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Missouri Western State College @ St. Joseph, MO 64507

spent in dreaming over the morrow,

The greater part of our lives is

it, too, is consumed in the

and when it comes,


of a brighter


As graduation draws near, many students who are about to leave try to tie up loose ends in hopes of a fresh start. The gn now spotlights some of these students who are at the top of their fields and where their dreams will take them next.

Page 2 • Tuesday, May 2, 2001

Hard work pays off
Tiffani Manley
Guest Writer

Entering college as a freshman, could you ever imagine what it would be like to graduate as your major department’s most outstanding senior? Well, to get an idea you could ask Shana Lombardi––she is. Shana Lombardi is a 22-year-old senior from St. Louis, Mo. Dedication has given her the extreme honor of being the chemistry department’s most outstanding senior. "I really am very fond of the chemistry department," Lombardi said. " I’ve always been interested in science." Lombardi, described by friends as dependable, reliable and a good listener, has always wanted to go to college, but never really wanted anything beyond her bachelor’s degree until she attended Missouri Western. She was put into Chem 111 her freshman year and wasn’t interested in it at first. However, she became fascinated in the math section and decided to stick with it. She will be taking her MCAT in a couple of weeks, after which she would like to take a year off and then either go to medical school or grad school. Most outstanding senior is not the only thing Lombardi has accomplished; she has many other honors under her belt. She has received the Academic Certification Award every year, General Studies Honor’s Award, Departmental Honors Award and she made the President’s lLst once. She is also the secThe feature articles in this graduation insert were written by members of the Basic News Reporting class and the pages were designed by students in the Copy Editing course: Jolene Lyons LaToya Parker Jay Martin Val Halquist Blair Lee Lori Sanders Kyla McKown Heather Scott Audra Marquez Tyree Thomas Mike Bagby The cover and back page were designed by BradHarbold, graphics editor of The Griffon News. The back page photo is courtesy of the Griffon yearbook.

retary of the Alchemist Club, a member of the Student Honors Organization, president of the Pre-Professions Club and she will graduate with a 3.6 GPA. Lombardi has also done some research here on campus. She mentioned that it was a take off on some graduate research her advisor did, called Protein/Protein Interactions. As if that is not outstanding enough, add having presented at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Diego, Calif. One of Lombardi’s strong personal beliefs is hard work, as well as reaffirming what her goals are. "You can’t get something for nothing," Lombardi said. She also attributes her winning this honor not only to hard work, but her biggest support group, her parents. Her parents have always been there for her. They always seem to make it to events to support Lombardi, if they were told a couple weeks or even a couple of days in advance. She mentioned that they allowed her to make her own plans. All they wanted from her was for her to be the best that she could be. It looks like they got what they wished for. The advice Lombardi has for any upcoming freshman is to go ahead and try a couple of science classes to see if you are interested. "There’s a big market for it," Lombardi said. "The science department does a lot of work for students that other departments don’t." Lombardi is currently working at the Northwest Missouri Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center. She would later like to get into nursing and after her husband graduates next year, she plans to move back to St. Louis.

Shana Lombardi works on a chemistry project .

Lombardi File
• Academic Certification Award • General Studies Honor’s Award • President’s List • Secretary of the Alchemist Club • A member of the Student Honors Organization • President of the Pre-Professions Club • Presented at American Chemical Society

Chandler honored as most outstanding
Stacy Fulk
Guest Writer

Imagine standing in front of a crowd of professors, doctors and judges. You are ready to give the first major speech of your life. You are confident and feel that your Powerpoint presentation is going to knock the judges’ sock’s off. Then you hear three dreadful words: it’s not working! Michelle Chandler, the top graduate in the biology department, knows the emotions involved in this scenario from a firsthand experience. It happened to her at the Missouri Academy of Science last year. "I had to give this presentation," Chandler said, "in a stuffy room full of judges and Ph. D’s with some old black and white slides that weren’t even in order." Her love of biology and genetics led Chandler to Missouri Western. She feels that life at Missouri Western is the perfect environment for people to get an education that will help with future endeavors. "The size of the campus has definitely present-

ed opportunities that would not have been available at a larger university," Chandler said. Those opportunities included being able to be involved in the Biology Honor Society. Chandler has also worked on independent research focused on DNA interactions with anti-tumor drugs, which has led her to places like Montana and Puerto Rico to present her research to others. Even though Chandler has been involved in several amazing projects while at Missouri Western, she was surprised to hear that she was the top graduate in the department. The surprising factor is that Chandler has only been at Missouri Western for two and a half years. She began her college career receiving an associate’s degree from Maple Woods before entering Missouri Western as a junior. Chandler is very proud to have been given this honor. "I have worked very hard to achieve such a goal as this,” Chandler said. "I am very flattered that the biology department

thought enough of me, in just the two and a half years.” She is not the only proud person in the Chandler household though. Cheryl is also singing the praises of her daughter. “My husband and I are very proud of what Michelle has accomplished,” Cheryl said, “And we give Missouri Western credit for developing her love of biology, as well as giving her the opportunity to expand her horizons.” Praises from the biology department are also a regular part of the Chandler family. Michelle has high compliments for and from the dedicated teachers in the biology department who helped her through her years at Missouri Western State College “I am indebted to the selfless dedication of all the biology professors,” Chandler said. “This especially applies to my research mentor, Dr. Todd Eckdahl, who has taught me the value of perseverance, how to think like an educated researcher, and who has given me innumerable opportunities to shine”


Page 3 • Tuesday, May 2, 2001

Wonder Woman wins battle
MWSC student battles back after devastating accident
Tana Wiles
Guest Writer

Destiny or chance––what decides the future’s outcome? For Missouri Western graduate, Michelle Hendricks, a life-altering accident that could have crushed her spirits has lifted her towards becoming a better person. Late one evening in 1994, 22-year-old Hendricks was driving home from a party at a friend’s house in Helena to her parent’s house in Excelsior Springs. Approximately two miles away from her parent’s home something went wrong. Hendricks had been driving too fast along a winding country road when she lost control of her vehicle and it was sent through the air, flipping five times. During the chaos, Hendricks was ejected from her vehicle, only to land in a desolate pasture. "When I woke up and realized that I couldn’t move, I knew right away that I was paralyzed and that I would never walk again," Hendricks said. Surrounded by her car, which was now a twisted mess, she thought that she wasn’t going to survive because nobody would be able to find her. Like a beacon in the night, a passer-by saw her headlight glowing and thought that it was suspicious and decided to check it out. What he found was a young woman trying to remain conscious amidst the trauma. As she faded in and out of consciousness, she distinctly remembers the sound of the paramedics having to

cut her shorts from her body. Paramedics quickly rushed her to Liberty where she was life-flighted to St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri where she spent three weeks in the Intensive Care Unit. She had suffered two broken arms, a dislocated hip and a broken neck, which resulted in a spinal chord injury. After being released from St. Luke’s, Hendricks entered into rehabilitation that would last the next three months. Her mother, Gwen Hendricks, became her best friend, coach and biggest supporter as she, along with her husband Larry and oldest daughter Lori, encouraged Hendricks through the difficult rehabilitation process. "I always told her to never give up because God never gives us more than we can handle and that is what we should focus on," Mrs. Hendricks said. "I knew that when one door closed, another would open and if Michelle wanted to do something badly enough, she could accomplish anything." Through rehabilitation, Hendricks was able to regain use of her arms, however her hands were damaged so severely that she could not move her fingers. Hendricks was labeled a quadriplegic. Doctors warned Hendricks and her family that in similar cases, patients who received the trauma that she had would go through a deep depression. Nearly seven years later, Hendricks has proven that she is not the typical patient, because she still has not shown any signs of depression. Hendricks did have trouble adjusting to the questioning stares and glances from strangers. Over time Hendricks adjusted to inquisitive looks. Soon after Hendricks had become accustomed to her new life as a quadriplegic and with the help of a motorized wheelchair, she desired to go back to

“Hopefully my successes have inspired others to pursue their goals no matter what obstacles they face,”

-Michelle Hendricks

college and work towards a degree. Her family supported her decision and relocated to St. Joseph, where she soon began at MissouriWestern, majoring in English with an emphasis in technical writing. Hendricks’s time on Missouri Western’s campus she has felt extremely welcomed and accommodated. She has left a lasting impression on her friends and co-workers too. Hendricks hopes that others can learn from her and realize their abilities to reach their dreams even in the face of opposition. Now 28, Hendricks feels that her accident hasn’t hindered her life, but made her a stronger person because of it. She is the Website Coordinator for Missouri Western. "I am a better person now than before I was hurt," she said. "My eyes are open to my limitations and I don’t know if I would have ever went back to college and received my degree.”

Super Mom comes out on top to earn degree
She’s not in track and field, but she’s hurdled many obstacles over last 12 years at MWSC
Tywanna Brown
Guest Writer

Determined, focused, relentless, dedicated, hard working and just plain smart were just a few adjectives the faculty in the communications department used to describe their most outstanding graduate. This graduate is not only a hardworking student, but also a wife, mother and the team leader at her job. Donna G i b s o n is her name and doing nearly everything is her game. Gibson was 28 years old, married, with a child and a full-time worker when she decided to go back to school. Determined to achieve this goal, she sat down and began to calculate how long it would take for her to get a degree. Knowing that it was essential that she kept her full-time job, and time for her family, Gibson knew that she could only take one class per semester. She soon realized that it would take her 12 years to do it. "I will be graduating at the age of 40," Gibson said. Putting her words into action, she enrolled in the fall of 1989..

Determined and focused on her studies, Gibson received an ‘A’ in finite math. "I wanted to prove I could do well to my professor," Gibson said. The professor was very surprised and apologized for trying to get her to drop the class at the beginning of the semester. Gibson continued to ace her classes and made major impacts on those around her. "Donna was always putting forth her best," communications department chair Marilyn Hunt said. "She was an overachiever." Gibson was always prepared for class, and able to apply the concepts she was learning to her job. She was always giving real life examples. But the biggest example was not until her communications public relations project. "It was a very hard project," Gibson said. A short time prior to the project Gibson was promoted to the team leader in the Transcriptions Department at Heartland Hospital. Gibson told her professor, Dr. Diane Gorcyca, at the time about her idea for the project. "I told her that it would be too hard," said Gorcyca. But Gibson, being the determined, focused and relentless student she was went on and came up with a campaign not only to get her an A on the project but receive awards at work as well. Determined, focused, relentless and dedicated,

Gibson with the support of Gorcyca went to give her presentation. "I was amazed with her work, and very proud of her," Gorcyca said. Gibson was able to come up with a campaign that improved one segment of the hospital by 39 percent in only 18 months. Gibson received the Quality Award for her campaign, and made a huge contribution to Heartland receiving the Missouri Quality Award. When asked where does she find the time to get all of her homework accomplished, "On the sidelines of my son’s soccer games, my daughter’s choral rehearsals and wherever else I can find time," Gibson said. Determined, focused, relentless, dedicated, hard working and just plain smart, Gibson knew that it was essential to stay in school to get her degree, so she could be a better employee. She also wanted to help her husband financially, while he worked on their farm in Gower, Mo. Through it all have all her family was very supportive. Her 15-yearold daughter, Jamie, just wanted her mother to finish college by the time she graduated from high school, while her 10-year-old son Jeff thought it was cool that his mother was in college. Gibson is anticipating her last day of classes, and admits that it will be strange to walk out knowing that she is finished after so many years.

Page 4 • Tuesday, May 2, 2001

Rapp tops in HPER
Griffon pitcher named outstanding graduate
Amber Nold
Guest Writer

Jacob Rapp isn’t your Cinderella story, but by drawing inspiration through his parents and friends who love him, he has managed to create his own Jakerella story. Raised in Kansas City, Mo., Rapp was just an average kid who loved to play sports and always maintained good grades. Today Rapp is a pitcher for the Missouri Western baseball team and president of Phi Epsilon Kappa, while still maintaining a high GPA. Involvement is what Rapp thinks he contributes to his success. Being included in different areas of MWSC has given Rapp the background needed to succeed. "My most unique quality is my drive to always do my best in everything," Rapp said. "I believe in God first and foremost,” Rapp said. “Without him none of this would mean anything.” On the field Rapp’s teammates admire him for his leadership. "Obviously Jake’s a really hard worker,” Kevin Toms, friend and teammate, said. “He jumps to the front of the line to lead the skills, and all the guys wait on him to take that front role. We look to him for leadership." Off the field they still look to him for guidance through his actions. "Jake’s the same all the way around and doesn’t change on and off,” Toms said. “He’s just one of those guys you respect and he takes a lot of pride in what he does.” To whom does Rapp contribute some of his many

life successes? "My parents and my girlfriend are my biggest supporters; they are my cheerleaders and they are always there when I need to be picked up," Rapp said. "Jacob is the most amazing person that I have met,” girlfriend Jessica Neel said. “He is hard working and very dedicated to whatever he does. No matter what he is doing he gives 110 percent. Jacob always finds a way to make me laugh and I admire everything about him, but what I admire most is the relationship he has with his family and friends." Why Missouri Western? "I chose Missouri Western because it was reasonably priced and I would have the opportunity to play college baseball,” Rapp said. “It’s also close to home." Rapp is planning a career in sports management. His ideal situation is to be a member of the front office staff of a professional organization. Rapp contributes the connections he has made that will assist him in the future to MWSC. "The most important thing that Missouri Western has attributed is the practical experience I have received while attending," Rapp said. When asked for advice from the future most outstanding graduates of Missouri Western, Rapp said, "Study in the afternoon, so your evenings will be free to do whatever you want." This summer Rapp will be doing his final internship with the Kansas City Speedway in the ticket sales office. Five to 10 years from now, Rapp sees himself happily married and working the marketing division of a professional sports team. Every graduate leaves a mark not only on the life and people they are leaving behind, but they also leave a dent in the world and people they are about to come into contact with. What they leave behind is totally up to them. Jacob Rapp will leave behind a legacy of hard work and determination.

The Rapp Sheet
• Presidential Scholar Athlete • Four Scholastic Achievement Certificates • Dean’s and President’s Honor Roll spots • Outstanding Major at MAHPERD • MIAACommissioner’s Honor Roll • Male Scholar Athlete of the Year Nominee • Regent’s Scholarship • Lt. Kent M. Kiepe Scholarship

Daughter serves as inspiration for nursing career
Lacey Hochenauer
Guest Writer

If you have ever seen an episode of ER, you have probably gotten a glance of what senior Stacie Fisher does for a living. Fisher was recently named most outstanding graduate of the nursing department at Missouri Western. After taking four years off, 21year-old Fisher decided to go back to school. She was always interested in the medical field, but was not sure what she wanted to do until she had her baby. Fisher was very pleased with all the nurses and their actions, so she decided to try nursing. "After I had my baby girl, I knew I had to go back to school so I could provide her with an good home and be a good role model," Fisher said. For the last couple of years Fisher has worked for two surgical doctors

at Heartland Hospital. She is now their assistant in surgery and she plans to stay there, but hopes someday to have a management position. "I was a little nervous at first, thinking that I might have a job working nights or on the floor when I first got out of school," Fisher said. "I love this job, though, and it provides a lot of stability." Fisher’s advisor, Dr. Susan Gille, said that they chose Fisher to represent the nursing department because she was well organized, goal oriented and very professional with her communication. "We felt like she was always well prepared and very conscientious" Gille said. "In terms of a student, she was always excellent in communication." With all the studying and working Fisher does, she has sacrificed a lot of time. At one point she would study every night on top of working

two jobs. "I have sacrificed a lot of time with my family," Fisher said. "Hopefully, now I can do more things with my daughter and maybe coach softball." Although Fisher was 21 years old when she started college, maturity is the thing that changed the most about her personality. "I now have a more open, holistic view on things," Fisher said. "I look at everything more positively." Fisher said that she enjoyed the nursing program at Missouri Western and really sees herself growing as a nurse. She realized from the start that it was a challenging program that would require a lot of self-motivation and self-teaching. "There is so much to learn in nursing, and the department obviously cannot teach everything, but the information is there and they do provide it," Fisher said. "The more knowledge I have, the more I can

help someone else when I get out." After graduation, Fisher hopes to be remembered for her leadership skills. Many faculty members said she was always the leader of the class. Fisher did basic aid training for the Red Cross and organized a program for elementary schools that teaches third through fifth grade students basic aid training. Recently she presented a research project at the Missouri State Community Health Convention in Southern Missouri. She has been a constent on the honor roll for the Nursing Department and is going to be inducted into the National Honor Society for Nurses. "When you are inducted into the NHS for Nurses, you are with all of your professors, because they are in it," Fisher said. "I feel like a colleague to my professors now, not just a student."


Page5 • Tuesday, May 2, 2001

S a c c a ro ’s drive puts him at top of class
Jessica Neel
Guest Writer


the kind of person who, when he does something, he gives 110 percent and doesn't really look elsewhere to get things done. - Justin Fallein


Fore! Most people would hear that and scramble to get out of the way from a flying golf ball. But, in this case, move out of the way of Nick Saccaro. Saccaro’s driving attitude and perseverance have not only helped him in golf but have also helped him with his academic career. He has been named outstanding major in human relations. Saccaro grew up in Hamilton, Mo. As a child, Saccaro said that he was independent, active and worrisome. He also added he has not exactly grown out of those traits. Without some of these qualities, he might not be where he is today. Some people are quick to take all of the credit for things, but not Saccaro. He acknowledged that support from his loved ones has helped him get through his college career in times of need. “Without a doubt, my biggest supporter has been my fiancé Leslie Miller and my parents," said Saccaro. "They have all stood by me throughout my college career, and they are all there to give me encouragement when I need it or put me in my place when I need it." Saccaro’s decision to come to Missouri Western was one that included several reasons. He was impressed with the progress that the campus had made when he came on his tour. Plus, he had

scholarship opportunities here, and he was given the chance to play golf. Golf means a lot to him. Two summers ago, he went to Monterey Peninsula in California and played golf at Pebble Beach and a few other of the notable courses. "Playing at Pebble Beach was unbelievable," said Saccaro. "So many great players have played there, and to think that I was walking on the same grounds where they had been was amazing." Golf hasn't been the only sport that Saccaro has played. In a recent conversation with senior and fellow Student Athlete Advisory Committee member Jacob Rapp, he talked about his high school days playing against Saccaro in football. "I remember playing against Nick in a high school sectional football game," said Rapp. "He was on the end of a 1514 victory, knocking us out of the playoffs. But I don't hold it against him." It just goes to show good people do make a lasting impression, even when you least expect it. As far as Saccaro, he will be remembered as a good person. "I have my faults, as does everybody, but the memories of classroom success will fade; memories of good people don't fade," said Saccaro. Saccaro may have his accomplishments on and off the course, but he is also involved in many other activities

on campus. He is on the SAAC where he serves as president. Justin Fallein, vice president of SAAC, said that Saccaro is a great president. "He's the kind of person who, when he does something, he gives 110 percent and doesn't really look elsewhere to get things done," said Fallein. In order to get things done in a good and timely manner, there must be some sacrifices made. "I think anyone who commits to being successful in school, work, etc., sacrifices some leisure and family time," said Saccaro. "There are a lot of times when I wanted to shrug off work I needed to do and have some fun, but there are times when you just have to get things accomplished." After hearing all of Saccaro's accomplishments, it is obvious that those words are true. "Every semester seems to get busier and busier, and we as students have to learn how to manage our time and prioritize our lives," said Saccaro. Saccaro has recently passed the Professional in Human Resources Certification Exam and has accepted an offer to work in the human resource department at a local bank where he work as an intern last summer. He and his fiancé are close to their families, so he will probably stay fairly close to this area. In 10 years, he will be married and hopefully directing a human resources department.

Schneider ends college music career on high note
Jason Simanowitz
Guest Writer

The top graduate of the music department, Jedd Schneider is a regular guy you probably see every day walking between classes or giving tours of the campus. He likes the outdoors, golf, hunting and reading. Books are more than a hobby for Schneider, it’s a way of life. His mother is the head librarian at MWSC with a bachelor’s degree in piano and plays at various local churches. His father, who has a bachelor’s degree in voice, is the head of fine arts for the St. Joseph Public School system. He has two younger brothers that also attend MWSC, Jeremy, 20, and Jacob, 19, who are musically talented as well. A member of the Western Legacies, he's had lead roles in the three MWSC musicals: HMS Pinafore by Gilbert & Sullivan, The Mikado by Gilbert & Sullivan and Man of La Mancha, by Wasserman & Leigh. He has also performed lead vocals with the MWSC choral ensembles, the St. Joseph Symphony, the St. Joseph Community Chorus, and the St. Joseph chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

Schneider, 22, is the recipient of the MWSC Department of Music Outstanding Graduating Senior Award in Music for 2001. The long list of awards bestowed upon him are quite impressive. Among other honors he’s received are the Music Teachers National Association's STAR scholarship. He’s also the winner of the 1998 Missouri Music Teachers Association Collegiate Voice auditions and the 1999 & 2000 MWSC Concerto Competition. “I started out as a pre-med student here, but switched majors because I was only putting off the inevitable," Schneider said. " I’ve found the greatest amount of personal fulfillment in singing." Dr. Deborah Freedman, director of the MWSC Orchestra and the St. Joseph Symphony, thinks Schneider will see a lot of success in his life. "I’ve been here 13 years, and in that time he’s one of the top grads I’ve seen," said Freedman. "He can sing and act at the professional level." President of the Nu Gamma chapter of the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, he is active in the collegiate chapter of the Music Educators National Conference and serves as a MWSC VIP and principal horn in the the Symphonic Winds and the Golden Griffon Marching Band. "There's a very strong, familial sense of commu-

nity in the music department, and all my instructors have greatly influenced me," said Schneider. Schneider plans to attend graduate school to receive a doctorate in opera. Ultimately Schneider wants to become a professional Schneider opera singer. "He came in just three years ago as a voice major, and in that time he now plays with the symphony and he’s first chair in the band," said Freedman. "He's just applied himself and I think he'll go far." Leaving St. Joseph behind, Schneider will always reflect on MWSC. “I’ll miss the campus and this town. I’m from St. Joseph; there’s a lot of security here for me. Even though I can make myself comfortable anywhere I go, I’ll still miss the team spirit everywhere on campus," said Schneider. Schneider is hoping to one day perhaps return to Missouri Western to teach private voice.

Page 6 • Tuesday, May 2, 2001

Jennings exposes his life
Amanda Rafferty
Guest Writer

"I’d never been exposed to it." Brandon Jennings, commercial art major and photographer, hadn’t been formally introduced to photography until age 20. However, he knew that art was what he wanted to do while in his third grade classroom. "I just liked drawing a lot back then," Jennings said. "I liked creating stuff, visual things." There were two teachers in his high school that helped him along his walk. A history teacher by the name of Mr. Foster was a role model for Jennings. He said that Mr. Foster took him in as one of his own children, almost like a foster child And it is not surprise that his art teacher, Mr. Kiesling, played an important role in his love for art. Jennings said that Kiesling helped him in forming the understanding of believing in oneself and being able to do what you like. Jennings went on to become Salutatorian of his graduation class of 54 students. College was around the corner for Jennings. He began his higher education in Texas, but in the fall of 1996, the college was

Baker juggles life’s little challenges
Rachel Riggert
Guest Writer

closed. Then, he decided to come back home and attend Missouri Western. "I was brought back home by fate not by will," Jennings said. He came for a visit and stayed for an education. "I like it here now," Jennings said. "This is home." And definitely not far from it because Jennings is a commuter who makes the trip every day from home to school. Out of all of his family, Jennings said that his brother has been his most driving force in life. Jennings said that his brother pushes him towards his goals. "We connect good," Jennings said. He also said that his brother helped out a lot with his decisions. However, Jennings has had to make plenty of decisions on his own. Jennings has decided that after receiving his degree in commercial art (graphic art) he plans on getting married to Christina Hazelwood and living in Savannah for a while. Then he plans to work on his master’s degree so that he can someday teach photography. "I want to teach just like my daddy," Jennings said. Hazelwood said that Jennings was a very patient person, a good teacher and very forgiving. She

feels he would do anything for anybody. "When he knows what he wants, he goes after it," said Hazelwood. Jennings is good at everything he does from drawing to photography and everything in between according to his academic advisor Jeannie Harmon-Miller. "He’s stood out as a student and as an artist since he got here," Harmon-Miller said. "As a positive force in the art department, Jennings has been a gentleman who is always willing to help others," said Harmon-Miller. "He’s consistent, even and polite, and a generally thoughtful person with an open mind to anything that might come his way." "He has a lot of skill," HarmonMiller said. "He’d make a great teacher." Jennings has been excepted into at least three art shows, which were competitive jury shows. He may not have come away with any awards, but he still came away with the honor of being chosen. Jennings believes that his class participation in expressing himself was what really got him nominated. "What you put into a class is what you get out of it," Jennings said. "You’ve got to express yourJennings hopes to teach photography someday. self."

B r a n d o n ’s Vi e w

After a whirlwind semester of juggling an enthusiasm for psychology and a dedication to young delinquents, Brooklin Baker is now able to thoroughly enjoy the simple things in life. Taking a full load of classes to graduate, while working full-time, in addition to devoting many intense hours to her honors thesis was only part of Baker’s senior year. Not only did she graduate last December receiving a Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude, but she did it in just three-and-a-half years. Her story doesn’t stop there. Baker accomplished all of this and also became a new mom last September after having her daughter, Riley. It is obvious by looking at Baker’s college career why she has been named the top student in her department. For each year of college, Baker received the Scholastic Key Award, given to students based on high grade point averages. Bringing in 18 dual credit hours her freshmen year, Baker originally wanted be a business major. She quickly changed her mind knowing psychology was where she was meant to be. "I’ve always been interested in psychology," she said. Baker became an active member of the Psychology Club and Psi-Chi. However, that is just the beginning of her college success. Dr. Teddi Deka, assistant professor from the psychology department

worked with Baker very closely. "She was a great all around student," Deka said. Baker was also a Missouri Western State College major honors student. She was awarded the Major Honors Scholar-2001 for the psychology department. As part of being a major honors student, Baker completed an intense honors thesis concerning a specific area in the psychological field. According to Deka, the writing and research process is similar to writing a master’s thesis. Deka was Baker’s mentor for her honors thesis. A student chosen to undertake this task must write a proposal, plan out the steps to be taken and then call a committee of three professors. The student must then get their proposal approved by the committee. It is safe to say this project consumed most of Baker ’s time during her senior year "I just had to write a ton of different drafts and turn them into Dr. Deka and she would look them over," Baker said. "We met weekly and sometimes several times a week." For two years, Baker worked with delinquent boys, who ranged in age from 13 to 17 years old at the Riverbend Treatment Facility here in St. Joseph. Her position as a youth specialist led to the topic of her thesis, which examined the reasoning and self-esteem distortions of delinquents. This May, Baker ’s hard work and dedication will be showcased at the Midwestern Psychological Association in Chicago. Here, she will present

and also defend her research. This is something she is anticipating. "I think it has just helped me grow and be more educated, have more confidence and be able to do things I wouldn’t normally do," she said. Baker gained the respect of her peers and professors during her years at Missouri Western. According to Deka, she took the initiative to be an integral part of the educational process. She also had the ability to take the difficulties she encountered, fix them and learn from them. "To tell you honestly, I thought she was the ideal student," Deka said. "She was a self-motivater and wanted to learn, and that was nice." After working with young men, Baker has seen the negative effects of the lack of love and support from a family unit. Baker now recognizes what is really important in life. Her passion is now focused on her daughter, Riley. "Having her has made me realize that each day with her is very important, so I put my career on hold for her," Baker said. So what does the future hold for Baker? With the ongoing support of her fiancé, Zack, she plans to enter graduate school within the next few years. Eventually she would like to be a family counselor possibly dealing with the whole family unit. That is no surprise considering Baker credits her own family as being her main priority throughout her life. In the meantime, Baker is enjoying building a family of her own.


Page7 • Tuesday, May 2, 2001

Toebben keeps his eyes on the future
Carol Wilson
Guest Writer

Look out world; here comes Travis! Travis Toebben is no average college student; as evidence of his above average status he is has been declared the Outstanding Graduating Senior of the Finance Department. “My parents have supported me 100% in all my decisions,” Toebben said. “They have been there when I needed them, and they have stayed out of the way when that was needed. I couldn’t possibly give my parents enough praise.” Travis hopes to set a good example for his younger sister and when looking at his past and present goals, it seems he is on the right track. Although he came from the small town of Vichy MO., Travis doesn’t seem to have had any difficulty adjusting to the faster pace of college life. One would never know that he was the first person from his family to attend college, when seeing Travis racing from one event to another. “ I have been very active in Missouri Western Choirs, performed in three musicals. I am founding father of the Rho Upsilon Chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi. I have been in Residence Council. I have been very active in the

Honors Program and was elected to leadership roles of the Student Honors Organization during two of my years. I have represented the school at both national and regional conferences. I was involved in reorganizing our campus Newman Club my freshman year and have enjoyed watching it grow these past three years.” said Toebben. Through all of his Travis Toebben activities, Toebben still has time to do an internship in the Office of Dean of Professional Studies as a Vocational Assistant. Dean of Professional Studies, Dr. Jeanne Daffron understands why Travis was given this high honor. “Travis was selected as an outstanding finance graduate because he consistently goes beyond the expected level of performance, Dr. Daffron said. “He is willing to take risks because he knows the value of personal and professional growth.” When asked why he thought that he had received the title of Outstanding Finance Graduate, Travis gave a modest answer. “I believe that it was my hard work, my drive for success, and my hunger for knowledge,” Toebben said. “I set out to do the best I can in everything I do and give it my all.”

Travis’s roommate Scott Adler, a senior at Missouri Western believes that Travis’s nomination is well deserved. “ He’s the only person I know that actually enjoys that finance stuff,” Adler said. Travis has had a good time at Missouri Western and feels that he has gotten out of the school only what he put into it. He will miss MWSC, but will not feel sadness as he leaves to achieve higher degrees. “I would like to get my Ph.D. and go into financial analysis at a larger company and get a couple years experience, which is necessary for me to get my MBA,” Toebben said. “I think that it would be fun to come back to Missouri Western some day and teach, or even come back and take a role in administration, such as being a Dean of some sort.” Watch out Dr. Daffron. Travis will be missed around campus, as there will no longer be that friendly redheaded boy there to educate and to make you laugh. “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Travis and watching him develop over the past two years,” Dr. Daffron said. “I will miss his sense of humor, his genuine caring for others, and his great sense of personal integrity.” Travis leaves advice for the underclassmen at MWSC. “Get involved on campus and to take pride in your school,” Toebben said. “Do anything you can to better yourself.”


Mitchell aims high
TyIsha Moore
Guest Writer

Imagine graduating as one of the top students of your high school senior class. Then once you are in college, you are able to maintain a 4.0 grade point average throughout your four-year career. On top of that, when you arrive home from class, your grandmother is busy in the kitchen making you a home cooked meal. As you are imagining this, senior Stephanie Mitchell is living it. Mitchell has been given the honor of Most Outstanding Graduate in her department. She wants her major in marketing, with a minor in Spanish, to take her to an advertising firm in the Kansas City area. When asked how many majors she thought about before declaring marketing, Mitchell’s answer was full of confidence. “ I just had one,” Mitchell said. “I knew as soon as I got into the classes that I was in the right discipline.” Without the hassle of deciding which major to choose, Mitchell accelerated through college. While one hand was grasping pen and paper the other was holding on to the hand of God. “I couldn’t have done what I’ve done without God,” Mitchell said. She also credits her success, with a mile long smile on her face, to her grandmother who she lives with here in St. Joseph.

“When I feel I can’t go on, she always uplifts me,” Mitchell said. The support from her grandmother and her faith in God has allowed confidence not only to pursue her career goals but a chance to be active in collegiate organizations. She has been involved in Alpha Kappa Psi, Spanish Club, American Stephanie Mitchell wraps Christmas girts for Operation Christmas Child Marketing Association, and BSU. Her list of The classroom is not the only place where honors is great as well. As well as being named Mitchell’s intellect shines. During her time with the Most Outstanding Graduate, Mitchell has the American Marketing Association she worked received the Nestle USA National Scholarship on a project called Operation Christmas Child. and her name has appeared on the Presidential The group filled shoeboxes with numerous items List. in order to make a child’s Christmas more special. Alpha Kappa Psi sponsor and Mitchell’s Mitchel has shown her involvement close mentor, Beverly Payne,is proud of her through travel as well. Mitchell went with MWSC scholastic success. to Spain, Mexico, and this summer she will be “Stephanie is committed to producing headed to Germany. quality work and she is always willing to go the Mitchell has truly lived a remarkable life extra mile,” Payne said. It is certain that Mitchell thus far. There is no doubt that her name will knows what she wants and she does whatever it appear in headlines in the future. takes to achieve her goals.

Page 8 • Tuesday, May 2, 2001

Non-trad students pursue long-term goals Mother of three wins honor as Senior engineering Student Teacher of the Year student honored
Shannon Paul
Guest Writer

Reliable, hardworking and dedicated are just some of the characteristics that describe Louis Payton, who was chosen as the engineering department’s outstanding senior. Payton was born in Iowa, but moved to St. Joseph when he was in 8th grade with his parents. After high school he went to college at Rockhurst for a semester, but then love came knocking at his door and he got married and had three children. "It was a woman," Payton said. "Isn’t it always a woman?" Payton worked at Johnson Control factory for 14 years, but he wasn’t satisfied with his job. "I always wanted to go back to school," Payton said. "I felt that I wasn’t accomplishing what I wanted." When he decided to go back to school his whole life turned upside down. His wife and parents felt that he should stay where he was at, but he knew that he needed something more. He decided to go into the engineering field, because he enjoys working with his hands and because he would be able to make good money. Payton chose Missouri Western because it was close and because he felt that the engineering program was good. He has learned a lot about the industry and engineering. "I had never heard of horizontal drilling before," Payton said. "Now I might be

back to school. I felt I wasn’t accomplishing what I wanted.

“I always wanted to go ”
- Louis Payton
going into that field." Payton was determined to succeed, because he knew he wanted more out of his life than a job at a factory. "The motivation that drove me was looking back at my job at the factory," Payton said. "Being in a job I hated I knew––nothing could be worse." Payton has finished the four-year engineering degree in three years and

has custody of his Payton two boys: Brett, 13, and Brian, 11. He also has a daughter, Amanda, who is 15. "Between school and the boys I keep busy," Payton said. Although Payton is a non-traditional student he is involved in organizations and activities at school. He is president of the student chapter organizations CET, NSATT and AGC. He feels that being involved in activities at school is important. "When you get involved in clubs and participate you get to know people in the industry, which can help you get a job," Payton said. Payton also served as an assistant to Dr. Virenda Varma as a computer aided design and drafting assistant. Varma admires Payton for his dedication and hard work and feels that this is why he was chosen as the outstanding senior for his department. "Louis is well-rounded and easy to get along with, Varma said. "If you give him a task he does it." Payton also seems to act as a father figure to many of the students in his department. He often feels that because he is older other students feel comfortable asking him questions. Although school has been challenging in itself, to Payton’s surprise one of the hardest classes he had was a general studies course. "Philosophy was hard," Payton said. "The material was difficult and there was a lot to learn in a short time." Some of the other challenging courses he has had includes calculus and structural analysis. When Payton is not in school he relaxes by spending time outdoors with his boys. They fish, hunt and look for mushrooms. He lives outside of Savannah and owns land out there so he hopes to stay in this area after he graduates. "I am willing to relocate," Payton said. "But I would like to stay here if possible." He would also like to work at Missouri Western, but would need a master’s degree to do that, but he hasn’t decided whether or not he wants to go to graduate school. Another possibility that he is interested in is working as a project manager for a large-sized company.

Amber Weeg
Guest Writer

"Here to receive the award for Student Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Mary Ann Bellman." That’s exactly what she did on April 12, 2001. Bellman, who has lived in St. Joseph her entire life, is the outstanding graduating senior from the education department. She is a member of Student Missouri State Teachers Association (SMSTA) and is currently student teaching at Parkway Elementary here in St. Joseph. Bellman has a lot to be thankful for. Her husband, Rick, is the receiving manager for Mead. She also has three children, ages 12, 14 and 17. She’ll tell you her greatest accomplishment is "having a successful marriage, and three great kids." Bellman feels she’s finally found the secret to life: "Quit worrying–– if you can get to where you don’t worry, you’ve found the secret, and I’ve finally found it." Family has affected her life in more ways than one. Her mother, Violet Gorsuch, is the head secretary in the Housing Office. Gorsuch always wanted her to go into education, "When Mary Ann decided to go back to school to become a teacher I was so happy,

and seeing her receive the Student Teacher of the Year award was one of my greatest moments." If you’re ever fortunate enough to meet Bellman, her awesome personality will be the first thing you notice. "She likes people; she’s a very friendly, bubbly person," commented Gorsuch with a grin on her face from ear to ear. Bellman said that she had decided to become a teacher to do something different. "I already had a degree, I didn’t have to come back to school, I chose to." She also relates well with kids. Her mother believes she wanted to become a teacher because her sister was a teacher. Mary Ann’s sister passed away three years ago with cancer. "I’ve seen the lowest of the low, the darkest of days, that’s why I have no reason to be unhappy. Nothing I encounter everyday is that bad," said Mary Ann. As Gorsuch reflected on Bellman’s childhood she fought back tears before saying, "When Mary Ann gave birth to my first granddaughter was a happy occasion." In five years Mary Ann hopes to be teaching either fourth, fifth or sixth grade and being happy doing that. She also wants to have five years of past students that gained something from her.

Family has been very important to Bellman (bottom center), who has balanced her school work and student teaching and Parkway Elementary with raising her three children and spend ing time with her husband Rick.


Page 9 • Tuesday, May 2, 2001

Rasco makes History
Nancy Horton
Guest Writer

A genuine love for history has made Brooke Rasco the top student in the history, philosophy & geogaphy department. The Civil War is her favorite topic, and she has enjoyed traveling to many historic sites, especially Washington, D.C., Gettysburg and Valley Forge. Rasco has lived in St. Joseph since she was 2 years old and graduated from Bishop LeBlond High School. She coached basketball at Cathedral grade school and played and coached basketball for Summer Jam, sponsored by the Wesley Center in the south end. She had one semester at Southwest Missouri State, pursuing a degree in archaeology, but came back to St. Joseph because her grandfather was sick and stayed at MWSC to get a bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in geography. An only child, she is very close to her parents and always felt their support in whatever she wanted to do. "They were always pushing me," Rasco said. "They encouraged me to do my best."

Her love for history was sparked by Dr. Christopher Losson, her high school history teacher. Losson, also a part-time MWSC instructor, remembered Rasco as a student who could be relied on to do her work and keep the rest of the class on their toes. "By the time students get to high school, they already know if they will like history," Losson said. "She had an interest in the subject from the first day. That made my job a little easier." Department chair Dr. Daniel Trifan also appreciated her genuine love for history. "She was very quiet in class, absorbing information," Trifan said. "She was not just going through the motions, it was deeper than that. It’s always a pleasure to have a student like that." Rasco was surprised to discover she was the department’s top student. She also won two Scholastic Keys and received the James R. Jordan History award. She tutored at the Center for Academic Support as a writing and content tutor. As a supplemental instruction leader, she sat in on Dr. Patrick McLear’s History 150 class, taking notes and helping other stu-

Brooke Rasco (center) teamed up with Dr. Daniel Trifan (left) and Dr. Stephen Greiert at the “Bee for Literacy,” and help lead the Terminators to a victory.

dents three times a week with questions, notes and test preparation. "I loved helping people learn to help themselves," Rasco said. "It’s not as much about leadership as trying to set an example for the other students. It’s your turn to model good student behavior." For the last two years, Rasco has competed in the "Bee for Literacy" spelling bee with Trifan and Dr. Steven Greiert as part of the team, the Terminators. They were the 2001 winning team. “She held her own as a member of the team, history instructor Kim Schutte said. "It’s spelling as blood sport. It’s very serious stuff, and she’s very much an equal among them. Brooke is an exceptional stu-

dent, one of the best I’ve ever had.” Rasco could not choose one teacher as having the greatest influence on her. "They all have influenced me in their own way," Rasco said. "I’ve discussed my future plans with all of them. They have been supportive, suggesting books to read or giving me direction. Rasco will pursue a master’s degree in History at Northwest Missouri State and later a doctorate. She plans to teach college or work at a museum. "If I could choose the best job for me, I’d really like to work at Gettysburg," Rasco said. "I wouldn’t have to worry about being bored."

Taylor awarded top honors in department
John Seever
Guest Writer

Hard work and determination have paid off for Shane Taylor. "I always wanted to do Computer Science," said Shane Taylor,the Computer Science/Mathematics and Physics Department top graduate. Why was he picked the departnment’s top graduate, you ask? Probably because he is a double major, majoring in both computer science and mathematics. However, Taylor believes it is because of his GPA. Born in Weston, just south of St. Joseph, Shane went to West Platte High School. Both his mother and father went to college. He was not pressured into the career field he is in now. While still in high school, he went to the University of Missouri - Kansas City and received college credit. Upon graduating from West Platte High School, he enrolled at Missouri Western State College, and from his first semester, he wanted to get a degree in computer science. The next semester, after looking over the courses, he decided on receiving a math major along with his Computer Science major. He came to Missouri Western due to the excellent math and computer science program and the location of the college. He currently works in the Science and

Mathematics building Computer Lab. The one thing that he remembers the mos was a story of what happened to him in the Science and Math Computer Lab about two or three years ago. "I was in the computer lab, and the Biology Lab upstairs left the water running in one of the sinks," Taylor said. "Well, the sink overflowed and the water started to drip into the lab. It looked liked someone had turn on a shower, the water was coming down. So I went into the main lab, and shut the CompSci server down and moved all of the Taylor keyboards and monitors. Here I was, carrying monitors and keyboards under my arms with water dropping from the ceiling. Once they got the water shut off, the lab looked liked a lake as the water was just standing." "Shane is a very good student, very industrious," said Dr. Ken Lee, professor in the Mathematics department. "Easy to get along with, both inside of class and outside of class. He has a very professional attitude with students, very helpful with the students. The students look to him for help." Close friends with Taylor, Dr. Lee would like to see taylor return to the college to talk to graduates about work experiences and life outside of college in the real world. Dr. Lee expected Taylor

to be picked the outstanding graduate in the department. "He has won almost every award from a freshmen on through, it was sort of expected," Lee said. Taylor took school seriously and did not party a lot while at Missouri Western, he said. "I went to a few parties, but I did not do it heavily,” Taylor said. This town (St. Joseph) is nothing like Weston and West Platte High School. This is the Real World. It doesn't matter what my name is here." After he graduates, he has a job lined up with Ciner Corporation. Ciner Corporation writes database programs that are used by hospitals. "Ten years from now, I would like to be in the same type of job, but more on the management side," Taylor said. After spending some time here in the Kansas City area, he wants to move to a job that is located somewhere in the state of Colorado. With no plans to return to Missouri Western upon graduation, he has learned one thing. "One lesson I learned was don't quit,” Taylor said. And it has paid off for him. His hard work and determination have earned Shane Taylor the honor of being selected as the top senior in the Computer Science, Mathematics and Physics department.

Page 10 • Tuesday, May 2, 2001

Lovelace credits honor to hard work
Tyree Thomas
Guest Writer

Monty Lovelace is the top graduating student in the criminal justice department, compiling an overall GPA of 3.84 Lovelace was not as academically inclined during his high school days at Adrian High School, just south of Kansas City, but claims hard work and determination in college paved the way. "I knew that I would do well, but never did I dream that I would be chosen as the number one student in my department, although it took a lot of hard work," Lovelace said. He protests that this honor has kept him humbled, as he realizes that there are fellow classmates who could have very well been honored for academic excellence. "As far as I’m concerned, there are several outstanding seniors in the criminal justice department and I’m honored that the faculty would single me out with this award," Lovelace said. Lovelace, 22, chose to follow in his parents’ footsteps by attending Missouri Western State College after high school. Lovelace’s mother pursued a nursing degree, while his father graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physical education. People would have not known that Lovelace parents’ professors would later become his teachers as well. Lovelace accredits his parents for his decision to attend Missouri Western. "My parents set good examples and a moral foundation by promoting family values and instilling my faith in God," Lovelace said. During the 1997-98 football seasons, Lovelace was a backup place-kicker for the Griffons while being on the Athletic Honor Roll, President’s List, Dean’s List and receiving the Scholastic Keys award, all which required that he earned at least a 3.5 GPA. He presently serves on the judiciary

board at Missouri Western. Lovelace calls his college experience at Missouri Western an opportunity of a lifetime. Aside from his educational experience he points to other opportunities, such as meeting former military general and current Secretary of Defense Colin Powell. "Opportunities like this just don’t happen every day; this has been a wonderful experience," Lovelace said. Lovelace has been serving as an intern for the security office at Missouri Western and hopes to go from writing papers to writing tickets for the Nebraska State Highway Patrol after graduation. A 50-page research paper, which he did over the summer, makes writing tickets a pleasurable task for the senior. Hunting and fishing are Lovelace’s favorite hobbies, although law enforcement is a longtime passion of his. "As a child, I built a great love and respect for law enforcement; I always knew that I wanted to be an officer of the law," Lovelace said. Serving the public and upholding the law has always been at the top of his priorities and has been a motivational tool that has lead to his success. "My love and respect for law enforcement, have turned into passion and desire. I love helping others." Lovelace eventually plans to enforce law for the federal system someday as a U.S. Marshall, but right now his focus remains on the Nebraska Highway Patrol. Hard work and determination are the reasons why Lovelace maintained a high performance level in and out of the classroom. His motto to live by for incoming freshmen and existing peers at Missouri Western is: "Never give up," which is a testament to his character. Lovelace said, "Pursue your goals, stay focused and don’t give up. There’s a silver lining in every

Monty Lovelace hard at work. Lovelace is one of the criminal justice department’s outstanding graduating

gray cloud. Keep plugging away and things will get better." The most important advice Lovelace could possibly give and most certainly lives by, is to put all of your trust and faith in God, for He will lead the way. All is possible with God; nothing is possible without him, Lovelace said. Down the road after a successful career in law enforcement, Lovelace hopes to return to Missouri Western as a criminal justice professor. He hopes to make a difference in students’ lives just as the faculty has done for him. He credits faculty and administration for being a big part of his academic success. "Missouri Western State College has been a very memorable and enriching experience which will last a lifetime," Lovelace said.

Melinda Troeger, public defender, may one day defend you
Nichole Karr
Guest Writer

You’re watching television and it’s time for a commercial break. You hear the announcer start in, "Melinda Troeger, public defender, is here to help." It may have taken her 10 years from the time she graduated high school to pursue it, but becoming a public defender or legal aid has been the dream for Troeger of Brookfield, Mo., for quite some time. She is now one of the outstanding graduating seniors for the criminal justice department. She came to Missouri Western after first attending North Central College, where she received her associate’s degree. After graduation, Troeger will attend law school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City for three years and says that Missouri Western has been a great way to prepare for law school and beyond. With her degree, she says there are many options open to her. "You can do lots of things with

the class, and she never lost sight of her dream to become a public defender or legal aid. Along with a full class load, both of her intern1. Never give up. ships with local attorneys turned into full-time jobs. Currently, she works at the office of Joseph 2. Keep up grades. Morrey as a paralegal where she is able to put to 3. To those pursuing a legal degree, take work what she has learned. Troeger is also the president of The Paralegal plenty of writing and law classes. Association and is able to become involved in the community through this experience. a law degree, not just practice law," Troeger said. Also, as a member of The Paralegal Association, The hard working, dedicated Troeger says that this semester she went on a trip to Jefferson City she doesn’t mind all of the work she’s had to do to and was able to attend the Missouri Supreme get this far. Even though she has sacrificed much Court. of her time, all of her hard work has paid off—her Troeger said she has enjoyed the time spent grade point average is 3.8. This high GPA is a key here because the instructors and people are great, to law school. She would recommend to any under- and she has made many friends. Having three graduate to keep up with their grades. She also instructors who are also attorneys helped to give recommends to those pursuing a legal degree to her an advantage into the world outside of school. take many writing and legal studies classes. Some suggested to Troeger that she would gain Through her hard work at Missouri Western, more by going to a university to get her degree, she has gained more confidence and become more but she is pleased that she chose Missouri outgoing. Western. After she receives her graduate’s degree Her hard efforts are what helped her keep up in from UMKC, she plans to live in Kansas City.

Troeger’s guide to success


Page 11 • Tuesday, May 2, 2001

Staff take care of commencement details
Over 400 scheduled to graduate May 12
Misty Musselman
News Writer

Planning for the graduation ceremony involves more details than some people realize. First of all, caps and gowns have to be ordered. "I usually go by last year's numbers to get an idea," said Jennifer McDonald, academic affairs administrative assistant. "What we do is order a range of sizes, that way you can go over and pick your gown up instead of having to special order it." For the May graduation this is taken care of at the end of February. "I start even in February figuring the kinds of things I have to do for the May commencement," McDonald said. "I'm in charge of typing up the program and getting it to campus printing. I also order the plants and flowers that will be placed on stage." Because there are a lot of people involved that handle different aspects of the graduation, a planning meeting is held in March.

"I have a planning meeting where people from maintenance, security, the registrar's office and alumni affairs attend," McDonald said. The Registrar's office is responsible for communicating the names of the qualified candidates for graduation to the academic vice president's office. "We start that process the first of April for the spring semester," said Registrar Bob Hines. "We have that major responsibility of making sure that all of the data and information is funneled to the academic vice president's office and they have a coordinator over there who then arranges it into seating (for commencement) and that type of thing." In May, alumni affairs handle the breakfast. The dean of student's office handles the reception, servers, and getting entertainment. The Instructional Media Center sets up to video tape the graduation. "The IMC does closed circuit TV because in May we have overflow seating in the Fine Arts Building, also, in case we need the extra room because the May commencement is usually well attended," McDonald said. "It's usually televised on channel 39 that night, that way if it's hard for people to get out or they're

handicapped, they can still see it." The week of commencement, maintenance has the Field House all set up. "We go over and mark the seats so that the graduates know exactly where to sit," McDonald said. "I do a seating chart. When they go to rehearsal, they find their name and go to their chair number and then they can back out and go to the old gym and they know where to line up." When it comes to the commencement itself, Hines has a key role in the practice. "I am one of the main components of the practice," Hines said. "The morning of commencement I address the candidates for graduation, making sure they understand what they are going to do that evening, some of the things they should be looking for, how they're going to walk across the stage, what they're going to receive and what time they should line up. Then, that evening I do a lot of monitoring, making sure that the thing comes off on time, that the people are lined up, that it begins at 7:00 pm behind the scenes, and making sure that the diploma covers are up there and being given to the vice president who in turn gives them to the presi-

dent so they can be awarded." In 1998 M i s s o u r i Western started having two commencements a year because the Field House was so crowded. Hines "We couldn't even get all of the graduates on the floor and still have room for all of the Instructional Media's equipment, so we decided to separate it; the May graduation is for the spring graduates and the fall graduation in December is for the summer and fall graduates, "McDonald said. "That has worked very well because there's over 400 graduates this semester, but about 388 have indicated that they will be attending. We were having 650, so that's why we decided we would split it up." Although planning for graduation isn't a difficult process, it is very time consuming. "This is a really time consuming process," McDonald said. "There's a lot of little things that people don't realize are involved in the planning."

Carnahan to speak at graduation
Beth Tuttle
Opinion Editor

This spring, Missouri Western will be honored with the presence of Senator Jean Carnahan as the speaker at graduation on May 12. The news was announced at the March 22 Board, of Regents meeting by President James Scanlon. Carnahan was secured to be the speaker after Scanlon, James McCarthy and Beth Wheeler all sent letters to the senator requesting her attendance. Communication between these people and Carnahan’s office in Washington, D.C. made it possible. "We’re fortunate that Senator Carahan can make time in her busy schedule to come here to Western," Scanlon said. Graduating senior communications major, Dixie Sullenger was among those that have shown enthusiasm towards the event. "She is coming to my graduation," Sullenger said. "I am so honored that I will be able to hear her speak." According to Dan Leistikow, spokesperson for Carnahan, she shares the feelings of the students in looking forward to the event. "Senator Carnahan is excited to come to Missouri Western and speak to the students there," Leistikow said. "Graduation is an important time in students’ lives when they are making

transitions towards great things." Wheeler, director of extended campus, said Carnahan is also looking forward to celebrating this time with students also. "I have known Senator Carnahan for several years and she was pleased to come to Missouri Western and St. Joseph to be a part of what we’re doing to help prepare students and to help celebrate and recognize that at graduation," Wheeler said. Carnahan’s commitment towards higher education in Jean Carnahan Missouri began long before her election in 2000. Throughout her husband, Mel Carnahan’s, time in office, she was a strong advocate for Missouri education. After her husband was tragically killed in a plane crash Oct. 16, 2000, she was given the opportunity to serve in his place should he win the race posthumously. As she carries on her husband’s work, she will bring her sense of the importance of education to Missouri Western when she speaks. It is also a coincidence that Carnahan’s speech here on May 12, will be just four days short of a year after her husband spoke here on May 16, 2000. "It will be almost a year to the day that Governor Carnahan was at Missouri Western to announce the A+ agreement between Missouri Western and Hillyard Technical Center," Wheeler said.

The Department of Government, Social Work & Sociology would like to congratulate its graduates
Fall 2000 Graduates Christi Ash BSW - Social Work Jodie Smith BSW - Social Work Spring 2001 Graduates Brandi Blackburn BS - Political Science Keith McDaniel BS - Political Science Aaron Grier BS - Political Science Lee Anne Asbury BSW - Social Work Jennifer Atkinson BSW - Social Work Chastity Kelley BSW - Social Work Tina Merchant BSW - Social Work Stacy Beebe BSW - Social Work Anita Marie Gateley BSW - Social Work Julia Harris BSW - Social Work Deanna Johnson BSW - Social Work Marie Moulin BSW - Social Work Ann Poloski BSW - Social Work Dian Smith BSW - Social Work Sabrina Turner BSW - Social Work Susan Walter BSW - Social Work Mindy Groom BSW - Social Work Lisa James BSW - Social Work Outstanding Graduate: Jennifer Atkinson

Personal Ads the Graduates
Leslie & Nicholas You guys finally did it. now, you get to embark on your “real” life. Good luck and best wishes. Love, Seb

Austin (Bi-lal) Hey Homie! In a very short period of time, you became one of the deares friends I have. I want you to know that I am very proud of you. Mini-Me (Danni)

PH, Mindy & Angie Congratulations! I am proud of you! PH, Branson is very lucky. Mindy, you are going to do a wonderful job this summer. Ang, have a great time in Virginia. Love, Seb

To all the amazing friends I’ve made at MWSC: Good luck in all your journeys, you have to potential to go far. I love you, and I’ll miss you1

Jeremy, Zac & Chris Love and hugs M.E. I am so proud or each of you! You have succeede, and I’m sure you will have more success in the future. Congratulations, Seb

Zac, Mindy, Angie, Leslie, Stephanie, Jeremy and Chris Thanks for all your hard work this year. Congratulations on graduation and good luck in all your future endeavors. John Comerford

Courtney & Dixie Congratulations on your awesome accomplishemt! You have been wonderful to work with. Thank you, and good luck!

Spring 2000

John Comerford

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