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Briana considers her Study Away in Chile a great personal investment

Missouri State student Briana Simmons visits the La Moneda Palace in the Republic of Chile.
Missouri State student Briana Simmons visits the La Moneda Palace in the Republic of Chile.

Three blog entries by Briana Simmons chronicle her Study Away experience in Chile (June – July 2014)

Get up! Right now, get up and leave.

Get out of your comfort zone. Escape the places you’ve become all too familiar with. Get out and learn about the world and all it encompasses and be open to all the things you will learn about yourself.

Study Away is much more than going away for a few weeks to discover new places. These discoveries you’ll encounter away from home will be life-changing. Put yourself in an unfamiliar place, with all these strange delicacies, a hard-to-understand language and see what you can accomplish.

Challenge yourself to make it through the day in this strange place. I can guarantee you’ll sleep with a prideful grin.

I spent two months in Santiago, Chile. Two months seems like a short time, but in complete solace you’ll discover rewarding realities about yourself. What seems like just a few weeks turns into an eternity.

Surely the time only begins to progress when you’ve begun to adjust to your new home. Then, you realize it must all come to an end at some point.

Within my first few weeks in Chile, I easily become a “yes woman.” I tried every traditional dish, went to every hot hangout spot and never turned down the opportunity to try something new.

Some things I enjoyed, others I’d rather keep as a one-time thing, but the ultimate lesson in that is that I did it. I have that experience to keep with me forever.

Study Away is a great personal investment.

# # #

While I was in Chile, I was not only able to gain personally and socially from my experiences, but every day I went to work as an associate editor of an online newspaper and digital magazine.

I had the opportunity to edit the stories of journalists from all around the world before their work was published to the website. I also couldn’t resist the urge to write a few stories myself.

My work experiences were different from anything I’d done before at home.

Simmons waves Chilean flag near San José de Maipo
Simmons waves Chilean flag near San José de Maipo

I had to familiarize myself with Chile and learn about the stories that needed to be told in this place. This was the most challenging to do in such a short amount of time.

You’re bound to face challenges in a foreign country, but if you preserve you’ll overcome them as well.

I had to adjust to my new day-to-day lifestyle. I had to learn new currency so I wouldn’t overspend. I consistently used public transportation for the first time in my life.

I ate food I was unfamiliar with every day, and as a picky eater my taste buds didn’t always agree. I was forced to overcome language barriers with local Chileans who use a different dialect in Spanish and speak very fast.

I was out of place, frustrated and homesick at times, but it was worth ever uncomfortable and embarrassing moment.

In our global world, Study Away will help you to accept the lifestyle of others and appreciate your own.

# # #

Have you ever caught the glare of a complete stranger and wondered what their thoughts were as they stared at your clothes, skin or hair?

Perhaps they were judging you for being so different in their space. Have you ever considered maybe just maybe they were simply interested in you and your story?

Chilean fans celebrating a World Cup victory over Spain
Chilean fans celebrating a World Cup victory over Spain

Think about it. When you walk past a person in a wheelchair, a homeless person on the street or a person with the very opposite features than you, you can’t help but look and wonder. I wonder what their story is and what life is like for them.

One thing I learned from my time in Chile is people all around the world care about the same things. We express love, pain and joy in similar ways. I believe we’re all interested in one other whether we’ll openly admit it or not.

Embrace the differences you have with your neighbor. Invite them to get to know you and openly listen to what’ve they endured to make for such great stories.

I was told that traveling abroad would create moments of cultural shock. They were right.

Of course there are selfish reason we do the things we do, but always remember your choices will also affect someone else.

I’ve gained friends from all around the world. I’ve connected with new people from New Zealand, Germany, South Africa, Bermuda, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, France and other parts of the United States.

Undoubtedly, we’ve all impacted the lives of one other.

— Briana Simmons
Senior, Print and Internet Journalism

Simmons at the top of Santa Lucia
Simmons at the top of Santa Lucia
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COAL Homecoming: Master class series brings alumni back to campus to share their crafts

The College of Arts and Letters will be hosting a series of master classes Oct. 16 and 17 as part of its Homecoming event schedule. These classes, presented by COAL alumni in music, art and design, theatre and dance, and media, journalism and film, are open to the public. The schedule is as follows:

Susan LaBarr

Living the Dream – Composing and Publishing Music

Presented by COAL alumna Susan LaBarr, composer (BM 2004; MM 2007)

Susan LaBarr is an active, published composer, with works in print through Santa Barbara Music Company and Morningstar Music. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Music in and a Master of Music in Music Theory in at Missouri State University. In 2011, Susan won the Opus Award for her compositions Two Songs of Love Lost: Forever Gone and At Dawn of Day. This award is selected by members of the Missouri Choral Directors Association. In 2012, Susan served as composer-in-residence for the Chattanooga Girls Choir (TN). More recently, Susan served as the Missouri Composer Laureate, 2012 and 2013, a position selected by the organization Verses and Voices, and chaired by Missouri First Lady, Georganne Nixon. She also works as editor of Walton Music.

Event details

Date: Oct. 16, 4 – 5 p.m.

Location: Plaster Student Union Theater

Matt_RaithelVideo Game Development 

Presented by COAL alumnus Matt Raithel, studio director (Electronic Arts, 2004)

Matt Raithel, studio director at Graphite Lab in St. Louis, helped produced the mobile game app, My Little Pony Party of One, which reached No. 1 ranking in 73 countries by selling over one million downloads in one week (August 3-10). The game was animated primarily by another MSU alum, Matt Stevens (BFA Animation ‘09), under Raithel’s direction. After graduating from Missouri State with a bachelor’s degree in electronic arts, Raithel joined Black Lantern Studios in Springfield, where he served as an art director, director of art and design, vice president of operations and studio president.

Immediately following the class, Raithel will be presenting in the COAL alumni panel, Preparing for that First Professional Job or How I Survived the Biggest Professional Mistake I ever Made!, Friday, Oct. 17 from 1:50 – 2:50 p.m. at Plaster Student Union Theater.

Event details

Date: Oct. 17, 12:20 – 1:40 p.m.

Location: Plaster Student Union Theater

hyche1Contemporary Dance

Presented by COAL alumnus Darrell Hyche II, dancer (BFA, 2013)

In his first year with the St. Louis company Modern American Dance Company, under company director Stacy West, Darrell Hyche II, received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance performance and Bachelor of Science in psychology from Missouri State in 2013 and was a member of the University’s Inertia Dance Company under the direction of Ruth Barnes and Darryl Clark. Hyche has performed with the Springfield Ballet and the Ashleyliane Dance Company. As a scholarship student at the American Dance Festival, he worked with Brenda Daniels, Elizabeth Corbett, Sherone Price and T. Lang. He has also been in repertory works by William Forsythe, Nicholas Leichter and Merce Cunningham. In 2007, MADCO was invited to become the Professional Dance Company in Residence at the prestigious Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center on the campus of University of Missouri St. Louis.

Immediately following the class, Hyche will be presenting in the COAL alumni panel, Preparing for that First Professional Job or How I Survived the Biggest Professional Mistake I ever Made!, Friday, Oct. 17 from 1:50 – 2:50 p.m. at Plaster Student Union Theater.

Event details

Date: Oct. 17, 12:20 – 1:40 p.m.

Location: Art Annex, Room #5, 1045 E Grand Street

coleclosserGraphic Novels and Modern Storytelling

Presented by COAL alumnus Cole Closser, artist, author and illustrator (BFA, 2011)

Cole Closser, a Missouri cartoonist and illustrator of comics and graphic novels, will discuss the creation and publication of his graphic novel “Little Tommy Lost” which was featured in Juxtapoz magazine (August 2013) and named one of the 10 best graphic novels of 2013 by A.V. Club (the Onion). He is a graduate of the Bachelor of Fine Arts in art printmaking and drawing programs at Missouri State University and a Master of Fine Arts from The Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont.

Closser also be attending the COAL Wine and Cheese Alumni Reception later Friday evening, from 5 to 6 p.m., at the Student Exhibition Center where his work is on display.

Event details

Date: Oct. 17, 3 – 4 p.m.

Location: Plaster Student Union Theater

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COAL Homecoming: Alumni will visit campus to give professional advice

In a panel titled, Preparing for that First Professional Job or How I Survived the Biggest Professional Mistake I ever Made!, alumni Matt Raithel, Darrell Hyche II and Monte Kuklenski will offer anecdotes and advice on their respective professions on Friday, Oct. 17, 1:50 – 2:50 p.m. at Plaster Student Union Theater.

 

MattRaithel-blogMatt Raithel

Studio director, Graphite Lab (Electronic Arts, 2004)

Matt Raithel, studio director at Graphite Lab in St. Louis, helped produced the mobile game app, My Little Pony Party of One, which reached No. 1 ranking in 73 countries by selling over one million downloads in one week (Aug. 3-10). The game was animated primarily by another MSU alum, Matt Stevens (BFA Animation ‘09), under Raithel’s direction. After graduating from Missouri State with a bachelor’s degree in electronic arts, Raithel joined Black Lantern Studios in Springfield, where he served as an art director, director of art and design, vice president of operations and studio president.

Immediately preceding the panel, Raithel will be presenting a master class in the PSU Theater, from 12:20 – 1:40 p.m. on video game development.

 

DarrellHyche-blogDarrell Hyche II

Dancer, Modern American Dance Company (BFA, BS 2013)

Darrell Hyche II is in his first year with the St. Louis company MADCO, under company director Stacy West. H received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance performance and Bachelor of Science in psychology from Missouri State in 2013 and was a member of the University’s Inertia Dance Company under the direction of Ruth Barnes and Darryl Clark. Hyche has performed with the Springfield Ballet and the Ashleyliane Dance Company. As a scholarship student at the American Dance Festival, he worked with Brenda Daniels, Elizabeth Corbett, Sherone Price and T. Lang. He has also been in repertory works by William Forsythe, Nicholas Leichter and Merce Cunningham. In 2007, MADCO was invited to become the Professional Dance Company in Residence at the prestigious Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center on the campus of University of Missouri St. Louis.

Immediately preceding the panel, Hyche will be presenting a master class from 12:20 – 1:40 p.m. in the Art Annex, room 5, on contemporary dance.

 

Monte_2161resizedMonte Kuklenski

Senior vice president of facilities and construction, Fox Networks Engineering and Operations (BFA, 1975)

Now a Los Angeles resident, Monte Kuklenski came up during the storied era of Missouri State theatre, sharing the stage with friends John Goodman, Jack Laufer, Tess Harper and Kathleen Turner. After earning a bachelor’s degree in theatre from Missouri State in 1975, he went on to study directing and production at Southern Methodist University, graduating with a master’s degree in 1980 and beginning his career at Fox in 1988.

Later Friday night, Kuklenski will be recognized among the 2014 Bears of Distinction at the Alumni Association awards banquet at the University Plaza Convention Center.

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Film production professional to present training seminar, film screening in November

chaplinDirectors Guild of America member, Ken Chaplin, will be back on campus in November to screen the film he worked on, Ticket Out, and hold a two-day training seminar on film production.

Film screening

The film screening of Ticket Out is free and open to the public. It will be held in the Plaster Student Union Theater on Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. and will include a talkback session afterward.

Training seminar

The training seminar, Beyond the Basics—Film Crew Essentials—hosted by Film Industry Training Seminars, LLC—will be Nov. 8 and 9, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., offering the entire community an opportunity to see behind the scenes of working on a film crew. Registration will be $100 for MSU students and $150 for the general public.

Workshop topics will include: Pre-production, production, defining the director’s team, what is expected the first day, walkie-talkie protocol and etiquette, choreographing background performers, defining positions in other departments, script breakdown, production paperwork, set safety and protocol, resume presentation, interviewing strategies, job search techniques and much more.

FITSAbout Chaplin

Chaplin served as the assistant director on Body of Lies, and has worked hand-in-hand for more than 18 years with directors of the caliber of David Mamet, Terrence Malick, Ang Lee and Ridley Scott. He has wrangled Dustin Hoffman, John Cusack, Woody Harrelson, Sean Penn and Eva Longoria and has worked on the films such as End of Days, Runaway Jur, and The Thin Red Line.

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The Standard nominated for four college press awards

Missouri State’s student-run newspaper, The Standard, has been nominated for four college newspaper awards by the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) in the following categories:

  • Newsmagazine/Special Section Cover—Brent Rinehart’s Spring Welcome cover
  • General News Picture—Erin Snider’s “Urban-Warrior Challenge”
  • House Ad—Brent Rinehart’s ad, “Vote for Best of MSU”
  • Ad/Editorial Supplement—The Standard staff, Back to Campus 2013

Late last month, The Standard’s advertising department was named a finalist by the College Media Association (CMA) in three of its categories: Best Display Ad, Best Online Ad and Best Rate Card/Media Kit. Winners for both award series will be announced at the ACP/CMA Fall National College Media Convention Oct. 29-Nov. 2 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Standard’s advisor, Jack Dimond, will accompany six members of the newspaper staff to the conference where they will join about 2,000 others involved in college media programs, taking part in more than 350 practical and professional learning sessions, from high-profile keynotes to specific, problem-solving breakouts, hands-on workshops and discussion groups. Other convention activities include an exhibit hall with vendors who sell to student media, ACP’s Best of Show contest, receptions, awards convocations, critiques and a newspaper job fair.

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COAL alumna to be honored at Homecoming event

Deidre Goodwin College of Arts and Letters alumna Deidre Goodwin will be recognized among the 2014 Bears of Distinction at the Alumni Association awards banquet during Homecoming. Goodwin has bachelor’s degrees from the departments of theatre and dance and media, journalism and film.

About Goodwin

Since graduating from Missouri State in 1992, the New York City resident has worked in television, film and on Broadway. She has taught dance and musical theater workshops across the country and is among the musical theatre conservatory faculty at the New York Film Academy. In partnership with voice teacher Kim Stern, she created The Broadway Warm-Up, a completely synchronized vocal and dance warm-up for professional performers, and produced a soon-to-be-released accompanying video.

About the Distinguished Bears Dinner and Awards Ceremony

Missouri State University alumni and friends are invited to pay tribute to an exemplary group of Bears for their notable successes. Alumni and former faculty will be honored for their dedication, professional achievements and loyalty to Missouri State. The evening will include a social hour, dinner and entertainment by Missouri State musicians and performers. For further information please contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 417-836-5654.

Date: Friday, Oct. 17, 2014

Time: Social time at 6 p.m.; Dinner at 6:45 p.m.

Location: University Plaza Convention Center, 333 S. John Q. Hammons Pkwy.

Cost: $30 per person. Reservations requested.

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The Standard named as finalist for three national advertising awards

Standard LogoThe advertising department for Missouri State’s student-run newspaper, The Standard, has been named a finalist in the College Media Association‘s Pinnacle Awards for work done during the 2013-2014 school year. The three categories in which they have placed include best display ad, best online ad and best rate card/media kit. Winners will be announced at the 2014 National College Media Convention, Oct. 29-Nov. 2 in Philadelphia.

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Springfield moviegoers to vote on international films in Manhattan Short Film Festival

The department of media, journalism and film will be screening  the 17th Annual Manhattan Short Film Festival Sept. 27, from 6:30 to 10 p.m., at the Plaster Student Union Theater. The event offers the community a chance to join 100,000 viewers across the world to watch and vote on the festival’s 10 finalists, chosen from 589 short film entries across 47 countries.

How does it work?

Viewers will be given a ballot upon arrival that they will fill out at the end of the 10 films, participating in the instantaneous celebration occurring in over 300 cities around the globe during the span of a week. Votes are tallied by each cinema and sent to the festival headquarters. The winner will be announced Oct. 6.

Cost is $10 at the door.

Manhattan Short finalist Rhino Full Throttle, directed by Erik Schmitt, is about a man searching for the soul of a city who encounters an enigmatic young woman who unlocks his heart.
Manhattan Short finalist Rhino Full Throttle, directed by Erik Schmitt, is about a man who, while searching for the soul of a city, encounters an enigmatic young woman.
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New faculty, staff join College of Arts and Letters

Fall 2014 is well underway and as students begin to find their place at the College of Arts and Letters, so do several new faculty and staff. They will be introduced in more depth in the coming weeks, but to get these profiles started, here is a round up of the new faces that can be seen around campus. Let’s give them a big Bear welcome this week!

 

Art and Design

BoultonFunke

Adrienne Boulton-Funke, assistant professor

Adrienne Boulton-Funke completed a Bachelor of Education from the University of Saskatchewan, a Master of Arts in Art Education from the University of British Columbia and is finishing her PhD in Curriculum (Art Education) at UBC. She received the Killam Award for teaching excellence as a graduate teaching assistant. Her research explores contemporary art practices in research and pedagogy through arts-based educational research; she has presented her work nationally and internationally. Boulton-Funke said she wants to help future teachers reimagine curriculum and pedagogy to be able to go beyond the assessment-based learning found in classrooms today. “I hope to develop a methodology of visual inquiry that aims to disrupt our static perceptions of education and through arts-based inquiry and research processes, expand the ways in which we understand and perform curriculum and pedagogy in K-12 art education.”

 

Media, Journalism and Film

Harrison Witt, Assistant Professor

Harrison Witt, assistant professor

Harrison Witt earned a BA in English from the University of Kentucky and an MFA in Film and Video Production from the University of Texas at Austin. In addition to being an award-winning screenwriter and director, Witt brings more than 20 years of professional production experience in cinematography and lighting to the classrooms at MSU. He is eager to build on MJF’s strong foundation in digital film production, which he admired even before signing on as an assistant professor. “I was impressed with the ambition and execution the students brought to their productions. After seeing this work, I wasn’t at all surprised to find the faculty and staff in MJF to be open, energetic, and creative.”

 

 

Music

Cameron F. LaBarr, Director of Choral Studies

Cameron F. LaBarr, director of choral studies

Cameron F. LaBarr comes to the College of Arts and Letters after serving in university choral positions in Tennessee and Texas. He was the founding artistic director and conductor of the Tennessee Chamber Chorus and has been a guest conductor and clinician for institutions and festivals across the United States, Europe, South Africa and China. He’s published articles and reviews in the Choral Journal and The Chorister and also edits a choral series with Santa Barbara Music Publishing. He was recently awarded a fellowship with the International Conductors Exchange Program to Sweden in 2015 and will be among 14 conductors from the United States to participate in the residency. Excited for the changes and additions expected this year, LaBarr encourages students to put themselves out there to see where the world takes them. “I hope to share my professional experiences with our students here on campus, and I plan to get our students out into the world, allowing for strong relationships and greater understanding among cultures.”

 

Modern and Classical Languages

Melanie Kleeschulte, Instructor

Melanie Kleeschulte, instructor

Prior to joining the MCL faculty, Melanie Kleeschulte was a full-time instructor of Spanish at Greenwood Laboratory School. She received her master’s in Spanish Language and Culture from the University of Salamanca in Spain, Master of Arts in Teaching from Missouri State University and Bachelor of Arts in International/ Multicultural Studies and Spanish from Evangel University. Kleeschulte also holds Missouri K-12 certification in Spanish.

 

Vanessa Rodríguez de la Vega, Assistant Professor

Vanessa Rodríguez de la Vega, assistant professor

Vanessa Rodríguez de la Vega received her PhD from Texas Tech University and comes to MSU from Missouri Southern State University. She will be teaching a variety of courses, including introductory Spanish, Spanish Phonetics and Phonology, Spanish Peninsular Literature and more. She said she hopes to inspire Missouri State students this year, “by making them aware about the importance and practicality of studying foreign languages.” Her research focuses on postmodern historical fiction.

 

Theatre and Dance

Melanie Dreyer-Lude, Assistant Professor

Melanie Dreyer-Lude, assistant professor

Melanie Dreyer-Lude is a theatre practitioner and professor of performance, using theatre as a platform for cultural encounters that generate multiple nodes of inquiry. She specializes in international theatre collaboration. Fluent in German, Dreyer-Lude translates and directs contemporary German plays and has directed more than 60 productions throughout the United States, Germany and Turkey. Her continued love of learning and travel has taken her across the world and across disciplines. “I’m a perpetually curious person and I’m always seeking new intersections between theater practice and other disciplines.  I’ve learned about neuroscience, physics, cultural anthropology, business, linguistics, all things German and many things Turkish — all because I was willing to follow my interest into another’s world.”

 

Other staff additions

Katie McMahon, Costume Shop Manager

Katie McMahon, costume shop manager

Katie McMahon is the costume shop manager for the theatre and dance department. She is an alumna of Missouri State University with a BFA in Theatre and an emphasis in technical theatre and costumes. She also worked as a designer and costume shop manager for Tent Theatre.

 

 

Greg Pettus, Distributed User Support Specialist

Greg Pettus, distributed user supports specialist

Greg Pettus served in the Marine Corps before getting a degree in engineering physics from Missouri State. During his time as a student, he was able to start working full-time and has been a distributed user support specialist for 17 years, helping to ensure the technology needed for faculty and students to succeed is in working order. He lives in Springfield with his wife, Julie, and daughters, Reagan and Kenzie.

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International guest scholar to present cross-cultural analysis of ‘Ugly Betty’ TV series, tour MSU facilities

The departments of communication and media, journalism and film will welcome international guest scholar, Dr. Enrique Uribe-Jongbloed, during the week of Sept. 18-22, with a formal research presentation at noon, Sept. 22, in the Plaster Student Union Parliamentary Room, as well as a film screening that night of his documentary, “Rito y Medio,” in the PSU Theater.

In his presentation, the Columbian communication professor will detail his cross-cultural analysis of the television series, Ugly Betty, whose American version was adapted from the Colombian telenovela soap opera, “Yo Soy Betty, La Fea.”

Connecting with Dr. Uribe-Jongbloed

Throughout his visit to Missouri State, Uribe-Jongbloed will also be made available to speak with students and faculty, both formally and informally. On-campus events are as scheduled:

  • Guest scholar office hours: Sept. 18 and 23, 1:30 p.m., Craig Hall 375
  • Class visits: Sept. 18, 9:30-11:20 a.m., MED 466 Advanced Editing; Sept. 19, 2:30-3:20 p.m., COM 307 Gender and Communication
  • Facility tour: Sept. 19, Ozarks News Journal, during production hours
DrEnrique-ECopy
International visiting scholar Dr. Enrique Uribe-Jongbloed will be on campus Sept. 18-22.

About the visiting guest scholar

Uribe-Jongbloed has been on the communication faculty at Universidad de La Sabana for more than seven years, teaching research methods at the undergraduate and postgraduate level. He is currently researching television and other audiovisual adaptations, especially looking at contraflow adaptation (those products from Latin America adapted in the U.S. and Europe), and leading a research group on audiovisual culture. He has also worked on projects involving identity, language and media.

Uribe-Jongbloed holds a BA in film and televisión production from the National University of Colombia, an MA in world heritage studies from the Brandenburg Institute of Technology Cottbus in Germany and a PhD from the department of theatre, film and television studies at Aberystwyth University in Wales.

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