Missouri State University
Arts & Letters Expressions
An online publication for the alumni and friends of the College of Arts and Letters

Debate Bears win 3rd place at national tournament

Missouri State’s debate team won third place at the National Forensic Association’s National Championship Tournament last month.


Students earn individual awards

Other awards included:

  • Joe Hamaker, 4th place in the nation, Lincoln-Douglas Debate
  • Brenden Brower Freeman, National speaker award, 5th place in the nation
  • David Rabbitt, Quarter finalist
  • Clayton Russo, Caitlyn Elizabeth Wicks and Brenden Brower Freeman, double octa-finalists

Join the Debate Bears

The debate team is made up of students from departments across the university. No experience is required. With a student to coach ratio of 4 to 1, each debater receives ample attention from the coaching staff. Debaters are expected to return to campus one week before classes begin in August to prepare for the season.

To sign up or for more information, contact Dr. Eric Morris by email.

Posted in Communication, News, Student Accomplishments, Student News | Leave a comment

Cultural differences: tips, tricks for visiting China and Japan

Missouri State offers several opportunities to study abroad, including Japan and China. Whether you are a student or a typical traveler, there some cultural differences you should know. Plan your study away experience. In Japan, don’t bow like in the movies When visiting Japan, there’s one mistake that most people make when greeting someone, said […]

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Reunion to bring current and former MSU debaters together

The fifth reunion for the Spicer Debate Forum will be celebrated with a series of events May 13 and 14. Participants will be able to visit with past and present coaches, meet current team members and mingle with former teammates.


Schedule of events

Friday, May 13

6 p.m.
Welcome reception with past and present debate coaches
Home of Don and Vicki Stanton in Nixa. Shuttles will be provided.

Saturday, May 14

12 p.m.
Lunch with the current MSU debate team
Meyer Alumni Center 5th Floor

4 p.m.
Optional wine tasting event (Additional cost)
Tower Club 21st Floor

6 p.m.
Reception and dinner
Tower Club 21st Floor

Register for the reunion

Register for the event with the Alumni Association. The registration fee includes all costs except the optional wine tasting.
Alumni and guests: $50 per person
Current MSU students: Free
Optional wine tasting: $50 per person

Give back to the program

You will have the option to donate to the MSU debate program when you register for the reunion. Please know there is no obligation to give, but we do appreciate the support of those who choose to do so.

Contact Information


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COAL invites graduates to lunch reception before commencement

The College of Arts and Letters will host a commencement reception to congratulate graduates. Students and their families are invited to attend the luncheon from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on May 13 at First & Calvary Presbyterian Church on East Cherry Street.



Date: May 13
Time: 3-4:30 p.m.
Location: First & Calvary Presbyterian Church, 820 E. Cherry St.
RSVP: Barb Jones by email or at 417-836-6605
Connect online: #BearGrads


Spring 2016 commencement will take place at JQH Arena that day, with COAL’s ceremony starting at 5 p.m.


10 a.m.

College of Health and Human Services
College of Natural and Applied Sciences
William H. Darr School of Agriculture

1:30 p.m.

College of Business

5 p.m.

College of Arts and Letters
College of Education
College of Humanities and Public Affairs
Global Studies majors

Graduates: Need to know where to get your cap and gown or tips to get through the ceremony? Go to the commencement website.

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Electronic arts seniors screen thesis films at annual showcase

Seniors in the electronic arts program will showcase their culminating works at the Electronic Arts Student Showcase on May 9. The event will feature three senior thesis films and other short, creative work produced by electronic arts students. The senior thesis films include:

Counting to 1000

Good and evil is not always black and white. Detective Callow examines this gray area while investigating a gruesome, botched home robbery attempted by Donny, a low level criminal, and his merciless crew. During an interrogation, Donny and Detective Callow piece together what went wrong with what should have been an easy job, and discover that the intentions of those involved are not at all as they appear.


  • Josh Pfaff, director and writer
  • Samantha Rohde, co-producer
  • Logan Sparlin, creative director
  • Joshua Moore, sound designer
  • Andrew Westmaas, co-producer and sound designer


  • STAR Award for Outstanding Collaboration Program, Missouri State University
  • 2nd place, Student Scriptwriting Competition – Short Subject, 2016 BEA Festival of Media Arts
  • 3rd Place, Student Promotional Video, 2016 BEA Festival of Media Arts
  • Honorable Mention, Dramatic Script, 2016 MBEA Awards

Bad beat

Liz has lived with her abusive father her entire life. From a young age, she has had a power that she cannot control — the supernatural ability to tell if someone is lying. Her father, a Las Vegas pawn shop owner, uses her gift for his own gain in a high stakes poker game that could spell trouble.


  • Ryan Huegerich, writer and director
  • Ben Vossmeyer, producer and sound designer
  • Eric Roberts, special effects and script supervisor


  • Honorable Mention, 2016 BEA Awards


Max, a local DJ, spends his nights headlining nightclubs and concerts in hopes of becoming the next big thing in the trance world. After an unfortunate accident, Max loses his hearing. He has to find a way to cope with his new disability and continue his career.


  • Kong Thao, writer and producer
  • Hillary Huong Vu, visual effects coordinator
  • Vicky Hedgecock, animator
  • Kelly Meyer, co-producer and animator
  • Colin Robertson, score composer
  • Alex Lee, composer

See the films and hear from filmmakers

17th Annual Electronic Arts Student Showcase

When: May 9, 7-9 p.m.
Where: Plaster Student Union Theater
Admission: Free and open to the public


Posted in Electronic Arts, Media Journalism & Film, News | Leave a comment

Students learn about storytelling in media intersession course

Students who want to analyze contemporary movies and TV shows for credit this summer should check out the summer summer intersession course, MED 300: Storytelling Across All Media.

Rich Amberg, assistant professor in media, journalism and film, will teach the class, which runs from May 16 to June 3.


Learn how story models work across media

Rich-AmbergAmberg said students will learn to apply the fundamentals of storytelling to film, TV, web content, new media, and includes both scripted and unscripted content. To do that, they will watch many films and shows, from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” to “Kill Bill” to “The People v. O.J. Simpson.”

“We’ll pull them apart to see how they work in different story models. We’ll then be applying those storytelling skills to all forms of media — news stories, videogames, advertising, social media, documentaries, etc.”

Amberg noted that strong storytelling skills are in high demand in the workforce, but often difficult to find.

Sign up for the class

MED 300: Storytelling Across All Media

May 16 to June 3
Monday-Friday, 1-5 p.m.

Interested students should contact Amberg by email.

Posted in Media Journalism & Film, News | Leave a comment

Students compete in Vicki Stanton showcase on May 2

Students in the Fundamentals of Communication classes will compete in this semester’s Vicki Stanton Public Speaking Showcase on May 2 at the Plaster Student Union Theater.

Finalists in the spring 2015 showcase included Lauren Clausen, Tabitha Carroll, Caitlyn Wicks, Emma Hackett and Kalissa Pitts.

Finalists in the spring 2015 showcase included Lauren Clausen, Tabitha Carroll, Caitlyn Wicks, Emma Hackett and Kalissa Pitts.

What is the Public Speaking Showcase?

Communication faculty choose about 60 participants each semester to present a persuasive speech in front of a panel of judges in two preliminary rounds, competing against up to five other students for the top rankings in the round. The overall top five speakers then compete in the final round, scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.

Winning speech criteria

Students are judged based on speech organization, creation of sound arguments, proving evidential support, creativity, delivery and connection with the audience.

Preliminary judges are communication department instructors and teaching assistants. The final judging panel is comprised of University faculty and community members.

For more information, contact Jerri Lynn Kyle by email or at 417-836-4423.

Want to attend?

Vicki Stanton Public Speaking Showcase

When: May 2, 5:30-7 p.m.
Where: Plaster Student Union Theater
Admission: Free and open to the public
Connect online: #VSPSS16 @VickiStantonPSS

Posted in Announcement, Communication, News, Student Accomplishments | Leave a comment

MFA students explore theme of consumption in exhibit

Students in the Master of Fine Arts, visual studies program is showcasing their work at the Drury on C-Street Gallery on April 29 in an exhibition titled “Consumption.” The reception will be from 6-9 p.m. on April 29.


Who are the artists?

The students include:

  • Judge Bockman
  • Emily Budd
  • Tawn Dickison
  • Maria Gerasimchuk-Djordjevic
  • Shen Hsieh
  • My Luu
  • Todd Reynolds
  • Carla Stine

What can you expect?

The Master of Fıne Arts Program in Visual Studies at Missouri State University currently has eight students, from different backgrounds, countries, and cultures.

As diverse as the students are in their backgrounds, so is their use of media. The vısual studies program encourages different types of approaches and media in the students’ practices and so there is a variety of media in the exhibition including drawing, painting, ceramics, printmaking, photography, digital, and collage.

The creative process, and materials involved in each medium, interacts with the concept of “Consumption” in varied ways. The interplay between media processes and the idea of consumption also expands meaning in this exhibition.

Want to see it?

Springfield Exhibition

April 29
6-9 p.m.
Drury on C-Street Gallery
233 E. Commercial Street

Posted in Art + Design, News, Student Accomplishments | Leave a comment

BFA seniors showcase work at Brick City Gallery

Nineteen seniors majoring in studio art will exhibit their work at Brick City Gallery April 27-May 10.


Whose work is in the exhibit?

Students include:

Renee Alston, Dylan Sands, Eleanor Melton, Jessica Ball and Jacob Derryberry

Rebekah Bliss and Seth Hair

Rachael Ramsey, Jennifer Richardson and James Derryberry

Emily Holly

Jessica Holt

Shae Henderson, Rachael Holcomb and Calvin Todd

Samantha Hostler, Shauna Smith, Corey Weiland and Ricky Briggenhorst

Want to see it?


April 27-May 10


May 6, 6 p.m.

Gallery hours

  • Monday – Friday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Saturday: Noon – 5 p.m.

Closed Sundays and University holidays

Posted in Art + Design, Brick City Gallery, News | Leave a comment