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   Winter 2008

                 receives largest
                 gift in history
                 Page 14
         The Missouri Western Magazine
  is a publication of the University Advancement Office                                                         President’s
                 for alumni and friends of
                                                                                                                   The University’s Christopher S.
            Missouri Western State University
            and the St. Joseph Junior College.

                                                                                                                “Kit” Bond Science and
                                                                                                                Technology Incubator is under
                                                                                                                construction. Western will provide
       Winter 2008 • Volume 6 Number 1

                           Diane Holtz                                                                          support for up to 15 high-technol-
                                                                           Dear Friends,                        ogy firms in the incubator, and

                                                                              In 1971, Professor Evan           our students will have more
                        Kendy Jones ’95                                    Agenstein wrote to the St. Joseph    opportunities to apply what they
                         Design Editor

                                                                           News-Press that we should “keep      learn in the classroom to “real
                 Kristy Hill ’95                                           the magic circle of learning at      life” business and industrial
   Director of Public Relations and Marketing

                                                                           Missouri Western inclusive rather    solutions (page 7).
                     Colleen Kowich
                                                                           than exclusive, where respect for       As the number of students
                                                                           the individual is given priority,    majoring in science and
               Director of Alumni Services

                                                                           and all may learn the meaning of     mathematics continues to increase
                                                                           the words – integrity, honesty,      at Western (enrollment has almost
                Jason Horn ’95, President                                  reliability, and hope.” (page 18.)   tripled since 1969), we will break
                      Alumni Board

            Greg VerMulm ’89, Vice President
               Diane Hook ’90, Secretary                                      More than three decades           ground for the renovation and
                                                                           later, we at Western continue        expansion of Agenstein Hall.
Shelby Coxon ’99, Jeanne Daffron ’75, Carole Dunn                          to provide our students with         Funded by a $30.1 million
’91, John Fabsits ’04, Gini Fite ’01, Patrick Grove ’79,
Robin Hammond ’93, James Jeffers ’73, Linda Kerner                         an education that is inclusive       appropriation from the state
’73, Randy Klein ’78, Sharon Kosek ’77, David Lau                          rather than exclusive. We            of Missouri and a $5 million
’89, Kendell Misemer ’81, Jerry Myers ’71, Nicholas                        respect students, individually       private gift from Wes and Patsy
Parker ’02, Zachary Ramsay ’02, Melissa Rewinkel
’93, Ralph Schank ’82, Robert Sigrist ’95, Kris Smith                      and collectively, for their gifts,   Remington of St. Joseph, the
’96, Angie Springs ’02, Mary Vaughan ’79.                                  talents, and abilities. We expect    project will add a second
                                                                           honesty and integrity of our-        building; expand and improve
                                                                           selves and our students. We          laboratory and classroom space;
                   Emil Sechter, President
                                                                           offer the hope of a better future    and create an environment in
                      Foundation Board

                Alfred Purcell, Vice President
                  James Carolus, Secretary                                 through high quality education       which students will be challenged
                   John Wilson, Treasurer                                  for our students.                    to be inclusive rather than
Ted Allison, David Bahner, Cheryl Bilby, Linden                               In fact, our students are         exclusive, to work individually
Black, Drew Brown, Michelle Cebulko ’93, Stephen                           achieving national and interna-      and in teams, and to meet today’s
Cotter ’78, Pat Dillon, R. Todd Ehlert, Esther George                      tional recognition for the quality   scientific challenges (page 15).
’80, Karen Graves, Peter Gray, Stephen Hamilton,
Cindy Hausman, Judith Hausman, John Jarrett,                               of their work. They are partici-        As a result, our students will
Corky Marquart ’84, Steve McCamy, Carol Moya ,                             pating in study away programs        be well prepared for graduate
George Richmond, JL Robertson, LaVell Rucker ’03,                          which focus on serving others, as    study and for work in business,
Lee Sawyer, James Scanlon, Melody Smith ’87,
Loah Stallard, Jon Styslinger, Thomas Watkins,
                                                                           our nursing students did this past   industry, and the professions far
Dan Nicoson, executive director.                                           summer in Honduras (page 4).         into the future. In truth, they will
                                                                           They are also making an impact       be the beneficiaries of the “magic
                                                                           on the St. Joseph community. For     circle of learning” that Western
                     Dirck Clark ’85, Chair
                                                                           example, what started out as a       has provided for students since
                      Board of Governors

                     Patt Lilly, Vice Chair
                                                                           research project focusing on the     its founding in 1915.
  Dan Danford ’78, Lesley Graves, Janet Leachman,                          effectiveness of antibiotics in
         Carol Moya, Tommye Quilty ’96,
        Harold Callaway, student governor.
                                                                           society, turned into a student-led   Yours sincerely,
                                                                           preservation project of Mount
                                                                           Mora Cemetery, a St. Joseph
                                                                           landmark (page 9).
                                                                                                                James J. Scanlon
                 Western Magazine

         4525 Downs Drive, Spratt Hall 106
              St. Joseph, MO 64507
                  (816) 271-5651
         email: holtz@missouriwestern.edu
  Missouri Western State University is an equal opportunity institution.
                                                                  On the cover:

Contents                                        Wes and Patsy ’79 Remington and
                                            Dr. James Scanlon look over plans for
                                                  the renovation and expansion of
                                                  Agenstein Hall. The Remingtons
                                                 donated $5 million to the project.

                                                  Photo: Eric Callow ’97/Double E Images

                        4    Nursing Students Take Skills
                             Way Beyond the Classroom
                             Eleven students and two instructors traveled to Honduras
                             last summer on a medical mission.

                   14        Trading Spaces, Racoon-Style
                             Ever wonder how raccoons select their dens?
                             Students set out last summer to find out.

Departments             14   Western Receives $5 Million Gift;
                             Agenstein Hall Plans Move Forward
                             Western received the largest individual contribution in its history;
 2   Campus News
                             read about the generous couple who donated it and about the
                             plans for the renovation and expansion of Agenstein Hall.
12   Sports
19   Alumni News
                        16   An Array of Achievements
                             The expansion of Agenstein Hall isn’t the only exciting
23   Alumnotes &
                             news from the science and math departments.
     Alumni Profiles

                        29   Alumni Gather for Ag Reunion
                             The closing of the agriculture department was a blow to its

4                            alumni; last fall, they gathered to remember the good times.

    campus news

Master’s programs underway                                                            Two more graduate
      fall, the          launched
Last master ofuniversityscience
  its           applied
                                             for anyone who wants to further
                                                                                      programs approved
(MAS) degree program, and for
the first time in Western’s history,
                                                  She hopes to be a lab manager
                                             and research coordinator someday.
                                                                                      The Missourinew graduate
                                                                                        Board for Higher Education
                                                                                      approved two
graduate students are teaching                    Fifty-one students are enrolled
chemistry labs.                              in the MAS program and the               programs to begin in fall 2008:
     Deb Wright ’07, of Cameron,             graduate certificate in the teaching     a Master of Applied Science
Mo.; Darcie Elder ’07, Gallatin,             of writing program.                      (MAS) in Assessment and a
Mo.; and LeeAnn Schuster ’06,                     Tabatha Proffit ’05, from           Master of Applied Arts (MAA).
of Hiawatha, Kan.; are graduate              Savannah, Mo., is a quality control      Each degree program will
assistants for the chemistry                 chemist at Albaugh Inc. in St.           include two options.
department. They earn a stipend              Joseph, Mo. She enrolled in the               The MAA program will
for the semester and their tuition           program to help advance her career,      prepare students for jobs in
is waived.                                   and is one of five from Albaugh          the rapidly growing Internet
     “It’s a really unique                   in the program.                          design and development
opportunity and I couldn’t pass                   “A master’s degree gives you        industry, and the changing
it up,” said Deb.                            more of an edge in the job market,”      world of journalism. The
     Deb, who was 41 when she                Tabatha said.                            options are integrated media
started her undergraduate studies                 She said the business classes       and convergent media.
at Western, believes that her                that are part of the degree are a             For the MAS in
master’s degree will advance her             huge benefit.                            Assessment, the options will
career five years.                                “I could have put it (getting her   be learning improvement
     “That’s a good thing at my              master’s) off, but unless you take       and writing.
age,” she said with a laugh. “It’s           the challenge, you’ll never get to            “These options will
really going to pay off. It’s a neat         the end,” said Tabatha. “And the         give educators and literacy
program and a good opportunity               end has so many benefits.”               professionals better tools to
                                                                                      assess student learning,” said
                                                                                      Dr. Jeanne Daffron, interim
                                                                                      dean of graduate studies.
                                                                                           Other options may be
                                                                                      added in the future to address
                                                                                      assessment in other professional
                                                                                      fields, such as nonprofits and
                                                                                      health care, Jeanne said.
                                                                                           “The university has a
                                                                                      plan to develop graduate
                                                                                      education needed by our
                                                                                      region and we are pursuing
                                                                                      that plan thoughtfully and
                                                                                      deliberatively,” she said.

    Graduate assistant Darcie Elder ’07, works with a student in the Chemistry 101
    lab she teaches.

2        Western Magazine                                                                                    Winter 2008
                                                                                            campus news

Search for new university president
    screening committee spent the        for prospective candidates. The                    The 20-member screening
A   Fall 2007 semester searching         profile described the university, its         committee includes one student,
for a new president for Western,         accomplishments under current                 four faculty members, two staff
as Dr. James Scanlon announced           president Dr. Scanlon, the challenges         members, four administrators
his retirement last April, effective     facing the next president and the             and nine community members,
June 30, 2008.                           qualifications required.                      including members of the Board
     R.H. Perry & Associates                  “People attending the meetings           of Governors, Foundation Board,
(RHPA), an executive search              expressed a variety of views about            Alumni Association Board and
firm for colleges and universities       Western and its future,” said Patt            Gold Coat Board.
headquartered in Washington,             Lilly, vice chair of the Board of                  “Community representation
D.C., was hired as a consultant          Governors and chair of the 20-                was important to the Board as
to the committee. Dr. Allen E.           member presidential screening                 we talked about how to structure
Koenig, senior consultant with           committee. “Those perspectives were           the committee,” said board chair
RHPA, spent three days on                reflected in the search profile, help-        Dirck Clark ’85. “Western plays
campus in September, meeting             ing us find the best match possible.”         a key role in the educational,
with groups of staff, faculty,                Advertising of the position              social and economic development
administrators, the Board of             began in September as well, and               of the region and we wanted to
Governors and other community            the committee planned to bring                be sure the selection process
members to gather information to         prospective candidates to campus              reflected that.”
create an executive search profile       by year’s end.

Policing Institute
$714,010 grant
   he Missouri Regional
T  Community Policing Institute
(MO-RCPI) at Western now has
a national mission, thanks to a
$714,010 grant from the federal
Department of Justice’s Bureau
of Justice Assistance.
     Working with the 27-member
RCPI national network, the money
will be used to coordinate and
deliver training nationally in
support of efforts to prevent
crime, drug abuse, and violence.
     Since it was founded in 1997,
the institute has facilitated training
sessions and conferences for
more than 700 Missouri law
enforcement agencies, 20,000
law enforcement officers and
                                             Last summer, area elementary and middle school students enjoyed a

6,500 community members.
                                             week of art classes and activities at Artscape, an annual event sponsored
                                             by the Western Institute.

Winter 2008                                                                                            Western Magazine   3

         leven nursing students’ learning experiences
     E   went way beyond the classroom last summer when
     they traveled on a medical mission 1,700 miles from
     home. The students and two instructors set up
     makeshift clinics and treated patients in several
                                                                      Nursing student Jennifer Smith.

     villages in Honduras.                                            Courtney Luke, senior from
          “I fell in love with all the babies,” said Jennifer     Liberty, Mo., said it was quite an
     Smith, senior from Kansas City, Mo. “I would love to         experience working with the
     go back; I feel like we made a difference.”                  dentist since patients just sat in a
          The 12-day adventure was a study of contrasts:          regular plastic chair, and the students
     beautiful beaches and lush scenery along with a two-         shone flashlights in the patients’ mouths.
     hour roadblock while military police broke up a                  Julie Baldwin, assistant professor of
     protest; snuggling adorable newborns along with              nursing who accompanied the students
     gathering funds to enable an elderly man to receive          along with Linda Judah ’82 and ’94, noted
     treatment for his cancerous growth; responding to the        that students had to rethink their first aid
     needs of approximately 2,000 patients along with             lessons at the clinics. For example, in the
     packing and unpacking several totes at seven different       United States we treat a sprained ankle
     makeshift village clinics; making sure to drink bottled      with ice, she said, but in the remote
     water along with teaching Hondurans how to sanitize          Honduran villages, they don’t have ready
     their drinking water.                                        access to ice.
          Senior Megan Jensen, from Nebraska City, Neb.,              Senior Lorie Stephens, of Maryville, Mo.,
     said working in the different stations they set up at        had a great time, and she said the doctors were very
                                     each clinic - medical,       good about giving the Western students hands-on
                                      dental, triage, vision,     experience. “They knew we were there to learn.”
                                      parasite treatment, and         Students also collected toothbrushes, bars of soap
                                      pharmacy - was what         and vitamins before their journey, and they received
                                      she liked the best about    enough to distribute to everyone they treated at the
                                       the experience. She        clinics. Lorie said several organizations and churches
                                       added that it was fun to   from the St. Joseph community donated.
                                        work with the dentist,        Linda, who traveled on a mission trip to Honduras
                                        since that was some-      two years ago, said she hopes the experience will
                                        thing she had never       encourage the students to continue to help the less
                                        .had the opportunity      fortunate.
                                         to do before.                “This is service in an educational realm,” said
                                                                  Linda, executive director of the Social Welfare Board
                                                                  in St. Joseph. “The students get to practice the skills
                                                                  they learned in school, but apply them to someone
                                                                  else’s culture.”

                                                                  Nursing students took their skills a world away when they
                                                                  traveled to Honduras last summer.

     4      Western Magazine                                                                                         Winter 2008
                                                                                  campus news
     Julie said she hopes to repeat
the trip in two years. Honduras
is a good destination, she said,
                                      Student wins big on Wheel of Fortune
because travel costs were
reasonable and there is great
                                            wheel was smaller than she
                                      Thenice. The levelandstresswere
                                         expected. Vanna
                                      very               of
need for medical care there.
                                      incredible, but it was still an
Many of the villages they served
                                      outstanding experience. Those
are three hours from the nearest
                                      were the impressions of Becki
                                      Burrell, a senior elementary
     “I absolutely loved it and
                                      education major from St. Joseph,
would do it again in a heartbeat,”
                                      Mo., who won $10,000 on Wheel
said Julie. “It was amazing
                                      of Fortune last fall.
experiencing the people and the
                                           “It was overwhelming and
culture, and the students were
                                      overstimulating. I’m surprised
                                      people can ever concentrate on the
     The students said they are
                                                                                           Becki Burrell

                                      puzzle - that’s the last thing you’re   shocked by the attention she
ready to go again. They admitted
                                      thinking of,” she said. “I was          received. People she didn’t know
their housing accommodations
                                      shaking the whole time. It was          called to congratulate her, and she
      weren’t as bad as they
                                      very intense.”                          has often overheard people talking
               had expected, and
                                           “But,” she added with a laugh,     about her when she’s shopping.
               they did get a
                                      “I made 10 grand in 20 minutes,              “I had my 15 minutes of fame
              (lukewarm) shower
                                      so I can’t complain.”                   and just 15 minutes is fine with me.”
              every day.
                                           Six shows were filmed at the            She bought some jewelry,
                  “The patients are
                                      Los Angeles studio the day she          her husband bought some wood-
             so grateful, even if
                                      competed. The contestants had           working tools, and the rest of the
             you didn’t help them
                                      to stay in a windowless room the        winnings went to the bank and
            that much,” said
                                      entire morning before they began        “Uncle Sam.”
Megan. “It is so fulfilling.”
                                      filming, but Becki said she enjoyed          “I loved it,” Becki said.
     “Honduras provided a
                                      visiting with the other contestants.    “If you have a chance to do
very rich opportunity and
                                           Once the show aired in             something different, be brave
experience,” said Julie.
                                      September, Becki said she was           and do it!”

                                                                               Donaldson speaks at
                                                                               14th Annual Convocation
                                                                               ABC News veteran Sam Donaldson
                                                                               was the featured speaker at the
                                                                               Convocation on Critical Issues in
                                                                               October, speaking to an audience of
                                                                               approximately 2,500. He also attended
                                                                               a private reception, spoke to about 500
                                                                               people at a dinner and had an informal
                                                                               question‑and‑answer session with
                                                                               about 20 student‑leaders over
                                                                               breakfast. Sam is pictured with
                                                                               Dan Boulware, former Board of
                                                                               Regents president.
    campus news

                                                                                   Campus KUDOS
                                                                                   • Junior Harvey Jackson had his
                                                                                     untitled photo published in the
                                                                                     “Best of College Photography
                                                                                     Annual 2007,” one of five
                                                                                     percent chosen from more
                                                                                     than 38,000 entries.

                                                                                   • Dr. Kelly Henry, associate
                                                                                     professor of psychology, was
                                                                                     named a finalist for the 2007
                                                                                     Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award
                                                                                     for Service-Learning.

                                                                                   • Julie Baldwin, instructor of
                                                                                     nursing, was promoted from
                                                                                     captain to major in the United
                                                                                     States Air Force Reserves.
The 2007 Phonathon callers appreciate all who contributed to the phonathon, held

                                                                                   • Teresa Harris, assistant
in October and November. Contributions to the phonathon support the Annual Fund.

                                                                                     professor of art, had a piece
                                                                                     accepted into the 25th Annual
2007 Outstanding Employees
   ach year, Western honors Outstanding Administrators, Outstanding                  National Small Works
E  Staff Employees and Distinguished Professors. The recipients were                 Exhibition, one of the 75
honored at a dinner with Dr. James Scanlon, Western’s president, and                 chosen from more than
the Board of Governors.                                                              450 entries.

                                                                                   • Anna Smith, junior, in
                           CONGRATULATIONS TO ...
                                         • Dawn Hansen, accountant,
                                                                                     conjunction with Dr. Sandie
• Dr. James MacGregor, assistant           business office
                                                                                     Seeger, assistant professor of
     Distinguished Professor

  professor of history                   • Kathy Kelly, administrative               biology, and Dr. George
                                           coordinator, student development          Patrick from Andrew Taylor
• Beth Wheeler ’77, director of          • Roxanna Lawing ’99, foundation            Still University, had an article
    Outstanding Administrators

  external relations                       accounting director                       published in the journal
                                         • Ken Lewis, locksmith                      Impulse.
• Jeanne Daffron ’75, associate
  vice president of academic and         • Ruby Mayes ’97, systems                 • The four-year programs in
  student affairs                          administrator/programmer,                 construction and electronics
                                           information technology
• Jerry Pickman ’85, director of                                                     engineering technology
  development                            • R.E. Moore, director of                   have been re-accredited
                                           developmental math                        by the Technology
                                         • James Mulder, library supervisor          Accreditation Commission
• Wonda Berry ’84, director of
   Outstanding Staff Employees

                                         • Steve Saffell ’99, math coordina-         of the Accreditation Board
  recreation services                                                                for Engineering and
                                           tor, center for academic support
• Trevor Brown, corporal,                                                            Technology for six years,
  public safety                          • Tim Talbot ’85, adult basic
                                           education teacher - WRDCC                 the maximum allowed by
• Brett Esely ’01, assistant athletic                                                the accrediting organization.
  director - external relations

6       Western Magazine                                                                                    Winter 2008
                                                                              campus news

Incubator rises along interstate
           Christopher S. “Kit”
The newScience and Technology
Incubator is taking shape and is
                                     life sciences training in the region
                                     and beyond. They will move in as
                                     soon as the building is completed.
                                                                            for employers because they
                                                                            would not have to spend as many
                                                                            valuable resources to train new
on track for completion this              Dr. Gary Clapp, president and     employees,” said Gary. “We’ll
summer, and work has begun to        CEO of IIALS, said the institute’s     have a regional impact on
attract tenants. The building is     approximately 3,000 square-feet        economic development.”
located on campus west of            of leased space will include a wet          Gary said the IIALS lab
Interstate 29.                       laboratory, classrooms and             could be used in Western’s
     Dr. Christopher Shove,          offices. He said the lab will be set   master of applied science
executive director and dean of the   up as an industrial lab, which is a    programs and for professional
Western Institute and grant writer   regulated lab environment, and         development for personnel in
for the $2.5 million project, is     Western students will be trained       area industries. Even high school
working to develop seed capital to   on how to work in this type of         students may receive training in
invest in those who would use the    lab setting.                           the lab, and other tenants in the
incubator to develop technology           Gary said although students       incubator will have access to
or a new product.                    are well trained to work in an         the lab as well.
     “If we put in place the seed    academic lab setting, there are             Along with a $2.5 million
capital pool, I’m very confident     differences between the two            grant from the Federal Economic
we will attract small high           types of labs.                         Development Administration and
technology firms from across the          “In a regulated lab               $70,764 from the university’s
United States,” said Christopher.    environment, you are forced to         unrestricted reserves, the IIALS
     One incubator tenant already    work under guidelines from             is funding $125,000 of the cost
committed last spring - the area’s   several federal agencies.” And,        of the incubator. The 25,000-
Institute for Industrial and         he added, the equipment and            square-foot building could serve
Applied Life Sciences (IIALS), a     documentation procedures differ        up to 15 high-technology firms.
joint public/private cooperative     in each type of lab.                        IIALS partners include
                effort to enhance          “We will create a student        Western, the St. Joseph Area
                                                      with high value       Chamber of Commerce, the City
                                                                            of St. Joseph, Buchanan County,
                                                                                            and several area
                                                                                            businesses and
                                                                                            individuals. Gary
                                                                                            has been its
                                                                                            director since
                                                                                            its inception
                                                                                            in February

                                                                                           Western's new science
                                                                                           and technology incubator,
                                                                                           west of I-29 on campus,
                                                                                           is slated to open in the
                                                                                           summer of 2008.

Winter 2008                                                                             Western Magazine       7
          campus news

      Gaining the
      Griffon EDGE
                       for      students
      An opportunityfocusnewWestern’s
         to find out what it means to be
      a Griffon is the       of
      four-day orientation program,
      Griffon Edge.
           Last fall, almost 700 incoming
      freshmen arrived on campus early
      to earn one credit hour and get a
      head start on their college
      experience.                                   Griffon Edge participants had
           Bobbie Delaney, Griffon Edge        a campus tour, learned how to use
                                                                                       Griffon Edge participants help repair

      coordinator, said her favorite part      the library, attended workshops on
                                                                                       concrete steps at the MidCity Excellence

      of the program actually occurs           topics such as campus email and
                                                                                       Center. A day of service in the community

      beyond the four days - she likes         textbooks, and participated in a
                                                                                       was part of the orientation program for

      running into Griffon Edge                Welcome Fair that introduced
                                                                                       the almost 700 new students.

      students throughout the semester,        new students to campus clubs            community for a day, picking up
      and seeing how comfortable,              and organizations.                      14 tons of trash in a 500-block area
      confident and involved they are               As part of Western’s               and performing a variety of tasks
      in campus life. She believes the         commitment to community                 at the MidCity Excellence Center.
      program plays a large role in            service, all Griffon Edge students           New students also watched a
      those results.                           fanned out in the St. Joseph            movie with a diversity theme,
                                                                                       “Freedom Writers,” and
                                                                                       participated in discussion groups
                                                                                       about it. Nationally renowned
Overheard the first few days ...
                                                                                       motivational speaker Joe Martin
                                                 “I’m very excited. I have all my

                                                                                       capped off the program as the
                                            stuff together. I made my bed. I’m ready

                                                                                       featured speaker at the New
                                            to go.” Catherine Williams, freshman,

                                                                                       Student Convocation.
                                            Higginsville, Mo., on move-in day.

                                                                                            “I think it’s (Griffon Edge) a
                                                                                       good place for questions and for
                                                “She’s doing better than me.”

                                                                                       meeting people,” said freshman
                                            Ora Mae Williams, Catherine’s mom.

                                                                                       Christopher Southard of St. Joseph,
                                                 “The people were a lot nicer here
                                                                                       Mo. “I liked seeing the organiza-
                                            (when I visited) than other schools.
                                                                                       tions and how you can get
 Above: The Williams Below: The Stuvers
                                            The people won me over.” Joe Bailey,
                                            freshman, Indianola, Iowa, on why he
                                                                                            Megan Gawatz, also from
                                            chose to attend Western.
                                                                                       St. Joseph, said she liked the
                                                                                        movie they watched.
                                                 “I like the sense of caring the

                                                                                            “It connected to what we were
                                            faculty has for us.” Jasmine Gray,

                                                                                       talking about,” she said.
                                            freshman, St. Louis.

                                                                                            “We had a great group of
                                                                                       students,” said Bobbie. “I’m
                                                “This is our first one going away,

                                                                                       excited to see what they can do
                                            but we’re doing okay.” Cheryl Stuver,

                                                                                       while they are here.”
                                            mother of freshman Ashlee Stuver,
                                            Brookfield, Mo., on move-in day.

      8       Western Magazine                                                                                     Winter 2008
                                                                                   campus news

Western assists historic Mt. Mora Cemetery
Wha t began a s a biology cla ss project ha s blossomed in to a multi-depa rtmen t
effort by studen ts, faculty an d sta ff to help preser ve historic
Moun t Mora Cemetery                  common. The                                       his classes gather
                                      study clearly                                     Geographic Information
in St Joseph, Mo.
    .                                 showed the                                        System (GIS) data for
                                      effectiveness of                                  each gravesite last fall.
       Assistant professor of         modern medi-                                      That information will be
  biology Dr. Sandie Seeger’s         cine, Sandie said,                                available online to make it
  Biology of Aging class last year    and she’s looking                                 easier for people to find
  visited the cemetery to record      for an appropriate                                specific graves when they
  birth and death dates and           journal for the                                   visit the cemetery.
  compare survivorship rates          results to be                                          Another biology
  before and after 1950, when         published.                                        professor will also help
  the use of antibiotics became            But the                                      Mount Mora showcase its
                                      students’ time                                    numerous trees. The
                                      at the cemetery had another result,      cemetery was redesigned by
 $100,000 donation                    according to Sandie - they became        architect W. Angelo Powell in
                                      fascinated by the beauty and history     1872 in the “rural garden
                                      of Mount Mora, a cemetery that           cemetery” style then coming into
 funds scholarships
   he Foundation was
Tsupport scholarshipsthe grant
   recipient of a $100,000
                        for non-
                                      dates to 1851, holds the graves of at
                                      least 400 Civil War veterans and
                                                                               vogue, characterized by a park-like
                                                                               setting with curvilinear roads and
                                                                               beautiful landscaping, said
                                      was named to the National Register
 traditional students. The grant is   of Historic Places last year.            Suzanne Lehr, founder of the
 a gift of the Thanksgiving Fund,          Senior Margaret Justice, the        Mount Mora Preservation &
 a fund of the American               student director of the cemetery         Restoration Association. The
 Endowment Foundation. The            project, suggested creating a Web        plantings included a wide variety
 money was designated for two         site to make people aware of the         of tree species, and Dr. John
 existing nontraditional student      cemetery’s beauty and help preserve      Rushin will help the cemetery
 scholarships.                        it, and Western’s Instructional          obtain state arboretum status by
      “We are grateful to the         Media Center took up the challenge.      collecting GIS data for all the
 donors of the Thanksgiving           Rick Brown, Michelle Ritter and          trees and labeling them.
 Fund for their generosity and        Cindy Wells created a site that               “One of my goals was to
 support of Western,” said Jerry      allows visitors to search for specific   connect Western more closely with
 Pickman ’85, director of             graves. The burial records had           the community,” Margaret said.
 development. “Their gift will        already been computerized by             “I’d like to get even more people
 benefit many nontraditional          volunteers and made available            on campus involved in the project.”
 students.”                           online through a genealogical                 Suzanne said her association
      Nontraditional students are     Web site.                                appreciates the help. “We started
 those who are 25 years or older,          But Western’s Mount Mora            very small, but with great vision,”
 going to college for the first       project didn’t end with the              she said. “With so many people
 time or coming back after an         development of the Web site.             now involved and with the
 absence, or who do not conform       Dr. Cary Chevalier, associate            support of Western we can
 to the definition of a traditional   professor of biology, had one of         reach our goals.”

Winter 2008                                                                                  Western Magazine     9

          Trading spaces,                                                 ra c
                                                        named them - Rocky, Bandit and RJ.
                                                             A lot of research time was spent
              If you’ ve ever
               considered buying a                      tracking the animals to their dens. Once
                                                        they found the dens, they marked the
                                                        coordinates of the den, thanks to a GPS
             home, you’ ve probably
             heard the old realtor                      (Global Positioning Systems) unit.
                                                             The students then spent many
                                                        days returning to the dens (GPS
             adage about the three
                                                        made finding them again easy), and
             most important things to
                                                        measuring 22 variables of the den site,
                                                        such as distance from water, type of
             consider: “ Location,
                                                        den (under a bush, in brush, etc.),
             location, location.”
                  Well, last summer, as part of the     height of den from the ground, distance
             Summer Research Institute (see next        to the nearest tree, number of potential
             page), a team of one Western student,      sites in the area, and canopy cover.
             Steve Hellstrom; and three high school          By the end of the research, students
             students, Laura Kukuc, Stephanie           had discovered 30 dens that the three
             Longe and Heather Slawson; set out to      males had inhabited and measured
             determine if raccoons feel the same        variables at 15 of them. Bandit, it
             way about the location of their homes,     seems, liked to call several places
             er, dens, as humans do.                    “home,” but Rocky and RJ were
                  The students, under the direction     content with fewer abodes.
             of Dr. Cary Chevalier, associate                The students also selected random
             professor of biology, spent several        alternate den sites close to the
             weeks researching the dens of the little   raccoons’ choices and measured the
             masked mammals to figure out if            22 variables of those sites as well. If
             they really paid attention to certain      the raccoons were merely picking sites
             amenities when they selected their         at random, the team hypothesized, then
             dens, or if their choice was randomly      the measurements of variables between
             made. Unlike humans, where females
             have lots of say in home selection, male
             raccoons choose the dens, so that’s the
                 gender they studied.                     Raccoons
                        Thanks to Western’s 744-acre
                    campus with many wooded areas,
                   the students didn’t have to leave
                                                        “can never
                     campus to find dens. They set
                     up live traps in the woods and         be counted
                   selected three male raccoons from
                the animals captured (they also         on to do the
             trapped a mother opossum and her five
             babies, but they released them). They
             then placed radio collars on the home-
               seekers so they could track them to
                                                         ordinary.                                ”
                  their dens. Oh, and of course they

                                                                                    Winter 2008
c o o n -style                                                Summer Research
                                                              Institute spawns
      the raccoon dens and the alternate sites should
                                                              variety of projects
      show little difference.
          But they found out the ring-tailed creatures
                                                                  he summer of 2007 marked
      can be selective about their dens, as there was
                                                              T   the sixth year for Western’s
      some differentiation between the raccoons’ dens
                                                              Summer Research Institute, and
      and the randomly selected sites. The most
                                                              projects ran the gamut from solar
      important factors seemed to be den height, type
                                                              cell technology, to heavy metal
      of den and number of potential ground dens.
                                                              contamination, to multimedia
          Cary said the research will continue this
                                                              elements to Buddhist coping to
      winter as Western students will measure the
                                                              raccoon tracking (see p. 10).
      variables at the rest of the identified den sites.
                                                                    Dr. Ben Caldwell, associate
          “Den sites for raccoons have been looked
                                                              professor of chemistry, began the
      into at other locations, but not in northwest
                                                              Institute and has served as its director
      Missouri. We know virtually nothing about
                                                              for the past six years. He said the
      what raccoons do on campus or in northwest
                                                              Institute was originally formed to
                                                              bring together Western faculty and
          He noted that raccoons don’t build their own
                                                              students with area high school
      dens, but move into pre-existing ones instead.
                                                              students for meaningful research,
          Laura, now a Western freshman, said she
                                                              and that mission has remained
      was surprised at how much work was actually
                                                              unchanged. Teams usually consist
      involved in the research, but she liked the
                                                              of one faculty member, one Western
      hands-on experience with the raccoons.
                                                              student and two or three high
          “It was a good experience. I like animals
                                                              school students.
      and nature,” said Laura. “I didn’t expect to get
                                                                    After eight weeks of research,
      to work with the raccoons so much.”
                                                              a public symposium is held so
          Stephanie changed her perception of
                                                              teams can display and discuss
      raccoons as “cute and cuddly” after trying to tag
                                                              their projects.
      one of the captured mammals. “Raccoons are
                                                                    “The Summer Research
      violent,” she said.
                                                              Institute provides opportunities
           “But they’re remarkable little critters,”
                                                              for entering freshman and high
      said Steve, a senior biology major. “Raccoons
                                                              school students not ordinarily
      can never be counted on to do the ordinary.”
                                                              available at larger research
      He said tracking them to their dens was
                                                              institutions,” said Ben.
      especially challenging.
          “I wasn’t much of a nature person,” said
      Stephanie. “But I am now.”

      From the top: Heather Slawson and Laura Kukuc
      place radio collars on a raccoon; Steve Hellstrom
      with a GPS unit; Heather and Steve take measurements;
      and Stephanie Longe handles Rocky.

                                                                                     Western Magazine    11
Griff o n S po r ts

                                            Western to host Elite 8 Championships
                                                                                         strong fan base for Division II
                                            Athletics received somehost insti-
       Athletes earn
                                              news last fall when it learned it          women’s basketball.
                                            would once again be the                           “Missouri Western has a
       The early fall sports season
         produced honors for four
       Griffon student-athletes. Western
                                            tution for the NCAA Division II
                                            Women’s Elite Eight Basketball
                                                                                         history of conducting the
                                                                                         tournament and doing a very fine
       volleyball produced three players    Championship                                               job,” said Sandy.
       that were named to All-              in 2009 and                                                “The university also
       Tournament Teams in the month        2010.                                                      has a commitment
       of September: senior middle hitter        Although                                              from the community
       Alyssa Berg, Bellevue, Neb., and     the NCAA Championships                       to get involved. They’ve proven
       freshman outside hitter Meghan       Committee considered multiple                themselves, and the community
       Voelz, Elk Grove, Ill., were both    factors in reviewing all of the bids,        has embraced Division II basket-
       named to the All-Tournament          committee chair Sandy Michael said           ball. We’re looking for that to
       Team of the 2007 Ramada Inn          Western’s central location was key           happen again and to take it to
       Invitational hosted by Western.      to the group’s goal of developing a          another level.”
       Sophomore setter Madison
       Benton, Kansas City, Mo., was
       named to the All-Tournament
       Team of the Cameron
       University/Best Western
       Invitational in Lawton, Okla.
           Alyssa became the 14th
       Griffon volleyball player in
       school history to record over
       1,000 kills for her career in
       October in a match on the road
       at Fort Hays State.
           Senior golfer Aaron
       Lisenbee, Savannah, Mo., won
       the University of Minnesota-
       Crookston Fall Central Region
       Invitational and helped pace the
       Griffons to a tie for second
       as a team.
                                             The athletic Hall of Fame class of 2007, from left, Ricky Lowe ’78, Becky Reichard
                                             ’99, and Bill Stevens ’81, are pictured with Chuck Zimmerman of Wendy’s, the Hall
       New attendance                        of Fame sponsor. Larry Ingram ’86, and the 1975 baseball team were also inducted.
            record 9,007 fans filled
       A   Spratt Stadium as the Griffons
       hosted Northwest Missouri State
                                            Father-son golf winners
       University Sept. 15. The previous
       attendance record of 8,730 was
                                               reshman Landon Hochenauer teamed
                                            Fthe Ozarks thisFlightsummer.Father-Sonwith ahis father, total ofat135, Lake
                                               Jack Nicklaus
                                                                   of the
                                                                                                     Terry, to win the
                                                                                    Golf Championship the
                                                                          The duo had two-day                       nine
       set back in 2005, also against       under par, and won by one stroke.
       Northwest.                              Brad Nurski ’01, and his father, Marty, finished in third place.

       12      Western Magazine                                                                                       Winter 2008
Griff on S p o rts                                                                  campus news
MIAA post-season                      Sweet victory in Pittsburg
                                                                                   The game produced these
March 6-9
                                         had been 23 years since
                                      ItGriffon football squadathadthe
                                      gone into the “jungle” Pittsburg,
                                                                              milestones: the highest ranked
                                                                              opponent Western has defeated on
                                      Kan., and defeated the Gorillas.        the road (#7); the first time the
     ake plans now to support
                                      That year, a defender named             Griffons have ever defeated
     Griffon basketball as the
                                      Jerry Partridge ’86, recovered          Pittsburg State in back-to-back
teams head to Kansas City’s
                                      an onside kick to help seal             seasons; the first time in recent
Municipal Auditorium for the
                                      the victory.                            history Pittsburg State has allowed
2008 MIAA Basketball
                                          Now the all-time coaching           two running backs to rush for
Championships March 6-9.
                                      leader in wins at Western, Jerry        over 100 yards; and only the
     The Griffon women will open
                                      brought his Griffons to Carnie          seventh time in the last 128
action on Thursday while the
                                      Smith Stadium in September and          home games that Pittsburg State
Griffon men begin play on Friday.
                                      beat the Gorillas 39-32.                has been defeated.
Game times will be determined by
order of finish in the conference
and will be available on March 2.
     Watch your alumni e-mails or
                                      Athletics creates Gem Society
go to www.griffonalumni.org for
information on the annual alumni,
                                      Opportunities for femaleand for oftothe athleticwith successfulrecentlyknow
                                         be mentored by them,
                                                                  athletes network

                                      the female athletes, are the goals
                                                                                                      women and
                                                                         women in the community to get to
family and friends social that will   created Gem Society.
be held around the tournament.            The Society kicked off with a luncheon in October which featured
     New this year, alumni            Dr. Charisse Sparks, a local orthopedic surgeon, as the guest speaker. The
chapters from around the league       group plans to host more lunches as well as other activities in the future.
will gather for an official               “I would love to see more women in the campus and community
tournament kick-off event called      involved with our women’s athletic program,” said Jen Bagley, women’s
“MIAA Rally at the Live.” The         softball coach who is spearheading the Society. “It’s important for our
event will take place from 2-6        women athletes to meet successful women.”
p.m. in the new Kansas City
Power & Light District across
the street from the Sprint Center.
Food, beverage and live
entertainment will all be part
of the fun and excitement.
     Tickets for this year’s MIAA
Tournament will be available in
the Western Ticket Office on
Feb. 1. To get your tickets, call

                                             A new floor in the M.O. Looney arena was completed in time for the
                                             volleyball season. The floor was funded by the Max Experience, an
                                             athletic fee that was approved by the students.

     Western receives $5 million gift
           es Remington dropped out of college as a junior             that today, 1,200 to 1,500 employees in the area are
     W     and worked a variety of jobs for a few years,               employed by Wes’ firms or their successors.
     including road construction, meat delivery and debt                    He currently owns and operates Pete and Mac’s,
     collection. In 1956, he was hired as a sales trainee for          an upscale pet daycare and boarding resort with
     Anchor Serum in St. Joseph, Mo., a plant that                     locations in Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, Texas
     manufactured serum to                                                                 and Arizona.
     prevent cholera in hogs.                                                                   “He enjoyed what he did,” Patsy,
     And there he found his                                                                his wife of almost 55 years, said of
     passion for the animal                                                                Wes’ career. “For him it was about
     health industry.                                                                      playing the game and winning.”
          That more than 50-                                                                    Did Wes agree with his wife’s
     years passion recently led                                                            assessment? “I loved it,” he said
     to a $5 million gift from                                                             fervently. “I feel so fortunate to be in
     Wes and his wife, Patsy                                                               this business.” He added that, up
     ’79, for the renovation and                                                           until the owner of Anchor Serum
     expansion of Agenstein                                                                died, Wes sent him a Christmas
     Hall, home of Western’s                                                               card every year “thanking him for
     science and math depart-                                                              hiring me.”
     ments. It is the largest                                                                   Wes related that when he started
     individual contribution in                                                            in the business, customers that he
     Western’s history.                                                                    called on would ask what type of
                                      Wes and Patsy Remington with Dr. Jim Scanlon,

                                                                                           college degree he had. “I’d tell them,
                                      Western’s president.

“When you get a gift from a world class                                                   ‘I majored in football and I damn
                                                                                          near flunked that,’” he said of his
 industry leader like Wes Remington, that                                                 college career at Northeast Missouri
                                                                                          State (now Truman State).
     is a great commitment to Western and                                                      The $5 million gift, Wes said, is
                                                                                          to ensure that workforce development
                                                                                          in the animal health and life sciences
   to public higher education in Missouri.”
                                                                                          fields will continue in St. Joseph so
                                                                                          the industry can grow even more.
           Dr. Joseph Bragin, provost and vice president of academic & student affairs

          “We are delighted by the generosity of Wes and                    “Patsy and I have always been huge advocates of
     Patsy,” said Dr. James Scanlon, Western’s president.              wanting St. Joseph to grow,” Wes said. “It’s been a
     “Their gift will benefit students, faculty and the region         wonderful place to raise our children. St. Joseph has
     for decades to come.”                                             been good to us.”
          After becoming president of Anchor Serum                          “I really, really like Missouri Western,” Patsy
     (which eventually became Boehringer Ingelheim                     said. “It fills a very great need in St. Joseph. We’ve
     Vetmedica, Inc.) in 1968, Wes started up another                  watched it grow.”
     company for them, and then went on to found or help                    Wes noted that St. Joseph is part of a life sciences
     found “eight or nine” more companies, all relating to             corridor in the region where approximately 38 percent
     animal health. St. Joseph community leaders estimate              of animal health suppliers in the United States

     14       Western Magazine                                                                                          Winter 2008

Agenstein Hall plans move forward
A huge impact on the science and math
programs. A showcase for Western.
Those are phrases people have been using to describe the                 Additionally,
 Evan R. Agenstein Hall expansion and renovation project that      students will gain
is currently underway. Plans have been approved and ground-        pleasant gathering
breaking is scheduled for late spring or early summer.             spaces throughout, and
     “It’s been an exciting process,” said Dr. Jerry Zweerink,     renovations will include           Plans are underway for the
professor of chemistry who serves as faculty shepherd on the       updating classrooms and            renovation and expansion of
project committee. “It’s very exciting to be able to spend more    utilities; and expanding           Agenstein Hall. The new addition
than $30 million on a building. We’ll have a facility that will    office space. In 1969, the         will be named Remington Hall to
take us well into the 21st century.”                               departments had 23                 honor Wes and Patsy Remington.
     Construction plans include building an addition east of the   faculty members. Today
current building that would approximately double its size, and     there are 39, along with three graduate assistants.
then renovating the original building. The project, barring              The Agenstein Hall project has been in the works since
delays, is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2009.           2002, when U.S. Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond secured
     Jerry said the current building, built in 1969, does not      $250,000 in federal funds for Western to work with Project
meet the needs of the growing chemistry, biology, and              Kaleidoscope/National Science Foundation to draw up plans
computer science/mathematics/physics departments.                  for the renovation and expansion. The project remained on the
     “Things were designed for the ’70s,” he said, “and the        state’s capital improvement list since then.
ways we communicate and learn today are drastically different.”          Finally last year, the state released $30.1 million for the
     Laboratory space is not adequate in the current building,     expansion and renovation, and the project received a boost in
and new laboratories will be built in the addition to ensure       October when Wes and Patsy Remington donated $5 million
state-of-the-art ventilation systems and equipment. When           for the project (see page 14).
completed, both faculty and students will have more space to             “It’s been a very positive experience,” Jerry said of the
conduct research.                                                  planning. “People are really excited about it.”

Remingtons, continued from p. 14                                    Other projects included in the capital campaign will
operate. “It’s the largest corridor of animal health                be announced in the near future.
in the world.”                                                          “When you get a gift from a world class industry
     The gift will be added to the $30.1 million                    leader like Wes Remington, that is a great
funding from the state for the Agenstein Hall project               commitment to Western and to public higher
(above), and is the lead gift in a capital campaign that            education in Missouri,” said Dr. Joseph Bragin,
is being planned as part of a comprehensive initiative              provost and vice president of academic and student
called “Beyond Excellence.” The initiative also                     affairs. “This is a recognition of Western’s role in
includes the $2.5 million federal grant for the                     economic and workforce development in the region.”
Christopher S. “Kit” Bond Science and Technology                        “He has vision,” Patsy said of her husband.
Incubator currently under construction on campus.                   “That sums it up.”

Winter 2008                                                                                               Western Magazine         15
     An array of a c h i e v e m

     Research team receives
     $170,000 grant
The expansion & renovation of Agenstein Hall is just a part of
                                                                           In November 2006, Jeff and Todd led a team of
                                                                      students researchers who presented their research
                                                                      results on the pancake problem at the International
                                                                      Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) Jamboree at
                                                                      Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.
          irst it was a pancake problem. Then it was a                They brought home four awards, including first place
          traveling salesperson problem. Whatever the                 for oral presentation.
     next problem may be, the biology and mathematics                      This past November, a second group of eight
     departments now have research funds to work on                   students presented their traveling salesperson results at
     the solutions.                                                   the jamboree. For their contribution of genetic parts
           Last fall, Dr. Jeff Poet, associate professor of math,     and their Web site, poster, and oral presentations, the
     and Dr. Todd Eckdahl, professor of biology, received             team was recognized with gold medal status, the
     the largest National Science Foundation (NSF) research           highest level of participation, along with teams from
     grant in Western’s history - $170,000 - to fund under-           Cal Tech, Cambridge, Harvard, Paris, St. Petersburg,
     graduate synthetic biology research for three years.             and Tokyo.
           The grant pays for summer research stipends for                 In addition to the official recognition of gold
     students and faculty, research supplies, travel money            medal status, several faculty from other institutions
     for all participants to three conferences per year and           encouraged the team to publish their work, and they
     funding to bring a renowned leader in synthetic                  are currently making plans to prepare a manuscript
     biology to campus.                                               for submission to a scientific journal.
           “This grant is going to allow us to stay at the front of        A third team from Western has begun brain-
     the pack in synthetic biology,” said Jeff. “It’s exciting that   storming and investigating ideas for its 2008 jamboree
     it is going to go on for at least three years.”                  research project.
           And what does all this have to do with pancakes                 Jeff and Todd said one of the great things about
     and a traveling salesperson? They are mathematical               the grant and the research is the collaboration between
     problems, said Jeff, and Western students are engaging           the math and biology departments.

      One of the great things
     in the groundbreaking field of synthetic biology to                   They believe there is a critical need to train future
     design, model and build bacterial computers using                research scientists to collaborate between the two
     E Coli bacteria to solve those types of problems.                disciplines. “This research will help cross train the

     about the grant and the
                                                                      students; all biology students will get more math,
                                                                      and vice versa,” said Jeff.

 research is the collaboration
                                                                            But the collaboration aspect is much greater
                                                                      than just between two departments: Western
                                                                      researchers have been conducting joint research

       between the math and
                                                                      with students and faculty at Davidson College in
                                                                      Davidson, N.C., since they began research on the

        biology departments.
                                                                      pancake problem. At the 2007 iGEM jamboree, the
                                                                      two institutions entered the competition as one team.
                                                                           Additionally, Western and Davidson applied
                                                                      jointly for the grant, asking NSF to accept both
                                                                      or neither, and Davidson received $173,000. The
                                                                      two schools have been holding weekly video-

     16       Western Magazine                                                                                     Winter 2008

the e x c i t i n g n e w s from the science & math departments.
                                                           Alumnus earns wildlife

 conference calls since last fall to discuss their
 next research project.
      “It’s been a great collaboration, and
 we’re thrilled to continue working with
 them,” said Jeff.
      Freshman Lane Heard, from St. Joseph,
 Mo., worked with the 2006 team and attended
                                                                  yan Evans ‘96 and ’06, a field biologist intern working with the

 the jamboree as a high school senior. He was
                                                                  Bureau of Land Management in Newcastle, Wyo., holds the

 the only one from that team on the 2007 iGEM
                                                           distinction of being the first Western graduate to apply for and receive the

 team, and he has continued with the 2008 team.
                                                           associate wildlife biologist certification from the Wildlife Society since the

      “This project was the main reason I came
                                                           biology department began offering the wildlife, conservation and manage-

 here,” Lane said. “It’s interesting and a lot of
                                                           ment degree two years ago.

 fun. We’re doing work that means something.”
                                                                 “This is a profound and major benchmark for Missouri Western,”

      He said he liked collaborating with
                                                           said Dr. Cary Chevalier, associate professor of biology. “I think it’s

 Davidson, too. “We get so much more
                                                           important that the institution celebrate this accomplishment.”

 accomplished. We can share mistakes, and if
                                                                  Cary said the department specifically tailored the curriculum to meet

 we can’t fix it, we can ask Davidson for help.”

                                                                                    “This is a profound and major
                                                           the education requirements of the certification, so he was gratified when a

      “This gives students a chance to design
                                                           reviewer from the Wildlife Society told him that Ryan’s application was the

                                                                                    benchmark for Missouri Western.”
 a lab experiment, perform the experiment,
                                                           best application he had ever received and the easiest for him to approve.

 trouble-shoot any problems and evaluate the
                                                                 “The Wildlife

 results,” said Jeff. “Such work is not typical
                                                           Society takes

 of the undergradate “experience.”
                                                           certification seriously.
                                                           It is not a rubber
                                                           stamp,” said Cary.
                                                                 “The certification Dr. Cary Chevalier, associate professor of biology
                                                           is a great resumé
                                                           builder,” said Ryan, a native of St. Joseph, Mo. “It sets you apart.”
                                                                 Cary agreed. “If all things are equal between two candidates for the
                                                           same job, the certification is a definite tie-breaker.” Additionally, he
                                                           believes that more and more natural resource management positions will
                                                           require certification in the future.
                                                                 Ryan played baseball his first time as a Western student and earned a
                                                           natural science in biology degree.
                                                                 “I was always interested in conservation and I enjoy the outdoors,”
                                                           Ryan said. “There’s always something new around the corner.” (Like the
                                                           rattlesnake he met in his path one day, he added.)
                                                                 In his current position he is monitoring habitats and conducting
                                                           surveys on five different animal species and writing wildlife survey
                                                           protocols. His ultimate career goal is to work with primates in the wild.
 Freshman Ziao Zhu greets students from Davidson                 Ryan said his Western degrees definitely prepared him for his career,
 College in North Carolina via the web cam as part of      especially after talking to individuals who went to larger institutions.
 the collaboration of synthetic biology research between   “They didn’t get the one-on-one with professors that I did. I was able
 Western and Davidson. During the introductions, Ziao      to get a lot of field work.”
 realized that she had gone to high school in Chegdu,
 Sichuan, China with one of the Davidson students.
                                                                                                         Western Magazine         17

     Agenstein Hall answers
     Two questions have emerged as Western plans for the renovation and expansion of
     Agenstein Hall: Who was Evan R. Agenstein? and What about the animal heads?
     And the answers are ...
                                                                   included, I trust it shall mean we can keep the magic
                                                                   circle of learning at Missouri Western College
     Who was Evan R. Agenstein?
          In June 1971, when the Science and Math                  inclusive rather than exclusive, differentiated rather
     Building was two years old, the Board                                     than identical, where respect for the
     of Regents voted to name it after Evan                                    individual is given priority, and all may
     R. Agenstein, longtime professor and                                      learn the meaning of the words - integrity,
     chair of the mathematics and physics                                      honesty, reliability, hope.”
          “Evan Agenstein was an institution
     and a monument at Missouri Western                                        What about the
     long before the Science and Math
     Building bore his name,” said
                                                                               animal heads?
     Bob Shier ’71. “Evan Agenstein was                                              Gazelle, antelope and moose heads,
     perhaps the warmest, kindest, gentlest,                                    oh my. The question refers, of course,
     most understanding faculty member                                          to the first thing everyone notices when
     I met on campus. He was an excellent                                       they enter the second floor of Agenstein -
     teacher, always ready to help those who                                    32 mounted animal heads - kudus, buffalo,
                                                     Evan R. Agenstein
     didn’t quite master the intricacies of                                     warthog, rhinoceros and more.
     his lectures.”                                                                  Dr. Jerry Zweerink, professor of
          Evan, a Stewartsville, Mo. native,                                    chemistry who is serving on the Agenstein
     earned a bachelor’s degree from                                            project committee, said the heads will
     Northwest Missouri State University                                        continue to be a feature of Agenstein Hall
     and a master’s degree from University                                      even after the renovation. The committee
     of Missouri - Kansas City.                                                 hopes to secure funding to refurbish the
          He was principal and coach at                                         heads and display them in the atrium
     Stewartsville High School, superin-                                        between the original building and the
     tendent of the Stewartsville school                                        addition. “It will be more like a scientific
     district for two years, and math chair                                     display of the animals in their natural
     at Lafayette High School for 17 years                                      habitat,” he said. “It will be a display for
     before joining the St. Joseph Junior                                       educational purposes.”
     College staff in 1958.                                                          The mounted animals were a gift in
          There he served as chair of the                                        the mid-1970s from Harold and Alma
                                                  From the halls of Agenstein

     mathematics and physics department until he retired            Dugdale. Harold was the president of Dugdale
     from Missouri Western College in 1971. He died in              Packing Co. of St. Joseph, Mo., and the Dugdales
     1988 at the age of 78.                                         were well known for their hunting trips. In the 1950s,
          Shortly after the building was named for him,             they went on two six-week African safaris, and they
     Evan wrote a letter to the St. Joseph News-Press. The          also hunted black bear in Alaska. The lion on display
     following is an excerpt from that letter: “Science and         by the east entrance of the Nelle Blum Student Union
     mathematics contribute to the development of talents,          is also from the Dugdales.
     skills and know-how of students. For my name to be                  Harold died in 1970 and Alma died in 2004.

     18       Western Magazine                                                                                   Winter 2008
                                                                                                                             alumni news & events
  From the Alumni Association President
                                            What are you doing Wednesday?        I am excited by the opportunities we
                                      Our alumni chapters in St. Joseph,         have as Western alumni to network with
                                      St. Louis, Kansas City, and mid-Missouri   one another.
                                      began hosting Western Wednesdays                 Chapter activities are not just for
                                      in September. Held on the fourth           alumni in Missouri. Groups are also
                                      Wednesday of each month, we gather         forming in Chicago and Washington, DC.
                                      for fun, friendship, networking and        If you would like to know more or would
                                      Happy Hour.                                like to participate in planning chapter
                                            Western Wednesdays are an            events, the chapter chairs are listed
                                      example of just one program being          on page 22. Or email them at
                                      organized by our growing number of         mwalumni@missouriwestern.edu,
                                      regional alumni chapters. Mary Vaughan     or go to www.griffonalumni.org.
                                      ’79, chair of the Alumni Board’s special
                                      events committee, and all of our chapter
                                      volunteers are working to create           With Griffon Pride,
                                      programs such as Western Wednesdays
            Jason M. Horn ’95         in an effort to connect with as many
      President, Alumni Association   alumni as possible.
                                            With almost 14,000 of us living         Jason M. Horn ’95
                                      between St. Joseph and St. Louis,             President, Alumni Association

10 awarded Alumni Family Scholarships
                                                                           • Spencer Williams, Roland, Iowa;
                  to our 10
Congratulationsthe Alumni Family
   recipients of
Scholarship this year! Listed with
                                        • Linzy Fairman, Cameron, Mo.;
                                          Shelley (Kallenbach) Fairman ’82. Barbara Williams ’86.
                                        • Dansare Lawrence, St. Joseph;            • Ryan Winger, St. Joseph; Virginia
their alumni parents, they include:
                                          Mary Lynn Lawrence.                        (Walgreen) Winger ’77.
• James Aldridge, St. Joseph, Mo.;
  Janice (Wyrick) Aldridge ’74.
• Bethany Barton, Agency, Mo.;
  Donna (Blodgett) Barton ’85.
• Joshua Bennett, St. Joseph;
  Debra (Bennett) Burns ’98.
• Sophie Chleborad, St. Joseph;
  Adrienne (Ziegler) Chleborad ’06.
• Hollie Cook, Hamilton, Mo.;
  Terry ’05 and Leslie ’91, Cook.
• Rhylan Daily, Bethany, Mo.;
  William ’73, and Priscilla
  (Sawyer) ’72, Daily.

                                          Members of the Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority face paint guests at the second
Winter 2008                               annual drive‑in event for alumni and friends, held at Horseshoe Lake Drive In,
Western Magazine                          St. Joseph, Mo.
alumni news & events

                       Alumni Association Distinguished Service Awards 2007

                       W      e celebrated 25 years
                              of distinguished service
                       this year, as the first Alumni
                                                            Edward H. Haffey
                                                                Ed, of Castle Rock, Colo.,
                                                            Class of 1962
                                                                                                    Dr. R.Gregory Downing
                                                                                                         Greg, of Niskayuna, NY,
                                                                                                    Class of 1976

                       Association awards were given        earned an associate degree from         graduated with a bachelor of
                       in 1983. This year, we honored       the St. Joseph Junior College, a        science in chemistry, and earned
                       four alumni, one professor, and      bachelor’s degree from George           his Ph.D. in nuclear chemistry
                        a longtime volunteer and            Washington University in                from the University of Missouri-
                        former employee.                    Washington, DC, and a juris doctor      Rolla. He is a research chemist
                                                            degree from the University of           for the National Institute of
                       Congratulations to:                  Colorado School of Law. He served       Standards and Technology. He
                                                            as a lieutenant in the United States    also serves as a consultant for
                                                            Navy for three years, making two        national and international
                                                            extended deployments to Vietnam.        businesses and governments on
                       MaryJane Fields Schoen
                                                                During more than 35 years of        scientific programs.
                            Mary Jane is an alumna of the
                                                            law practice, Ed specialized in              Greg has nine inventions
                       Class of 1947

                       St. Joseph Junior College as well
                                                            representation of most major            and procedures to his credit, six
                       as a former employee of Western.
                                                            property and casualty insurers          of which have been patented. In
                       After earning an associate degree
                                                            regarding suspected fraudulent          fact, he has invented the highest
                       in 1947, she earned a bachelor’s
                                                            claims activity. He retired in 2005.    resolution imaging device that
                       degree from Northwest Missouri
                                                                “My two years at the Junior         exists in the world today. Greg
                       State University in Maryville,
                                                            College formed the basis for my         has collaborated with scientists
                       and a master’s degree from the
                                                            ability to succeed for the rest of my   across the globe on a number
                       University of Missouri -
                                                            undergraduate studies and later in      of projects.
                       Kansas City.
                                                            law school,” Ed said.                        “I enjoyed it,” Greg said of
                            Mary Jane, of St. Joseph,
                                                                                                    his student experience. “The
                       owned and operated a preschool,
                                                                                                    chemistry teachers were fantastic.
                       opened the first kindergarten for
                                                                                                    It was truly a student supportive
                                                            Tom Norsworthy
                       the Savannah, Mo., school district
                                                                 Tom is the president and CEO       group.”
                       and opened the first all-day
                                                            Class of 1975

                       kindergarten in the area.            of KRM Restaurant Corp., which
                            Mary Jane developed the         owns and operates the 54th Street       Dr. Dennis Rogers
                       early childhood emphasis area for    Grill & Bars. He graduated with a
                       elementary education majors at       bachelor of science in business             Dennis joined Western as an
                                                                                                    Director of Percussion Studies

                       Western and taught here for 20       administration with an emphasis in      adjunct instructor of percussion
                       years. She retired in 1993 but       accounting.                             in 1978 and became a full-time
                       taught part time until 2005. She          Tom, of Kansas City, Mo.,          faculty member in 1979. He was
                       also owns Pigtails ’n Inkwells,      served as president and CEO of a        named director of percussion
                       a teaching supply store in           direct marketing company with 500       studies in 1981, and has
                       St. Joseph.                          employees and $100 million in           developed a highly successful
                            “I appreciated the concern      annual revenue. He now owns             percussion program at Western.
                       shown by instructors while I was a   twelve 54th St. restaurants.                Dennis earned a bachelor of
                       student,” said Mary Jane. “As a           “I had a great education there,”   music - percussion performance,
                       teacher, I tried to remember to      Tom said of Western. “I still           and a master of music -
                       share that same concern, care and    contend they have one of the best       percussion performance from the
                       empathy for my students.”            accounting and finance programs         University of Missouri - Kansas
                                                            in the area.”                           City Conservatory of Music.

                       20     Western Magazine                                                                               Winter 2008
                                                                                                                        alumni news & events
                                                                                          experience program that
                                                                                         was being developed at the
                                                                                         time. George also served as
                                                                                         director of the continuing
                                                                                        education department
                                                                                        and vice president for
                                                                                        development and planning.
                                                                                        He retired in 1984.
                                                                                            He earned a bachelor’s
                                                                                       degree in biology from
                                                                                       Eastern Illinois University, a
                                                                                       master’s degree in education
                                                                                      from Millikin University,
                                                                                      and a doctorate in school
                                                                                      administration from Illinois
                                                                                     State University.
                                                                                          George has volunteered
2007 Distinguished Service Award

                                                                                 and served on many community
Recipients: Dr. R. Gregory Downing ’76, Mary Jane Fields Schoen ’47,

                                                                                 organizations. As a Western
Dr. Dennis Rogers, Dr. George Richmond. Back row: Dr. James Scanlon, Western’s

                                                                                 employee, he was a great
president; Jason Horn, Alumni Association president; and Ed Haffey ’62.

                                                                                 representative of the institution in
Not pictured: Tom Norsworthy ’75.

  He also earned a master of arts -         the tireless devotion and
  adult and continuing education,           commitment of Herb ’35, and          the community, and was a leader
  an educational specialist degree,         Peggy Iffert to Western. The award   in exemplifying Western’s
  and a Ph.D. in curriculum and             is given to an alumnus/alumna,       commitment to community
  instruction from the University of        retiree or other friend of the       service and volunteerism. He is
  Missouri - Kansas City School             university who shows continuous      currently serving his second term
  of Education.                             commitment to Western and its        on the MWSU Foundation Board
       Dennis has been the recipient        mission, vision and legacy.          of Directors.
  of nine merit awards from                                                           “Being involved with a
  Western and four awards from the                                               new college was very exciting
  American Society of Composers,                George began teaching in the     for me,” said George. “I wanted
                                            Dr. George Richmond
  Authors, and Publishers. He has           education department at Western in   to do everything I could to help
  published five books and performs         1969 and became chair in 1970.       it grow.”
  throughout the world.                     As chair, he was involved with
       “I have enjoyed my                   Western’s innovative teacher
  professional life because of my
  students and my peers,” said
  Dennis. “My life and purpose has
  been to mentor my students.”

  The Herb and Peggy Iffert
  Award for Outstanding Service
  to the University was created by
  the Alumni Association Board
  of Directors in 2007 to recognize

  Winter 2008                                                                                  Western Magazine   21
alumni news & events

                            Western                                                                                 IRELAND!
                                                                                                                            Let’s go to

                                                                                           Angie Durbin ’01,
                                                                                                                                      trip to
                                                                                                                      Take a 10-daythe Dublin
                                                                                                                        Ireland with
                                                                                                                      Association! From

                                                                                                                      to Shannon, we’ll see the
                                                                                           Sarah Quinlan ’03,

                                                                                                                      land and tour some of
                                                                                            Kim (Buretta)
                                                                                                                      Ireland’s most historic
                                                                                            Meyer ’02, and
                                                                                                                      sites. Dr. Robert Shell,
                                                                                             Kim Bax ’05 in
                                                                                                                      retired associate professor
                                                                                             St. Loius.
                                                                                                                      of Spanish, will lead
                                                                                                                      the tour.
                            What are you doin’ Wednesday?                                                                  For more information
                                                                                                                      on travel costs and
                                                                                                                      itinerary, contact Colleen
                               he Alumni Association                the state - St. Louis, Mid-Missouri,
                            T  has a cure for the mid-week          Kansas City and St. Joseph.
                                                                                                                      Kowich, director of alumni
                                                                                                                      services, at 816-271-5650.
                            blues - Western Wednesdays!                  Western Wednesdays will continue

                                                                                                                      Hurry! The deadline for a
                            Last fall, the association kicked off   monthly through June and alumni will
                                                                                                                      $200 deposit is March 1,
                                                                    meet at a different location each month.
                                                                                                                      with the remainder due
                            the mid-week socials on the last

                                                                                                                      June 1.
                            Wednesday of each month for alumni      Check out www.griffonalumni.org
                            and friends at four locations across    or call 816-271-5646 for details.

                       Chapter Corner                               Grillin’ with the Griffs
                       The Alumni you are invited to
                          recently established regional
                       chapters, and
                       attend alumni events in your
                       area! In each issue, we’ll let you
                       know of upcoming happenings,or,
                       you can stay informed by checking
                       out the online community -
                            The following are the
                       chairs of each chapter:
                       Mid-Missouri - John Fabsits ’04
                       Kansas City - Gini Fite ’01
                       St. Joseph - Zach Ramsay ’02
                       St. Louis - Mary Vaughan ’79

                                                                    More than 200 alumni and friends gathered at Uncle D’s Sports Bar & Grill for a
                                                                    barbecue before the Western football game against Northwest Missouri State last fall.

                       22         Western Magazine                                                                                            Winter 2008
alumni news & events

                        Teacher is first master’s graduate
                             hen Deb Schwebach ’74, walked across the stage at the                     Deb, a communication arts teacher, department chair,
                        W    spring commencement ceremony in May, she became the
                       university’s first graduate school graduate, earning a certificate
                                                                                                 curriculum coordinator and professional development chair at
                                                                                                 Lathrop R-II High School, has been involved with the PLWP
                       in the teaching of writing.                                               for five or six years, she said. She was immediately interested in
                                                             “It was really nice. I felt very    earning the graduate certificate when it became available, as she
                                                       honored to be the first,” she said.       had already earned hours toward the certificate through PLWP.
                                                             The degree prepares                       “Prairie Lands saved me from teacher burnout,” Deb said.
                                                       teachers to use writing as a              “I went to the Summer Institute and it rejuvenated me. The
                                                       means of improving student                impact has been amazing.” It also turned the wife and mother
                                                       learning, and is offered through          of four children and four stepchildren, and grandmother of
                                                       Western’s Prairie Lands Writing           14 into a huge advocate of professional development. Her
                                                       Project (PLWP), a professional            future goals include focusing more on professional development
                                                       development program for writing           for teachers.
                                                       teachers of all levels. Sixteen                 In addition to her two degrees from Western, she earned a
                                                       students are currently in the             master’s in education administration from Northwest Missouri
                       Deb Schwebach ’74 and ’07. graduate program.                              State University.

                                                                                      As the very foundation of the university’s
                                                                                      fundraising effort, the Western Annual Fund secures opportunities
                                                                                      in areas critical to the learning experience. Students are benefiting
                                                                                      from special lectures, using state-of-the-art equipment, and
                                                                                      traveling to conferences in their field. These opportunities are
                                                                                      due in large part to the support of alumni and friends through
                                                                                      gifts to the Annual Fund.

                                                                                      Help us make the annual fund a success!
                                                                                      Call 816-271-5647 or give online at

                       Tell us what’s new!
                       Name                                                                             Maiden

                       Class of                      Spouse                                                                          Class of

                       Address                                                     City, State                                       Zip

                       Phone                                                       e-mail

                       What’s New

                                          Return to: Alumni Services Office, 4525 Downs Drive, St. Joseph, MO 64507
                       28         Western Magazine                                                                                                     Winter 2008
                                                                                                                                   alumni news & events
Kendell Misemer '81 and Mary Wagner.
Kendell coordinated the agricultural
program's first reunion last September.

                                          This photo, from the 1978 yearbook, shows the Ag Club’s winning float in the

Alumni gather                             Homecoming parade. The club won the float contest for the record fourth year.

                                          Ag Olympics each year for                  “I never heard anyone say it was
for ag reunion                            Homecoming, and of course,                 a good deal. Everybody was
                                          entering a float in the parade.            really upset and hurt.”
     omecoming just hasn’t been                But the ag department was                 Kendell said he hopes to hold
 H    the same since the agriculture      more than an active club, said             more reunions, and a committee
 program closed in the mid-90s;           Kendell. The program was                   of ag alumni is working on ideas
 just ask any ag alumnus.                 only one of two undergraduate              for an agricultural program
      “We always won all the              programs in the nation that                display on campus so the
 (Homecoming) competitions,”              conducted research, and many               department won’t be forgotten.
 said Margo (Wilson) McPhee ’75.          results were published. Each year,
 “We made life miserable for the          the department hosted Farmers
 Greeks.”                                 Field Days to display the research
      Margo, with her husband, Jess       results, and farmers from the
                                                                                     Margo (Wilson) ’75 and Jess ’77 McPhee

 ’77, gathered last September with        four-state area attended.
                                                                                     visit with former ag professor John Duncan.

 about 40 others for the first-ever            Sheep and cattle barns once
 reunion for Western graduates and        dotted the campus along James
 friends of the agriculture program.      McCarthy Drive, and there were
 And sure enough, there at the            more than 200 acres of research
 reunion were giant trophies from         crops.
 the Homecoming parade float                   In 1992, those who had
 contests.                                declared an ag major were allowed
      Kendell Misemer ’82, who            to finish the requirements for the
 organized the reunion, said that         degree, but no more majors were
 when he was a student, the Ag            accepted after that year.
 Club was one of the more active               “It was terribly disappointing
 clubs on campus, sponsoring the          (when it closed),” said Kendell.
Homecoming 2007
  For the third year in a row,
       rain crashed the Homecoming party
        on Saturday. Lightning forced the
  cancellation of the parade and caused a
    two-hour game delay. When the game
          finally started, the Griffons beat
                  Southwest Baptist 49-14.

          New this year was an All-Greek
  Reunion on Friday evening, which was a
   huge hit! Greeks, be sure to mark your
           calendar and join us next year.

        Thanks to all the alumni volunteers
       who helped out during the weekend!

       From the top: Although the parade
     was canceled, students' floats were
 judged on campus: Sigma Sigma Sigma
and Phi Delta Theta Greeks pose by their
floats; alumni enjoy the biology reunion;
    queen Chemia Woods, senior speech
   communication major; two fans in the
       Stadium Club wait for the delayed
       football game to start; and friends
      and family of R. Gregory Downing,
        alumni award recipient, enjoy the
               awards banquet reception.

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