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College of Humanities and Public Affairs Blog

MSU Religious Studies Department Hosts Theravāda Buddhism Conference

The Department of Religious Studies at Missouri State University and the Center for Asian Research at Arizona State University hosted a conference in Springfield, Missouri, “Theravāda Civilizations and Their Others,” at the Hotel Vandivort on 1-3 June, 2017. Several scholars of Buddhism from around the country gathered to discuss new works in Theravāda Studies, present papers, collaborate with colleagues, and to engage interested students from Missouri State University in conversations about this emerging academic field of study.

Noted scholars Steven Collins and Nancy Eberhardt opened the conference, followed by several presentations of new works about Theravāda Buddhism in different countries, Buddhist mindfulness and mental health, and Buddhist history and texts. Panels, paper presentations, and discussions filled subsequent days, as well as food and conversation in various Springfield restaurants and venues. Participants left with new ideas and renewed enthusiasm for teaching and research in Theravāda Buddhist studies.

The Theravāda Civilizations Project Annual Conference is funded by grants from the Henry Luce Foundation and the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation/ACLS Program in Buddhist Studies and supported by the Center for Asian Research at Arizona State University and the Department of Religious Studies at Missouri State University.


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History Alumni Wins Grandy Faculty Award

Shelly Lemons, Associate Professor in History at McKendree University and 1997 MSU graduate (MA in History) was awarded the William Norman Grandy Faculty Award.  This recognition is the highest honor her institution awards.  To see the official press release go to:


Congratulations Dr. Lemons.

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History Per Course Instructor receives Grants

   Congratulations to per course instructor and MSU alumni, Jessica Jordan who has won two grants for teaching social studies:

Jessica explains below:

I am attending a George Washington Teacher Institute at Mount Vernon and will stay on the property this June on full scholarship. The topic is Washington at War: From Soldier to Commander in Chief.

This July I will be attending the Belfur National Conference for Educators at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. I was awarded the Kreamer/Caplan Holocaust Fund grant from Community Foundation of the Ozarks to pay for this conference.

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Successful Spring Break Trip to Haiti

   Lora Hobbs, Religious Studies Senior Instructor, took a group of students to Haiti over spring break.  The students conducted several assessments including intelligence, memory, and spartial reasoning.  Eye tests were given and the Haitian students received glasses.  Madison Dick, a senior Global Studies major, wrote a poem and put it in a video with photos to highlight their trip.

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Victor Matthews Receives Commander’s Award for Public Service

Dr. Victor Matthews, Dean of the College of Humanities and Public Affairs received the Commander’s Award for Public Service. Col. Morgado presented him with the award at a short ceremony in Strong Hall. 

The Bear Battalion is part of CHPA.  As Dean of the College, Dr. Matthews provides regular guidance and mentorship to the Military Science Department.  He has gone out of his way to foster a positive environment and has set the conditions for the Battalion’s success here at MSU.

His continued support, mentorship and example are an inspiration to cadets and cadre alike.  His dedication and service has ensured the continued success of the program.  These efforts are in keeping with the highest traditions of public service, bringing great credit upon Missouri State University, the Black Hawk Brigade, and Cadet Command. 

Congratulations Dr. Matthews.

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Latest Article Published

Victor Matthews, dean of the College of Humanities and Public Affairs has an article, “The Art of Lying in King David’s Court,” which will be included in the May issue of Biblical Theology Bulletin.  The bulletin is published in honor of the late John Pilch.

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Alpha Phi Sigma News

Congratulations to Ivy Yarckow-Brown and the Alpha Phi Sigma crew for their contributions to the recent Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences conference in Kansas City. As many of you know, our Sigma Mu Sigma representatives were up for the presidential slate and missed winning it by just one vote. This is the first time such a new chapter had placed so highly, which is a noteworthy achievement in itself.

Our MSU chapter received some very important recognitions in Kansas City. Kirsten Spangenberg received the $1500 Regina Schearn Scholarship, the most prestigious scholarship awarded by Alpha Phi Sigma (see picture). Ms Yarckow-Brown was named the Alpha Phi Sigma Chapter Advisor of the Year.

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