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January 20, 2012

Dead Man's Cell Phone first play of semester

The play Dead Man's Cell Phone, written by Sarah Ruhl will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 31 – Feb. 4 in the Bud Walton Black Box Theatre at Missouri Southern State University. Senior Theatre major Kayla Curran directs this wildly imaginative new comedy.

An incessantly ringing cell phone in a quiet café. A stranger at the next table who has had enough. And a dead man – with a lot of loose ends.  This is a play about how we memorialize the dead, and how that remembering changes us.

This is the odyssey of a woman forced to confront her own assumptions about morality, redemption and the need to connect in a technologically obsessed world. 

Admission is free for MSSU students, faculty and staff, $3 for adults and $1 for senior citizens and non-MSSU students.

For ticket information and a cast list, read more.

Board Meeting Today

The Missouri Southern State University Board of Governors will meet  at 1 p.m. today in Room 310 of the Billingsly Student Center (Boardroom). The agenda includes reports from the Treasurer and Vice Presidents, as well as the Faculty Senate, Staff Senate and Student representatives and President Bruce SpeckDarren Fullerton, Vice President for Student Affairs, will deliver a report on student involvement at the Governor's Leadership Conference. 

Budget Advisory Committee to Discuss Possible Cuts

Earlier this week, Gov. Jay Nixon's State of the State indicated possible budgetary cuts for higher education. 

Following the speech, the following announcement was released to employees from MSSU President Dr. Bruce W. Speck:

"As many of you may have seen in the Governor's State of the State address last night, we again are facing a cut in our state appropriations. At this point in time it is estimated that the cut will be 12.5 percent, which equates to a loss of approximately $2.7 million in our annual appropriation. The Budget Advisory Committee, which is comprised of a diverse group from across campus, is meeting tomorrow, January 19, to begin discussing how we can collectively manage this change in our funding.

We will keep you informed of what's happening in this process as information becomes available. In the meantime, please don't hesitate to ask questions and to offer ideas to any member of President's Council.

Thank you for your continued hard work to help our students succeed. They make Missouri Southern and the region better."

Mid-Day Ceremony to Wrap Up MLK Activities

 Activities surrounding the observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday will wrap up today with a mid-day Reflection Ceremony in Connor Ballroom of Billingsly Student Center.

"MLK Day of Service and our week-long celebration give us an opportunity to help community organizations while instilling a passion for civic service in the lives of the students at Missouri Southern," says organizer Rikki Smith, Coordinator of the Service Learning Program.  "Sometimes all a person needs is one great experience to spark a lifetime of civic responsibility," she adds.

Faculty, staff, students and members of the public are welcome to attend the ceremony.

Deans' List Released

The Deans' List has been released for the fall 2011 semester at Missouri Southern State University.
The Deans from Missouri Southern’s four Schools (Arts & Sciences, Business Administration, Education and Technology) recognized full-time students who earned a grade point average of 3.75 or above on a 4.0 scale. 
The students qualified for the honor by earning the required GPA while being enrolled in 12 or more hours of credit courses.
See the following list for students and hometowns, read more.

Southern Service Champ Award

The Staff Senate is overseeing a new quarterly recognition award starting this year called the Southern Service Champ Award.  The Southern Service Champ Award is a quarterly award given to one outstanding member from classified, physical plant and professional staff.  Award winners are selected based on nomination from staff. 

The criteria of nomination must meet at least one of the five pads of the Lion paw:  Respect to Campus Community; Positive Attitude; Pride in Work; Exemplary Dependability; and Excellence in Customer Service. 

Nominations for the Jan. 2-March 30 quarter will be accepted the last week of March and available on the Staff Senate webpage.

Thai Semester Planning Committee

Faculty and staff who are interested in serving on the Thailand Semester Planning Committee this semester should come to the first meeting at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 8 in BSC 341.

If you would like to be on the committee but cannot make this meeting time, please notify Chad Stebbins at or ext. 9736.

Spring Lions Roar Planned

Missouri Southern's Spring Lions Roar is coming up.  Lions Roar will be held from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.  Thursday, Jan. 26  in the Billingsly Student Center. Lions Roar is a great way to promote clubs and/or departments to new and returning students.  All registered student organizations and university departments are invited to participate. 

Student Services will provide a table with two folding chairs to each booth.  Electricity is available on a limited basis upon request.  Those attending should bring their own100 foot extension cords if booths require power. 

If your group wants participate in Lions Roar please return the following information by email to Craig Gullett, Student Services at or telephone 625.9346.

Club Name
Contact Name
Contact Number
Will you need access to electricity (Y/N) 

"We thank everyone in advance for taking part and hope everyone has a great semester," Craig says.

Polish Needed for "Love Your Body" Week

"Love Your Body" week is planned for Feb. 20-24.

Heather Bullock, Advising, Counseling & Testing Services (ACTS) says her department is seeking donations of fingernail polish for the week.

"If you have fingernail polish that you are no longer using and would like to donate, we are accepting it," she says. 

 Donations should be taken to Heather at the ACTS office in Room 314 of Hearnes Hall. 

 If you have any questions please feel free to contact her at

Southern Grad Making Progress

Caleb Gallemore, who received a B.A. in International Studies in 2006, recently gave a progress report on his education to Chad Stebbins, Institute of International Studies.

Gallemore is in his second-to-last year in my Geography Ph.D. at Ohio State University. He will soon head to to Kalimantan Tengah, Indonesia, to study the implementation of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) program being implemented there.

He willl be working with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) to use network analysis to study the policy network of NGOs and local government agencies implementing the policy on the ground. 

Gallemore will link that network up with a dataset he is building on cooperation on all REDD projects across the planet.

Updates on Lions Athletics Available

Kevin Greim, Athletics, says it's easy for faculty and staff to stay in the know and get updates on MSSU Athletics.  Athletics has an email database to which it sends  information on upcoming events, games and other Lions news.  To sign up for these email blasts, enter in your browser and click on "Lions Email Alerts" at the bottom of the page. 

Game updates, results and other breaking news are sent to a texting database. To register for these text updates, click on "Lions Text Alerts," at the bottom of the web page. You can also follow the Lions on Facebook by searching "Missouri Southern Lions Athletics" or on Twitter @mososports.

Readers with other suggestions for keeping fans updated may e-mail Kevin at

Communication Department Hosts High School Essay Contest

High school students in southwest Missouri are invited to submit entries for the annual Society of Professional Journalists essay contest. The Department of Communication at Missouri Southern State University is hosting the regional competition for the Southwest Missouri Professional Chapter of SPJ.

The contest theme this year is "Why is it important that we have news media that is independent of the government?" The contest is open to students enrolled in grades nine through 12 in public, private or home schools. There is no charge for entering, but students must have a sponsoring teacher.

The first place regional selection will be forwarded to the national competition. Winners at the national level could earn scholarships ranging from $1000 to $300.

Entries are due by March 8. They should be 300-500 words, double-spaced and single sided. An entry form should be attached to each essay. The form may be downloaded at

Completed entries may be sent electronically or mailed to SPJ High School Essay Contest, c/o Judy Stiles, Department of Communication, Missouri Southern State University, 3950 E. Newman Road, Joplin, MO 64801.

The Society of Professional Journalists is the nation's largest journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior.

Missouri Constitution Test Dates Announced

Dates for the Missouri Constitution test for the current semester have been announced.  The dates are:

*January 31
* February 21
* March 13
* April 10
* May 1

The tests begin at 2 p.m. in Webster Hall 224.

To register, students should contact Mariah Callari in Hearnes Hall 306 or telephone 625-9385.

Laraiso Wins "Be a Maestro" Contest

Ralph Laraiso is the winner of the second annual Be a Maestro!, contest, a fundraising program for the Southern Symphony Orchestra.  Laraiso, a local physician, will conduct a piece in Southern Symphony Orchestra’s May concert. 

Laraiso moved to Joplin in October, 2011 from Western New York to advance Freeman Hospital's Rehabilitation services.  He attended undergraduate school at SUNY at Binghamton where he enrolled in many music theory and composition courses outside his major interest in Biology and Psychology. 
Without formal training on a musical instrument, he did manage to explore the realm of electronic music in the early 1970's. Laraiso has always had an interest in classical music and opera and has enjoyed the variety of musical entertainment here in the Joplin community.

The fundraising program raised $1000 for the orchestra.  Southern Symphony Orchestra will have two concerts in the spring semester on Feb. 14 and May 1.  The February concert on the Valentine Day is titled “Sweet Sounds and Sweethearts”.  

For further information, contact the orchestra’s director Kexi Liu, Music, at or 625.9681.

Singers Sought for Handel's Messiah

Singers are being sought for the performance of Messiah, Georg Friedrich Handel's famous oratorio, on Sunday, April 15. 

David Sharlow, Music, says those interested in singing with the MSSU Concert Chorale, Orchestra, as well as soloists are invited to join in exciting rehearsals and a great performance later this year. Community rehearsals begin Sunday, Feb. 19 from 2 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. in Room 208 of the Fine Arts building on the MSSU Campus. 

Performance week starts on Monday, April 9, concluding with full dress on Saturday, April 14. 

The performance will take place at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 15. 

"We want as many people who are able to join us to please do so, but we also ask if you make a commitment to sing, to please make it a point to be at all of the rehearsals," Sharlow says. "We ask you if you are interested to please note the rehearsals dates and times and if you feel you can commit, we ask you to do so," he adds.

For rehearsal dates and other details, read more.

50th Annual International Film Festival Continues

Film showings of the 50th Annual International Film Festival will continue this spring semester on Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. in Cornell Auditorium at Missouri Southern State University. No admission is charged and the public is invited.     

Harrison Kash, Director of the Series, says the first film of the semester, slated for Feb. 28,  will be Catsplay (Macskajatek)  (Hungary, 1974)
In this insightful drama, director Karoly Makk exhibits his extraordinary skills at drawing emotionally compelling performances from his talented leads.  A widowed teacher living alone finds her quiet life and relationship with an old flame upset by a chance meeting with a woman she knew long ago.  This story of two sisters who cast wistful glances back at their lives but still believe in hope and love, earned an Academy Award Nomination for Best Foreign Film in 1974.

For information on plays scheduled for March 13, March 27 and April 10, read more 

"CART" Meeting to Air Sunday Night

KGCS-TV will provide recorded coverage of what is being called a "historic meeting," the Citizens Advisory Recovery Team's presentation of its action plan to local leaders. The meeting was held last night on the campus of Missouri Southern State University. During the session, members of the Joplin City Council, the Joplin Schools Board of Education, the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce and the Duquesne City Aldermen listened and voted on the CART action plan. Citizens also had an opportunity to provide comments.
"We know that there is a lot of interest in the long-term recovery plans for the Joplin-area community, and recording and presenting this meeting will allow citizens to see how decisions are reached," says Judy Stiles, KGCS-TV General Manager.
KGCS will air the meeting at 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 22 on KGCS-TV.  Programming may be seen over the air on digital channel 22, and on regional cable television systems including Cable One, Mediacom and Suddenlink.


JoAnn Graffam, Vice President of University Advancement/Executive Director-Development; Rod Surber, Director of University Relations & Marketing, Elisa Bryant, Alumni Relations Coordinator, Michael Fontana, Development Officer-Annual Fund and Stephen Smith, News Bureau Manager, attended the CASE District VI "Expanding Horizons" Conference Jan. 8-10 in Denver, Colo. The group presented a program titled "After the Storm" which described MSSU's response to the Joplin tornado and the impact of decisions made following the storm on development, alumni relations and public relations. The goal was to help other colleges and universities respond appropriately to a disaster that might befall them or their communities.