education. Without him, I would not have become a scientist, perhaps an artist instead,” she said.

Diachea arboricola Discovered during the tree canopy research on the bark of a living white oak tree and eastern red cedar in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park


Vol. 15, No. 4 | ucmo.edu/ucmmagazine

“ ” Science is all about discovery. It’s just that sometimes it takes lots of numbers for us to realize that something is actually happening.

Lycogala epidendrum Immature pinkish fruiting body on decayed wood

University of Central Missouri Magazine


A Primer on

Myxomycetes are one of the planet’s weirdest life forms.

Myxomycetes pronounced mix-o-my-seats

With academic degrees in biology and plant pathology, including a master’s from the University of Central Missouri, she became an established research professor at a major U.S. university. As principal investigator of the Everhart Lab in the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of NebraskaLincoln, she directs a team studying population dynamics, quantitative ecology and fungal plant pathogens. Their goal is to discover how disease outbreaks occur. In their work to track these microbes, they use genetic markers that are the same kind used for humans. “The genetic markers we use are the same type used by forensic scientists to figure out who committed a crime. They may do that by taking a cheek swab to determine a genetic fingerprint. In fungi, it’s slightly more complicated because we have to develop these markers for each species. But it’s the same idea.” Before discovering genetics, Everhart studied myxomycetes (pronounced mix-omy-seats) or plasmodial slime molds, looking at how they spread on the bark of living trees and vines. Gathering myxomycetes, organisms that have been studied for more than 100 years, was one of Everhart’s most memorable experiences as a graduate student at UCM. She was part of a team, led by biology professor emeritus Harold “Dr. Myxo” Keller,


Vol. 15, No. 4 | ucmo.edu/ucmmagazine

Arcyria versicolor

Bad h a m i a utricularis

Diachea leucopodia

Stalked fruiting bodies with pear-shaped open sporangia and elastic threads, common in mountainous regions

Stalked fruiting bodies with internal calcareous skeletonlike system of threads and clustered black spores, found mostly on decaying wood

Fruiting bodies with iridescent bluish surface and white calcareous stalks, common to decaying leaves and twigs

participating in the first National Geographic Society National Park’s Service BioBlitz. Bringing their courage and curiosity, the students conducted the first comprehensive survey and inventory of the tree canopy biota in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, using a double-rope climbing technique associated more with foresters and arborists. It would often take two to three hours for them to climb to 90 to 100 feet, the equivalent of a 10-story building. Collecting bark samples along the way, the students often faced such hazards as bees, bears, poisonous snakes and lightning. “Everyday in the Great Smoky Mountains was a new adventure,” Everhart said. “I would wake up early and have coffee, followed by going for a short run. I would come back and eat breakfast with the team, pack lunches, load up our gear and head out for the day. We usually had a plan ahead of time about the general area of the park that we were visiting. Getting to those locations could be a one to two hour drive because of the large scale of the area and the winding roads that limited speeds. “Once we located the trail we wanted to hike, we would unload the gear and start loading up our backpacks. My backpack with climbing ropes, saddle, collecting supplies and gear easily weighed 50 pounds. I would hoist the backpack and start walking. We would each have a backpack like this and typically hike one to two miles on dirt paths into the

forest to find a suitable tree to climb.” Everhart says that coming to UCM was a perfect fit for her. She called Keller “the epitome of a mentor” who taught her about grant writing, graduate school and teaching. “His guidance laid the foundation for my future success, not to mention his enthusiasm for biological research was contagious! I definitely caught that bug.” Keller, now a resident research associate at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, helped Everhart win five regional and national awards, including First Place Graduate Thesis Award from UCM in 2007. Often in collaboration with other UCM students and professors, they have

Joining Sydney Everhart for the tree canopy experience were, from left, Professors Harold W. Keller and Joe Ely along with other student climbers: Courtney Kilgore, now a biology instructor at Robeson Community College in North Carolina, and Angela Scarborough, early childhood program director and lead teacher at Grace Lutheran Church in Lexington, MO.

Echinostelium arboreum

La m p r o d e r m a splendidissimum

Lepidoderma granuliferum

Ma c b r i d e o l a declinata

Stalked fruiting body opened to show threads and spores

Stalked fruiting bodies with iridescent bluish hues; a snowline species found in the French Alps near Savoie, France

Fruiting bodies with sugar-like crystals on the surface with internal fibrous threads and dark spores, common to mountainous regions

Stalked fruiting body with threads and spores

Neither plant nor animal, they are in a kingdom all their own, protista. From spores, they produce bacteria-eating cells that congregate to form a blob called a plasmodium, which can appear as bright yellow, red, pink, orange and white. The plasmodium oozes along rocks, downed logs and living tree bark, much like an amoeba, engulfing food as it goes. When mature, the slime mold sprouts small knobs on stalks that are called fruiting bodies. Specimens can be incredibly small, requiring magnifications from 20x to 100x, to see them.

“ ” Fungicides for plants and antibiotics for humans are similar in attacking pathogens.

authored more than 78 oral and poster presentation abstracts and 27 articles for peer-reviewed journals, including some of the most prestigious in their field. Keller still collaborates with Everhart and his other students, including an article soon to be published in American Scientist and a chapter for a new book on myxomycetes. Another UCM biology professor also influenced Everhart’s career. She praises Joe Ely from whom she discovered biostatistical analyses, a direction she quickly realized she wanted to pursue as a scientist. “Dr. Ely offered several quantitative courses and provided one-on-one teaching in how to perform statistical analyses. Many of the skills I learned from him, I still use today. Those textbooks are still on my office shelves. Some of my favorite memories are working in Dr. Ely’s labs running statistical analyses and discovering what the numbers and data show.” In those labs she also developed a philosophy. “Science is all about discovery. It’s just that sometimes it takes lots of numbers for us to realize that something is

actually happening. That is the power of science and the beauty of discovery.” Everhart’s next step took her to the University of Georgia to pursue a Ph.D. Realizing that a small, complex sample size had limited her research in the canopies, she turned her focus to fruit trees, first cherries then peaches. In both instances, she found a new way to collect and analyze data, an electromagnetic digitizer used in virtual reality. Everhart was again in pursuit of “how and why organisms are where they are, though my focus now was on how and why plant disease outbreaks occur. We use genetics to decipher which strain of an organism is causing the disease and use that to figure out why.” Part of her current research looks at how fungicides work to kill fungal disease agents, an area critical to agricultural states such as Nebraska. “Fungicides for plants and antibiotics for humans are similar in attacking pathogens,” she said. Understanding how fungicides work is critical. If too little fungicide is used on a plant, remaining pathogens can mutate and develop immunities. It’s similar to why medical doctors require patients, even if they feel better, to complete the entire prescription of antibiotics. She used the Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria as an example. “We used to think E. coli was simply a contamination issue but now we are learning that the microorganism

can live on the surface of the plant rather than being there by chance. Maybe that is how it can be spread.” There’s much research yet to do, said Everhart. “Human and plant pathogens have traditionally been treated separately but now we realize their paths cross.” For now, Everhart is focused less on discovery and more on research and work with graduate students. “I love this area of science because it is at the interface of genetics, statistics and applied science. There are many phenomena in life that are invisible and it is only with the power of a quantitative and/or genetic approach that these phenomena are revealed. My goal is to generate a collective body of knowledge that becomes a lifetime masterpiece.” n

University of Central Missouri Magazine


chimney swifts?

what’s the ideal microclimate for

Challenge Jesse Holmes with the unknown and the odds are, she’ll dive into it. After studying music in high school, she majored in biology as an undergraduate. When she heard about a professor’s research on chimneys swifts, she returned for her master’s. She knew since Missouri Girls State that she loved the UCM campus and, looking at departments as a freshman, was drawn to the field-focused ecology courses. Among her most memorable experiences were field trips to Ambergris Caye in Belize through a summer marine biology course and to Mingo State Park with the herpetology and ornithology classes. “You see organisms you can’t see here,” she said. “They were just amazing fun.” She believed the chimney swift research also would be fun, learning more about birds in general, especially the rapidly disappearing tiny swifts. “These insectivores have been declining for decades but it’s accelerated since the 1980s,” she said. “These birds spend all day flying and only land when they are ready to roost, or sleep, at night unless they are taking care of a nest. It makes them very difficult to study, so any information

we can learn may help find a way to slow, stop or reverse the population declines.” To determine whether microclimate made a difference in what chimneys the birds selected, she collected data from 12 potential roost chimneys. She was grateful to receive the Steven H. Mills and Stephen W. Wilson Research Award in Biological Sciences, which allowed her to purchase more data loggers and expand the number of study sites. The award, established through a gift to the UCM Foundation, honors two long-time biology faculty members: Mills who taught biology for more than three decades and chaired the department and Wilson who joined the faculty in 1982. Holmes had Wilson for several courses and noted, “I’ve always been fascinated with how much he seems to know just off the top of his head.” Holmes would like to reach that point herself some day, planning to pursue a Ph.D., perhaps work at a lab during the summer or find a job with a conservation agency, putting her days studying music performance as a distant note in her past. n

quick facts about chimney sw ifts:

tiny birds have 1) These stocky, cigar-shaped bodies and are classified as aerial insectivores.


Vol. 15, No. 4 | ucmo.edu/ucmmagazine

can’t perch so nest 2) They in vertical walls, such as chimneys, air vents, hollow trees and caves.

fly rapidly with 3) They nearly constant wingbeats, twisting from side to side and banking erratically.

“ chimney swifts select � We concluded that

roost sites with higher relative humidity.

often gather in small are dark brown 4) They 5) They flocks, foraging high above in color and have a towns in late afternoon and evening.

distinctive high chattering call while they fly.

University of Central Missouri Magazine


p hilant h ro p y

Retired Professor Starts Scholarship As a student in the early ’70s and later as a faculty member, Mark Wehrle greatly benefited from his experience at Central Missouri. Now he’s returning that favor, having made a gift through the UCM Foundation to establish the J. Mark Wehrle Scholarship in Sociology and Social Work. Wehrle received a Bachelor of Science in Sociology with honors in 1971 and a Master of Arts in Sociology in 1972, both from UCM. He joined the UCM faculty in 1972. He earned his Ph.D. in Sociology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale in 1982. He served as department chair from 1982-2002 and retired in 2003. “I encourage others to take an active role in UCM’s evolution.”

“I personally owe a large debt of gratitude to the university and to those who comprise it,” Wehrle said. “I have benefited from the countless friendships established with former classmates, colleagues and with the thousands of students who were enrolled in my courses. I encourage others to take an active role in UCM’s evolution by simply extending a helping hand to deserving students as others may have done for them.”


Preservi ng Hi sto ry a n d t h e A rts

Where the Action Is…and Soon Bigger Sound, Too


ix weeks made a big difference in the lives of University of Central Missouri musicians this spring semester. First they performed in New York City in Carnegie Hall, a legendary concert hall considered the most prestigious venue in the world. Next came a concert in Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, another renowned setting for world-class musicians. Coinciding with that performance was a Day of Giving fundraiser to restore the beauty of the campus’ oldest and largest performance facility, Hendricks Hall. Hendricks Hall has much in common with Carnegie Hall. Over time both facilities have shown their age and depended upon external support to be saved. That happened to Carnegie Hall in the mid 1950s and “only at the 11th hour that the Citizens Committee for Carnegie Hall, headed by Isaac Stern… was able to stop the impending demolition,” according to the building’s online history. Special state legislation allowed New York City to purchase the hall for $5 million and a new nonprofit corporation was formed, thus starting a true publicprivate partnership. That type of partnership—between UCM and alumni—that would restore Hendricks Hall to its original acoustics and beauty was the focus of the Day of Giving on March 29. Similar circumstances surround Hendricks Hall. Since its dedication Oct. 22, 1923, the 1400seat hall has served in a variety of roles, hosting performances by famous entertainers and UCM theatre students, while serving as a dais for university presidents to welcome students and faculty at the beginning of each new school year. For all its hidden location inside the university’s

Vol. 15, No. 4 | ucmo.edu/ucmmagazine

Administration Building, Hendricks Hall has enthralled guests for nearly 100 years. The first stages of the renovation of Hendricks Hall have been completed with new stage curtains and new lighting system. The next phase would restore the ceiling to its original grandeur, extend the stage apron to accommodate large ensembles and the orchestra, and install state-of-the-art sound and projection systems. To take this next step, though, requires the type of partnership that saved Carnegie Hall—generous financial support—in this case, from UCM’s alumni and others who support the arts. “The opportunity to preserve and improve a grand facility such as Hendricks Hall, which holds rich memories for thousands of alumni, community David Cook rocks Hendricks following his American Idol win.

members and friends, is one to be embraced,” said Gersham Nelson, dean of the UCM College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. “The ornate original moldings, cornices and medallions are still there, but they need to be restored. With materials now available, that can be accomplished while preserving, and even improving, the acoustical qualities of the auditorium.” He added, “The message we have received so far is overwhelmingly in support of our effort to preserve this historic facility.” Alumni who wish to make a gift toward Hendricks Hall may go online to the UCM Foundation web site at ucmo.edu/giveonline. Be sure to designate your gift toward the project.

p hilanthro p y

“ This scholarship is a tremendous help and allows me to use the tools I’ve been so eager to work with. I am going to keep drawing, keep sculpting, keep writing and keep fumbling with a camera more often than I ever have.”


consecutive years

Aca de m ic s

Phi lanthro p i c Pa rt n e rs h i p

Be yo n d t h e C l assro o m

‘A Place in History’ Documents NYC Experience

Gift to Rotary Foundation Creates New Scholarship

Grant Encourages Young Aviators, STEM Education

Digital media students Shane Soutter and Brittan Williams have produced a documentary, A Place in History, about the experience of UCM music students performing in New York City’s Carnegie Hall. They produced the film through a new transmedia learning lab, Red Digital Studios, funded in part by a UCM Foundation Opportunity Grant. Transmedia or multimedia storytelling concepts are considered cutting edge with only two other universities in the U.S. offering such programs. KMOS, the university’s public broadcast television station, created the inclusive area for students to produce stories that cover the university as well as the station’s broadcast footprint of 37 midMissouri counties. KMOS has a long tradition as an excellent place for students in media majors to get work experience. Red Digital Studios expands on that legacy by providing more access to content creation workstations and more open time for students to work.

A gift by Warrensburg businessman Lynn Harmon to The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International will provide funding for a partnership between the UCM Foundation and The Rotary Foundation to establish the Duane R. Sterling ScholarshipRotary Program. The scholarship will fund a full year of study every year for an undergraduate or graduate international student at UCM. The scholarship honors Duane R. Sterling, who held a variety of titles during his 32-year career at UCM. He also is a longtime member of the Rotary Club of Warrensburg, serving in several leadership roles, including club president and district governor. Following his retirement from UCM, he served as general manager of The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. “Duane’s commitment to UCM and the principles of Rotary has created many opportunities for young people in the past,” Harmon said. “This scholarship will make it possible for that to continue in a significant manner.”

Boy Scouts and middle school students learned more about aviation and related STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) educational opportunities this past spring at the Max B. Swisher Skyhaven Airport, thanks to a UCM Foundation Opportunity Grant. The grant helped to underwrite costs that allowed hundreds of young adults to experience their first airplane flight and hands-on time with a flight simulator. “These service projects have great value both to the school children, who become excited when they learn about the airport, see the planes, the hangars and the flight simulator, and to our UCM students, who learn the emotional value of making a difference in the lives of others,” said Tony Monetti, assistant dean of aviation and executive director of the airport.

225 Plus


The collective experience of the volunteer members who serve on the UCM Foundation Investment Committee, managing more than $77 billion in assets.

Thanks to smart investment management, the UCM Foundation has increased its endowment payout rate for five consecutive years, reaching $1.3 million in FY17, a three-fold increase since 2012. Simply put: our donors are empowering more students’ dreams.

$ 1 1 2 M i l l i o n i n L i f e t i m e S u pp o r t

— Brendan Minckler, UCM junior and scholarship recipient

This spring, the UCM Foundation reached $112 million in lifetime contributions received and deployed to help students succeed. That’s a long way from the $18,291 raised through the first annual fund drive in 1979, the year the UCM Foundation started.

Do You Have a Plan for Your Estate? Many alumni support the UCM Foundation through their estates, adding a bequest or other planned giving tool such as their individual retirement accounts. Learn how easy and simple it can be to make a planned gift by contacting Joy Mistele, director of planned giving, at 660-543-8000 or mistele@ucmo.edu.

University of Central Missouri Magazine


class notes



Ed “Porky” Schwerdt ’47 attended Central Missouri State Teachers College, as it was then known, under the Navy V-12 program from May 1944 until he was sent to Iowa State University in October 1945 to attend the NROTC program. He was discharged from the Navy in April 1946 and returned to CMSTC to receive his degree in 1947. He married Loretta Schwerdt in June 1948 and worked for the Santa Fe Railroad until his retirement in 1984. They have lived in Topeka, KS, for 61 years. Loretta is now 90, and he is 92. He reports that they are both “still going strong.”

Bonita Butner ’72 has retired after teaching 19 years at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She was awarded emerita status upon her retirement. She was associate professor, program coordinator and division chair of the Educational Leadership, Policy and Foundations area in the UMKC School of Education.

1950–1959 Eleanore (Fisher) ’56 and Bob Martin ’59 have moved to an active retirement complex in Dallas. They live close to their three children and their spouses and three of their four grandchildren. A great-grandson was born in September 2015.

A Lifetime Love of Baseball


Dan Smith ’79 notes his data processing degree has served him well in his career that progressed from being a programmer at McDonnell Douglas to chief executive officer of a mid-size technology firm, Aplifi, in Fort Lauderdale, FL. After selling the company and helping with a successful transition, he has retired to the Destin, FL, area. He is looking forward to spending time with his five children and four grandchildren. James Wilson ’79, ’80 has retired as Director of Ingredient and Formula Operations from the

Busy with a Lifelong Love Having retired from careers with the federal government, two 1973 alumni Charles and Jeanine Wilson, Raymore, MO, are turning a lifelong love of photography into a small business, winning many ribbons and prizes at local and county art shows. The two met as students at UCM; Charles was studying for a political science and sociology degree and Jeanine for a BSED in English and French. They have taken photos traveling around the United States, including zoos, animal reserves, national parks, botanical gardens and more.

Coca-Cola Company. His varied career with Coca-Cola spanned more than 32 years and included such titles as Director of Product Commercialization and Program Management North America and Director of Quality Assurance North America. Jim and Sheila (Fisk) ’80 live in Johns Creek, GA.

Baseball has always dominated Clyde Jones Sr.’s life, from his sandlot playing days in Alton, IL, to his recent induction as the first African American into the Roy Hobbs Baseball Hall of Fame, an organization that honors adult players aged 35 and over. Jones has spent more than half a century as a player, manager and league administrator, starting at a time when Jackie Robinson had barely dented the sport’s color barrier. It was a Sunday tradition in Alton, IL, for AfricanAmerican families to congregate at the local baseball field to watch a game, Jones said. Many had played in the Negro Leagues. “Many of those guys were in their 50s and I was only 15. Some of them couldn’t play that long, so I’d get a chance to go out and pitch.” They called him Young Blood. Jones excelled in high school, then came to UCM in the late 1960s where he played for a couple of years, leaving the team to focus on his academics. In 1971 he completed his BS degree in industrial organization, then served as an officer in the U.S. Navy before building a steady career in business. Along the way, he scouted for the Chicago Cubs and worked in the Oakland A’s front office.

Vol. 15, No. 4 | ucmo.edu/ucmmagazine

Charles and Jeanine Wilson shared some of their favorite photos: Blue Splendor, Hello Lunch, and Mesa Verde National Park.

1980–1989 Gena McCluskey ’84 is retiring after 31 years in education, the most recent five as superintendent of the schools in Moberly, MO. She was interviewed about her career by the Moberly MonitorIndex. She started out as a nursing

He landed in San Francisco where he coached baseball at Armijo High but he missed playing. At age 38, the former pitcher started the Solano Braves, then the Fairfield Masters. He set up a Hall of Fame for the NorCal Oldtimers League, which later transitioned into Roy Hobbs. That kept Jones on the field, and after 18 seasons, he and his NorCal Antiques teammates won the Roy Hobbs World Series in 2012. Three years later, he would be inducted into the Hall of Fame. “It’s not as simple as just playing,” Jones said. “You have to be involved and actively helping to build and promote the league, so it’s quite an honor and accomplishment to be inducted.”

class notes

student but quickly changed her major to education after taking Introduction to Education, which included a lab school. She finished a BSE in Biology and taught 11 years in Cairo, MO, before joining Moberly Middle School as a science teacher. Two years later, she transferred to the high school to teach biology, physical science and her favorite class, chemistry. She then became assistant principal and principal before she moved up to assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, then superintendent. Her parents, both “first-generation” graduates, viewed education as a process of lifelong learning. Steve Ehrhardt ’87 has assumed chairmanship of the 2016 Board of Directors for IHG Owners Association, which represents InterContinental Hotels Group® franchise hotel owners worldwide. Ehrhardt is owner and operator of Ehrhardt Properties and SJS Hospitality, operating 11 hotels in Missouri and Oklahoma, and part of a family business that includes a portfolio of 27 hotels. Included in this mix are numerous hotel companies and three InterContinental Hotel Group brands, seven Candlewood Suites, two Holiday Inn Expresses and a Hotel Indigo under development. Darren Giebler ’89 works with Kessinger Hunter Management Company. His wife, Bridget (Donegan) ’89, works with Cerner Corporation. They have two sons, ages 20 and 17, and reside in Kansas City North.

1990–1999 Fred Liggett ’93 reports he and several other UCM alumni and friends had an amazing experience working inside the press box for the Kansas City Chiefs during the 2015 season and their subsequent playoff run. He was with Jeff Haldiman, Dennis Slusher, John Gagnon, Adam Horn and Fred Guhn. Peggy A. Smith ’94 has founded Collaboration Works, an agency to serve the uninsured and underinsured with medical supplies and equipment. Since achieving nonprofit status in 2002, the agency has experienced

The Real Life of a Brenda Starr Dreamer

Those school girl days from when she dreamed of becoming comic strip heroine reporter Brenda Starr don’t seem all that distant to Linda Brown Navarro. She was recently recognized for 50 years’ service at The Gazette in Colorado Springs, first as a 22-year-old cub reporter on the city court beat and later as a news researcher and lifestyle writer covering nonprofits. Navarro made her way to Colorado initially for a summer job while on break from UCM. She wanted something inspiring and challenging compared to class and took a job in guest services at a guest ranch on the banks of the South Platte River. “People tended to go to Kansas City for a job in the summer, but I wanted to do something totally different. I wanted to go to the mountains,” said Navarro, the daughter and granddaughter of educators. During her free time, she applied for newspaper jobs in Denver and other cities but never received an interview. On the eve of graduating from UCM in 1966, she got a call and job offer from The Gazette. Degree in hand, she pulled up stakes and moved alone to a “small town” with two daily newspapers whose reporters relished going head to head on the clock and gathering for drinks after deadlines were met. “It was a really exciting time to be here and in journalism,” said Navarro, whose first day at the Gazette Telegraph was March 14, 1966. Navarro was the newsroom search engine before Google, tasked with culling resource and historical material for reporters working on projects and banging out deadline stories. She helmed a long-running column, “Did You Ever Wonder?” answering reader questions about the region and played a role in the launch

of signature Gazette products and programs. She saw the paper win two Pulitzer Prizes and survived rounds of layoffs that sent long-time colleagues and veteran journalists packing. Her former editor-in-chief Joe Hight noted that Navarro is rare in today’s digital age. “Staying at the same place with all the challenges that journalism faces today is just incredible,” he said. “You just don’t see that anymore.” Navarro is special, he said. “She has a special way with people.” Navarro continues to blend passion and profession at The Gazette, covering nonprofits and writing the “Around Town” column on a part-time basis. Retirement isn’t yet on the table for the veteran reporter who’s witnessed the industry evolve in leaps, bounds and stumbles. The digital revolution drastically changed how news is delivered and digested, but the role a newspaper plays in a community hasn’t wavered. “Newspapers are the story of your city. It’s who we are.” (Source: Navarro Strikes Gold: Veteran Gazette reporter marks 50 years covering Colorado Springs by Stephanie Earls, March 13, 2016)

University of Central Missouri Magazine


Unforgotten Heroes: The Alamo’s Irish Heritage Phillip Thomas Tucker ’77, ’83 prides himself on uncovering forgotten events and personalities in his history books. Influenced early by two of his UCM professors, Bill Foley and the late Les Anders, he has emerged as one of the most prolific writers of American history in the Washington, D.C. area. In the more than 25 books that he has written or edited, the retired Department of Defense historian has presented many compelling portraits of America’s unsung heroes and heroines, while often dispelling long-held stereotypes of these forgotten individuals. The author specializes in presenting fresh perspectives, while bestowing long-overdue recognition. In the process, he has filled many blanks in the historical record. His just published, The Alamo’s Forgotten Defenders is described as the first book devoted to the story of Irish achievements, contributions and sacrifices in winning Texas’ independence. The book tells the story of the forgotten Irish heroes who fought at the Alamo, a worldwide symbol of the uncompromising fight for freedom. Tucker noted that the Irish were the largest immigrant group at the time in Texas, and that more than a dozen natives of Ireland fought and died at the Alamo, which fell March 6, 1836. In addition, the mission’s garrison were primarily


Vol. 15, No. 4 | ucmo.edu/ucmmagazine



MO. Andrea is a (Advising, ay! aw business analyst at Tutoring, you Monsanto Company, Learning and Eric is a sourcing and Academic manager for Rawlings Support) Sporting Goods. including the Center for Student Success and Annissa Kincaid ’02, ’03 married Advising and the Center for Derek Christeson March 21, 2015. Academic Support. Tim Noland ’08 ’11 has been appointed content marketing director at Callis Integrated Marketing in Andrea Stanley ’00 married Sedalia, MO. The company Eric Scholl on Dec. 11, 2015, has recently expanded its at Chandler Hill Vineyards resources and emphasis in Defiance, MO. The couple on content marketing to better honeymooned in St. Lucia and serve regional, national and currently reside in St. Peters, international clients.



Paul Orscheln ’96, ’98 is now associate vice president for enrollment management and student retention at Missouri Western State University, overseeing the offices of admissions, registrar, and ATLAS

it w



Susan Cooper ’96 was recently interviewed by a Kansas City television station about her star pupil, American Idol seventh season winner David Cook ’06. Cook made several appearances on the final season of American

t h i s fa l l


• co m Idol, including a performance Feb. 18 where he mentored and performed with two Idol hopefuls. Susan was David’s drama teacher at Blue Springs South High School and remembers him for his talent, character and genuineness. Susan teaches theatre and communication classes and directs the plays and musicals at the high school.


substantial growth serving at times 30,000 individuals and families per year. The agency provides donated medical equipment and supplies to the uninsured and low-income people with health needs for free or at cost. This year, Collaboration Works will distribute medical supplies to more than 5,000 people.


class notes


lu mni


soldiers of Scotch-Irish descent, including the famed frontiersman Davy Crockett. Tucker said that historians have routinely misreported Crockett’s ancestry. Crockett’s earliest maternal antecedents were from Ireland’s Munster Province to the south, he explained. Tucker wrote that Crockett’s thrice great grandfather, a French Huguenot, was forced to flee the sunny south of Catholic France because his Protestantism went against the Church. He relocated to the commercial port of Bantry for its connections to France and because the region was Ireland’s warmest. Most history that people know about the Alamo is myth, he said, conjured by generations of Americans to obscure a host of embarrassing realities. “The truth,” he said, “comes from digging as deep as you can.” Tucker is the son of a World War II veteran and the grandson of a Western Front veteran of World War I. He grew up in the suburban community of Florissant, MO, in north St. Louis County near the Missouri River. While working his way through college, the author gained diverse personal experiences from a wide range of occupations including teacher, barge worker on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, court clerk, courier, hospital attendant, roofer, short order cook, farm laborer, driver, restaurant manager and more. After earning his Ph.D. from St. Louis University, he embarked upon his distinguished career with the DoD. “I’ve kind of done a little bit of everything,” said Tucker. “But the common theme is to tell a good historical story and to give people recognition where it is due and bring them to life as much as I can.” His next books look at Alexander Hamilton and the battle of the Little Bighorn.

Shaunda French ’09 has earned a doctor of philosophy from the University of Southern Mississippi and is currently assistant professor of communication at Chadron State College in Nebraska. Ryan Salyer ’09 has joined Colliers International Arkansas as a broker specializing in leasing opportunities. He has a background in construction management, production and quality control, and real estate sales and leasing.

2010–2019 Dan Bridges ’13 is an ambassador for Runwell: The Linda Quirk Foundation, running races and marathons throughout the nation to raise funds for the nonprofit’s treatment centers. He recently presented a check for $1,000 to UCM alumnus Erica Cox ’02, chief juvenile officer for the Pettis County (MO) Juvenile Drug Court, which uses the funds for incentives to encourage participants who are excelling in the program to continue to do well. Megan Boyko ’14 married Herman Alamillo in August 2014 in Oceanside, CA, where they are now residing.

class notes

From Exotic Birds to Missouri Farm

Normally, you find Steven Hilty ’68 looking at birds. The naturalist is a research associate in ornithology at the University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute. For more than 30 years, he also has worked for Victor Emanuel Nature Tours as a birding and natural history guide throughout North and South America as well as India, the Orient and Australasian regions. He’s written several books about birds, including A Guide to the Birds of Colombia, Birds of Venezuela and Birds of Tropical America. Typically, he’s authored scientific papers like when he described two new species of birds or wrote a text for the tanager family in A Handbook of Birds of the World. In his newest book, Dirt, Sweat and Diesel: A Farm in the 21st Century, he tackles a different

subject, providing a rare glimpse into life on a modern Missouri farm that produces grains, grass seed, corn and cattle. Book reviewers say Hinty brings a remarkable attention to detail, given his knowledge and understanding of rural life. “This book is, in many ways, a product of my love of farming and farm life instilled in me by my parents,” said Hinty, who grew up on a farm in western Missouri. With fewer people engaged in agriculture today, it is no surprise that most Americans have little understanding of the challenges that modern farmers face, said Hinty, who spent a year with the farming family. He noted that farming today is technologically complex and requires a broad set of skills that range from soil conservation, animal husbandry and mechanics to knowledge of financial markets and computer technology. When not studying birds, Hinty turns his binoculars toward the skies for stargazing. He lives in Kansas City with his wife, Beverly. They have two daughters.

Awards & Honors William Healey ’70, recreation and sports services director at the University of West Florida, was elected to the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association Board of Directors as the at-large member. He brings an extensive knowledge of the recreation industry to the board, including 42 years working in recreation, a 42-year membership with NIRSA and a list of distinguished accolades decorating his career. Kenneth (Scott) Ervin ’88 has been elected to a three-year term on the Iowa Newspaper Foundation Board. He also is serving his second term as president of the South Hamilton Community School District Foundation in Jewell, IA. He recently received a third place advertising award at the Iowa Newspaper Association convention for weekly

newspapers with circulation under 1,135. Scott and his wife, Paula, a fourth grade teacher, have owned South Hamilton Record-News since 1994. After also purchasing The Stratford Courier, they formed a new company, Heart of Iowa Publishing, Inc. in 2000. Ervin is most interested in keeping newspapers alive and vibrant in a digital world. Todd White ’89 ’95 has been named the superintendent of Blue Valley Schools in Overland Park, KS. White has experience as a superintendent for the Harrisonville School District (2,500 students) and North Kansas City School District (19,500 students) over the last 13 years. He earned the Missouri Superintendent of the Year in 2015 and was named Outstanding Superintendent by the Missouri Association

of School Administrators in 2013. In 2014, he was awarded the Richard Noll Award of Excellence in Government Service by Northland Neighborhoods, Inc. for his understanding that strong neighborhoods build strong schools. White was also named the 2015 Missouri Interscholastic Press Association Administrator of the Year for providing outstanding service to journalism. Jeff McLanahan ’90 is vice president of training at Direct Energy Services in Sarasota, FL. He and his team were recipients of the “Best Use of a Learning Management System” Leadership Excellence Award for 2016. The Leadership Excellence Awards are for outstanding achievements in leadership development programs and activities. Awards were presented during the

LEAD2016 event held at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, TN. The prestigious Leadership Awards salute the world’s top leadership practitioners and programs and highlight their roles in developing their most important asset, their people. Megan Leonard ’10 was inducted into the Purdy (MO) High School Hall of Fame Feb. 12, 2016. She graduated from Purdy in 2005. She helped lead the Lady Eagles softball team to the state tournament in back-to-back seasons during her junior and senior years. Her high school accolades include being named a two-time Ozark 7 Conference Player of the Year and four-time First Team All-State selection. Leonard pitched collegiately for Crowder College in Neosho and for UCM; she was inducted into the UCM Hall of Fame in 2015.

University of Central Missouri Magazine


in memoriam





Joel B. Montague ’35 Eleanor R. (Phillips) Deardorff ’37 Mary L. “Lucille” (Greer) Fette ’37 Genevieve (McCampell) Wagner ’37

Morris R. Tillman ’63 Ruth Y. “Vonnie” (Chappell) Farlow ’64 Maxine L. (Bottcher) Heimsoth ’64 Ronald W. Meyer ’65 Janet K. Steffan ’65 Antonia E. (Jerabek) Bertz ’66 Mildred M. (Wolken) Seck ’66 Ronald G. Freeman ’67 Gary M. Wahrenbrock ’68

Leann K. (Estill) Straatman ’82 Vicki L. Hopwood ’84 JoAnn M. (McFarland) Perusich ’85


Former Students

Michael L. Hough ’70 Susan J. Clay ’71 Jean S. (Stanfield) Berry ’72 Marcena “Marcie” S. Copas ’72 Robert I. King ’72 Michael P. Russell ’74 Robert C. Youngblood ’75 Marsha A. Graef ’76 William E. Nolke ’78 James D. Pirie ’79

Marjorie Dyer Jay D. Ziegler

Arlene M. Benn Shirley A. (Adams) Clark Susan S. Denman Kenneth G. Glazebrook Robert D. Kussman James D. Lubbers William H. Maben Marion B. “Bonner” Mitchell Sylvia G. (Sapp) Noel Joseph “Skip” O’Hara Bernice F. (Rossi) Prost Harold E. “Gene” Self Kenneth A. Stumpf Joseph “Jody” A. Wessing Louis H. Wollenberg

1940–1949 Joyce (Klein) Brottlund ’42

1950–1959 Betty L. (Clark) Budworth ’54 Robert J. Kozuki ’57 Rowena A. Rodabaugh ’57 Vera M. (Moore) Stanley ’58

1990–1999 Christopher T. Cunningham ’91 Mary B. “Beth” (Baker) Winningham ’95

College High Jack W. Jenkins ’36

Monroe Bell

Lew Comer

The Rev. Monroe Bell, of Geneva, IL, died Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015. He was born Dec. 19, 1931, to the Rev. James E. and Helen Monroe Bell. He was an ordained elder and served on the pastoral staff of several churches in Minnesota. He was a former choral music director at Stephens College in Columbia, MO. In retirement he served as an organist and choirmaster. He was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret “Peggy” Bell, and a daughter, Margaret “Margo” Bell. Survivors include a son Jim (Cynthia Bland-Bell) Bell of Elgin, daughter Kate (David Houston) Bell of Syracuse, NY, sisters Mary “Mo” (Lou Jean Moyer) Bell of DeKalb and Katy (Harry) Seidel of Ames, IA, and four grandchildren. Bell helped to establish the Helen Monroe Bell Scholarship in honor of his mother to benefit UCM students who aspire to become elementary school teachers. Memorials are suggested to the scholarship via the UCM Foundation, Smiser Alumni Center, Warrensburg, MO 64093 or to ucmo.edu/giveonline.

James Lewis “Lew” Comer, 91, a 1956 alumnus and former Mules head football coach, died Thursday, Jan. 14, 2015, in Costa Mesa, CA. In his 40-year career as coach, teacher, administrator and athletic director, he was known for his humor, imagination, inspiration and energy. He was born in Texas and grew up in California. After graduating high school, he attended Iola (KS) Junior College on a football scholarship. He served in the U.S. Marines in World War II and married Barbara Seay of Iola, who preceded him in death. After the war, he attended Ft. Hays State University, earning bachelor’s degrees in history and physical education. He also captained the football team and won all conference track honors in the 440. He came to Warrensburg in 1953 to become head football and track coach. His

Plan Now for Our Exciting 2017 Trips 30

Vol. 15, No. 4 | ucmo.edu/ucmmagazine

1956 Mules’ football team gave UCM its first MIAA football title since 1926. The team was inducted into the UCM Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997. Comer also was inducted into the halls of fame at Cal State University Hayward and Cal State University Long Beach. From Warrensburg, Comer moved to New Mexico, serving the Las Cruces public school system as director of physical education. He then joined New Mexico State University and while coaching cross country, earned an Ed.S. degree. In 1963, he became athletic director of Cal State Hayward. He started their football program and developed their intercollegiate program into one of the best on the West Coast. After a year at CSU Bakersfield, he took on the challenge of being athletic director at the NCAA-sanctioned CSU Long Beach. A few years later, he returned to teaching full time until he retired in 1971. Survivors include a brother George of Springfield, MA; four children, Ronald (Betsy), Barbara Marrs (Buck), David, and Daniel (Sandy); 10 grandchildren, 15 greatgrandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild. He donated his body to the Willed Body Program at the University of California Irvine.

Panama Enchantment • Jan. 17–Feb. 2 Timeless Treasures • April 28–May 6 Alaska Charms • July 21–28 Mediterranean Radiance • Oct. 7–17

in memoriam

Harold E. Craven Harold E. Craven, 90, of Warrensburg, died Friday, March 25, 2016, at his home. He was born Jan. 29, 1926, the son of Earl and Mary (Moffitt) Craven in Cowgill, MO. After graduating from Chillicothe Business College with a degree in accounting, Craven worked as an accountant for TWA. He went on to the University of Wisconsin Madison Graduate School of Banking and served Citizens Bank in Warrensburg for 36 years, retiring in 1993. He was a charter member of the Warrensburg Kiwanis Club where he was distinguished with 57 years of perfect attendance and served in many offices including a regional office as lieutenant governor in 1984–85. He received the distinguished International Kiwanis Fellow Foundation Award, Hixson Diamond and Zeller Diamond awards. The Cravens served as volunteers at St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City for 14 years. He and his wife, Dr. Sherralyn D. Craven, UCM professor emerita of math and actuarial science, traveled extensively to all 50 states and seven continents. They established scholarships at Children’s Mercy Hospital for Nurses and for actuarial students at UCM. Their generosity funded the renovation and long-term maintenance of the math commons (room 220) in the W.C. Morris Science Building. Music was important to Craven. He played the piano and organ and was instrumental in leading the Warrensburg Community of Christ Church for a new pipe organ. He also served on the Johnson County Historical Society Board. Survivors include his wife, brother Kenneth (Pat) of Liberty, MO and sister-in-law, Loretta of Lee’s Summit. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Clifford; and sister, Margaret Genevieve Smith. Memorials are suggested to the

Harold & Sherralyn Craven Scholarship Endowment in Actuarial Science by mail to the UCM Foundation, Smiser Alumni Center, Warrensburg, MO 64093 or at ucmo.edu/giveonline.

Lori J. “Lorelei” Gallich Lori J. “Lorelei” Gallich, a former housekeeper at UCM, died Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, at her home in Warsaw, MO. She was born in 1945 in Allentown, PA, to James and Joyce (Yarnall) Culp. Her parents and sister, Marsha Warmkessel, preceded her in death. Survivors are a sister Melody (Wayne Sr.) Wagner of Schnecksville, PA; brother, Michael J. (Joan) Culp of Allentown; companion Rick Boka Sr. of Warsaw; daughter Tabatha (Greg) Welty of Leeton, MO; son Kevin (Ilze) Gallich of Freemansburg, PA; two stepdaughters; and four grandchildren.

Charles T. Lampman Charles T. Lampman, 85, former UCM employee, died Friday, Jan. 8, 2016, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Blue Springs. Lampman worked with UCM Physical Facilities for 28 years. He was born Oct. 28, 1930, in Warrensburg, the son of Henry T. and Flossie (Hoch) Lampman. He married Leta Doris Lones of Leeton in 1958. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; three brothers, Earl, Forrest and Stanley; and two sisters, Wanda Homefelt and Norma Dillon. Survivors include sisters Vietta Begemann of Odessa, Mary (Marcus) Noltensmeyer of Higginsville, Hattie Smith of Sedalia, Dora Alexander of North Kansas City, Christine (John) Detherage of Sedalia and Katherine Anders of Sedalia; two brothers, Everett (Marilyn) Lampman of Mayview and JR (Ruth) Lampman of Blue Springs.

Viola Lively Viola Mildred Lively, 88, of Warrensburg, died Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, at her home. She was born April 10, 1927, the daughter

of Earl Robert Linfield Taylor and Beulah Jane (Freeman) Taylor and grew up in Holden. She married Wilbur Andrew Lively Sr. in 1945. In the mid-1970s, Viola moved to Warrensburg and found employment in the UCM cafeteria department for several years. Survivors include her caretaker Thelma Gant of Warrensburg; four grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, three great-greatgrandchildren, and sister Diane Lee of Lexington, MO. Her husband, sons Wilbur Jr. and William Robert, and a brother, Forrest Taylor, preceded her in death.

Willa Mae McKean Willa Mae (Fellhauer) McKean, 97, of Warrensburg, the university’s first homecoming queen, died Thursday, April 7. She was born Aug. 7, 1918, to John J. and Mary D. Fellhauer in Ladue, MO. Shortly after, the family moved to Blairstown where Willa Mae grew up. She graduated in 1936 from Blairstown High School and completed a B.S. in Education degree from UCM in 1939. In addition to being elected the university’s first homecoming queen in 1938, she was active in student government and worked in the library for her tuition. She returned later in 1968 to finish a master’s degree. After teaching two years at Urich High School, she began teaching at Warrensburg High School in 1941. She taught four different periods of time for 25 years. She taught English, speech, drama and finished her career as librarian. In 1943, she was married to Meryl M. McKean, her high school sweetheart. He preceded her in death after 54 years of marriage. Two sisters, Merle Walker and Hazel Morrison, also preceded in death. Survivors include daughters Mary Kate (Steven) Alkire of Lexington, MO, and Meryl Lin McKean of Leawood, KS, and grandson, Bryan Alkire.

Learn about

upcoming opportunities at ucmo.edu/travel or call (660) 543-8000

University of Central Missouri Magazine


in memoriam

Art Scott, Jr.

Kenneth Stone

Teresa Williams

Arthur David “Art” Scott, Jr., a philanthropist who generously supported his alma mater and the many communities where he lived, died Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. He was born March 13, 1931, in Seattle, WA, to Arthur David Scott, Sr. and Elizabeth (Van Tilborg) Scott. Following high school graduation, he attended Seattle Pacific College, University of Washington, Seattle and University of California at Santa Barbara, majoring in real estate. He served in the U.S. Navy and upon his honorable discharge, worked at McDonnell-Douglas. Eventually he started a real estate business, Central Coast Realty, and became involved in the city of Lompoc, CA, as well as various county and state committees. His accomplishments are many, including mayor of Lompoc, 1971 Man of the Year of Lompoc, Rotary Club, Elks, Chamber of Commerce, president of Lompoc Valley Board of Realtors, California Water Advisory Board, Northern California Power Association, League of California Cities Revenue and Taxation, and California Council on Criminal Justice. In 1978, he moved to Jacksonville, FL, where he married Tricia. When she became sales manager with Merrill Lynch, the couple moved to Kansas City, MO, where Scott became a member of the Society of Exchange Counselors, a national organization of realtors. Upon Tricia’s retirement, they moved to Warrensburg to develop property. He immediately became involved, serving as president of the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce, as a member of the Military Affairs Committee and a board member of the Community Action Council with Whiteman Air Force Base. In addition to his wife, survivors include children Roberta Pickrell, Lila Etter and Lisa (Scott) Snavely, sister Dorciane (Andy) Toth, eight grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and his beloved and constant companion, Sophie. He was preceded in death by a son, Ronald; grandson Zachary Pickrell; and great-granddaughter, Eliana Lorio. Memorials are suggested to the Arthur D. Scott, Jr. Scholarship Endowment through the UCM Foundation, Smiser Alumni Center, Warrensburg, MO 64093 or on the web at ucmo.edu/giveonline.

Kenneth E. “Ken” Stone, 80, of Warrensburg, professor emeritus of accounting, died Saturday, March 19, 2016, after a short bout with cancer. He grew up within 10 miles of Paris, MO, where he was born in 1936 to Albert E. and Lucile (Johnston) Stone. Throughout his early years, he attended a one-room schoolhouse. After completing high school, he entered college at the University of Missouri, where he earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in accountancy. He joined the faculty of UCM in 1969 as an assistant professor and climbed the faculty ranks to full professor in 1983. He taught Intermediate Accounting II and Principles of Managerial Accounting in addition to graduate level Advanced Accounting II and Seminar in Accounting Theory. He chaired the department from 2004 to 2007 and retired after 40 years of service. Ken is survived by his wife, Margaret “Maggie” Stone, UCM director emerita of sponsored programs; twin sons, Erik (Kate) Stone of Columbia and Kevin (Elizabeth) Stone of Boulder, CO, and two grandsons. His parents preceded him in death. Memorials are suggested to the Kenneth E. Stone Scholarship Endowment in Accounting, through the UCM Foundation, Smiser Alumni Center, Warrensburg, MO 64093 or at ucmo.edu/giveonline.

Teresa J. (Carson) Williams, 50, of Kansas City, MO, former grant specialist for the university, died after a short, courageous battle with cancer Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016. She was born Sept. 14, 1965, to Gene Edwin Carson and Hazel Hulda (Schumacher) Carson at Minot AFB, ND. She grew up in Hannibal, MO, and following high school graduation, completed a bachelor’s degree in business marketing at Northeast State Missouri, now Truman State, after which she married John Williams, also a former UCM employee. His deployments with the U.S. Air Force allowed them to travel throughout Europe and the U.S. Being hired as a grants specialist for UCM allowed Williams and her family to move to Warrensburg to be closer to family. As a staff member for the Office of Sponsored Programs, she worked with administrators, faculty and staff throughout the university to obtain external and government funding for projects. She also finished a master’s degree in social gerontology from UCM and eventually taught courses in grant writing. She left UCM in 2014 to become compliance manager at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. Survivors include her husband, sons Nigel of Kansas City, MO and Derek of Warrensburg, adoptive godparents Jim and Linda Piatt of Warrensburg, adoptive brothers and sisters in spirit Todd and Jenny Steward, Grant and Ramona Miller, and Kevin and Jennifer Zielke of Warrensburg and extended family in Hannibal.


Vol. 15, No. 4 | ucmo.edu/ucmmagazine

Block the Sun When Hitting the Road!

Road safety goes beyond seatbelts and airbags. Sunscreen and sunglasses are crucial to road safety as well. To find out how to protect your home and car from more than just sun damage, contact your Liberty Mutual agent. You can also request, a free no-obligation quote. Visit libertymutual.com/ucmo or call 1-800-981-2372

take mo with you this summer

As you travel, be sure to take our Flat MO with you. He’s ready for new adventures in his new student-designed outfit. Use #Flat MO when you share your photos on our Facebook page at /UCMAlumniAssociation. Oh, the places you’ll go when you take along MO.

University of Central Missouri Magazine


P.O. B ox 8 0 0 wa rre n sb u r g , m o 6 4093- 5 038

Stay connected with us through your favorite social media platform at ucmo.edu/social

Mule Nation Grows Stronger with Another

Record Graduation Class

Find out how you can become more involved as a mentor, adviser, volunteer, class speaker and more at ucmo.edu/alumni.