Spring - University of Central Missouri


Spring - University of Central Missouri

SPRING 2011, VOL. 10 NO. 4

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SPRING 2011, VOL. 10 NO. 4

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In the billion-dollar gambling industry, known for its glitz and high stakes, two

University of Central Missouri graduates hit a jackpot, not at a poker table or slot

machine but in their careers. In becoming successful executives with Ameristar

Casinos, they discovered a common bond to a small-town high school teacher, who

despite the odds, happens also to be a UCM grad and, incredibly enough, also found

inspiration from another alumna who had taught her at the same school.



Meisberger Finds Niche in Jackson County Cold Case Unit


Ryan Brown and His Inseparable Companion


Facility Receives University’s First LEED Rating for Energy Efficiency


Alumnus Unearths Ancient Biggest, Baddest Bear


Eugenia Crain Funds Accounting Scholarship through Annuity



3 14 17









University of Central Missouri | today 1

“I couldn’t have been who I was without her.

There is always someone who influences somebody.”

2 SPRING 2011

Grads Share high School mentor, Career Success

By Matt Bird-Meyer ’97

When the conversation

turned to mentors, the

two Ameristar executives

realized the same teacher,

Mrs. E., had shaped their

young academic lives.

A JAckpot with A

SmAll-town twiSt

In the billion-dollar gambling industry, known for its glitz and high

stakes, two University of Central Missouri graduates hit a jackpot,

not at a poker table or slot machine but in their careers. In becoming

successful executives with Ameristar Casinos, they discovered a common

bond to a small-town high school teacher, who despite the odds, happens

also to be a UCM grad and, incredibly enough, also found inspiration

from another alumna who had taught her at the same school.

This story begins with two Central

Missouri alumnae separated by hundreds

of miles. Roxann Kinkade is director of

communications for Ameristar and works

from the Kansas City casino. Cynthia

Mercer was chief human resources

officer and operated from Las Vegas. The

high school teacher they both credit

for influencing their success is Frances

Engelbrecht, or “Mrs. E.” as her former

students know her.

“It’s like something that’s so personal to

you, something you hold in your heart, but

then you realize someone else has that,”

says Kinkade, drawing laughter from all

three women who reunited at the Kansas

City casino.

Kinkade graduated from UCM in 1981

with a degree in public relations. She has

worked at Ameristar for six years, moving

up the corporate ladder from public

relations manager at the Kansas City casino

to managing all communications for the

corporation. With eight properties in seven

markets and annual revenues around

$1.2 billion, Ameristar is a major player

in the casino industry. Kinkade monitors

its public image, including what other

organizations are saying or writing about it,

coordinating interviews with newspapers,

television and other media, and finding the

right people to speak for the company.

(continued next page)

University of Central Missouri | today 3

4 SPRING 2011




(continued from previous page)

Mercer graduated from UCM in 1988 with

a degree in broadcasting and film. After

school, she worked in commercial real

estate, which triggered her passion for

business. At the Koll Company, a real estate

firm in southern California, Mercer moved

through the ranks until she held the top

HR position. Next came The Cheesecake

Factory, then Ameristar. As Ameristar’s

chief human resources officer, she oversaw

hiring, training and “succession planning,”

where she helped position the right people

to move up the corporate ladder.

Business is in Mercer’s blood. She believes

people are the catalyst to making a business

successful. She recently started a new

position with even greater responsibility

for the Sisters of Mercy Health System

in St. Louis. As senior vice president of

human resources, she is responsible for

a substantially larger workforce, going

from some 7,000 at Ameristar to 35,000

co-workers and 4,000 physicians. The

health system has hospitals, acute care and

assisted living facilities in seven states.

Yet, it was as Ameristar executives that

Mercer and Kinkade discovered a common

bond. Four years ago, when Mercer was

in Kansas City for a banquet honoring the

team member of the year, the two began

talking about their UCM experiences.

When the conversation turned to mentors,

they realized the same teacher, Mrs. E., had

shaped their young academic lives.

The pieces fell firmly in place when they

connected Mrs. E. to a high school in

Russellville, MO, where Kinkade graduated

in 1978 and Mercer in 1985. Their classes

were certainly small enough for them to

know everyone with 78 in Kinkade’s and

43 in Mercer’s. Yet, time separated the two

until they met as Ameristar co-workers.

Kinkade says her surprise was great because

she couldn’t imagine the cosmopolitan

Mercer mingling in the small farming

town of Russellville, population 758.

“She seemed very sophisticated and from

a big city,” she adds. “I see myself as a

farm kid.” Her impression wasn’t too

far off the mark. Mercer was a southern

California transplant in the seventh grade

while Kinkade’s family had deep roots in

the community. Several of her aunts and

uncles, as well as her husband, Mark, and

other family members, attended school in

Russellville through the years, and many of

them had Mrs. E. as a teacher.


Engelbrecht inspired Kinkade to go to

college and break out from a future that

seemed inevitable in farming or factory

work. Only three of her classmates went to

college after high school, Kinkade notes.

“I don’t think Mrs. E. realizes the impact

she had on so many of us farm kids. I was

driven, but I didn’t see [academic awards]

as a path to a career. I couldn’t see beyond

high school.”

Mrs. E. had that foresight. She helped

Kinkade apply for and earn a college

scholarship. “I didn’t really see a path to

that,” says Kinkade. “Mrs. E. saw something

in me that I don’t think I could see.”

Kinkade says Mrs. E. helped her realize the

power people have in influencing others.

“It’s a huge power. I try to live my life

mindful of that power,” she says, tearing

up as she looked toward a fourth woman

who organized the reunion, Celeste

Burks, another UCM graduate. Kinkade

recommended the 2005 alumna be hired as

her successor at Kansas City Ameristar and

became Burks’ mentor in the process.

So continues the influence of Mrs. E., who

has lived in Eugene, MO, just south of

Russellville, since 1959, one year after her

graduation from UCM. She retired after

spending 30 of her 37 years teaching at

Russellville High School.

Teaching the classics and requiring her

students to read pivotal authors were

natural for Engelbrecht. That’s what she

was taught by Erna Raithel, who taught

English when she attended and graduated

from Russellville High School. Kinkade

notes that Miss Raithel, a 1945 Central

Missouri alumna, was her mother’s English

teacher as well as the town’s historian. She

taught language arts for 31 years, mostly

in Jefferson City, before she retired in 1985.

She died in 2008.

Engelbrecht inspired

Kinkade to go to

college and break out

from a future that

seemed inevitable in

farming or factory work.

Mercer remembers she

was tough, never giving

away easy grades.



“I couldn’t have been who I was without

her,” says Mrs. E. “There is always someone

who influences somebody.”

Kinkade and Mercer took Mrs. E.’s drama

class, had lead roles in plays and worked on

the yearbook and school newspaper. That’s

about the extent of their similarities as

students. Mercer was more sports-oriented,

and Kinkade, who described herself as

“painfully uncoordinated,” focused more

on academics, band and choir.

Kinkade won numerous speech awards

and a trip to Washington, D.C., in an

essay contest. “I remember I hated speech

and [Mrs. E.] was like, ‘You can do this,’”

she says. Now part of her job involves

preparing others to speak in public.

Mercer remembers Engelbrecht was tough,

never giving away easy grades. She recalls

her excitement after earning a B+ on a

report she wrote on George Bernard Shaw.

“Truly, I think Mrs. E. just held me to a

higher standard,” she says. “I think she was

tough in a caring and compassionate way.

She inspired you to reach your potential.”

Mercer carried over her experiences with

Mrs. E. to her corporate life, specifically, to

a leadership class she taught at Ameristar.

One exercise involved writing your “Life’s

Board of Directors” and sharing that with

the people on your list. Mrs. E. was on


“I taught the class and decided to take

my own advice,” she says. She wrote to

Engelbrecht. That letter started a penpal

relationship between the two, which

solidified into the reunion in Kansas City.

Engelbrecht was thrilled to see her former

students. Mercer was in town for another

purpose; she was spokeswoman for the

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

Mercer is in her second cancer-free year

and, as spokeswoman, gave interviews

on television about her battle with breast

cancer. She addressed a crowd of 27,000

participants to kick off the race. Ameristar

had some 370 team members, including

workers and their family members,

participate in the race.

“It’s a huge honor. Thank goodness I had

good training,” Mercer says, grabbing Mrs.

E.’s hand. Mercer notes that early detection

saved her life. “You can definitely fight it

and win if you learn about it early enough.

I was very fortunate I worked throughout

my battle and maintained as much

normalcy as possible.”

Engelbrecht says Kinkade and Mercer

haven’t changed much; they still have

the bubbling, energetic and enthusiastic

personalities she remembers. She didn’t

have much trouble recognizing them.

“They’re who they were pretty much…

very much, in fact,” Mrs. E. says. “I am so

proud of them. I just rejoice at their success

as I do for all of my students.”

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University of Central Missouri | today 5

A true crime junkie

Meisberger finds Niche in

Jackson County Cold Case unit

By Matt Bird-Meyer ’97

“every day when i get notice

there’s been a new [Dna] hit,

just knowing we’re going to be

able to do something about

a case where the offender

thinks they’ve gotten away

with it after all these years and

saying, ‘nope, we got ya.’”

6 SPRING 2011

At the center of operations for a DNA

Cold Case Unit in Jackson County, MO, is

a University of Central Missouri graduate

who is helping to snare sex offenders from

as far back as 1979.

The work is right up Jennifer Meisberger’s

alley. Criminal justice runs in the family as

both her father, John B. Boyd, and brother,

John R. Boyd, are attorneys.

She got her first taste of the justice system

as a volunteer for the Court Appointed

Special Advocates program in Jackson

County prior to starting her master’s

degree at UCM. She volunteered two years

with CASA, helping to support children

who were victims of abuse and other crimes

as they navigated the court system.

Her taste for the justice system runs even

deeper. She calls it a “lifelong obsession.”

Meisberger says she remembers when

Kansas City serial killer Bob Berdella was

arrested when she was 4 or 5 years old. She

recalls when she asked at the breakfast

table what a serial killer was, her brother’s

response. “He kills by choking someone

with cereal, of course.”

Serious about pursuing a career in criminal

justice, she finished a two-year master’s

degree in about a year, graduating in

2008. Four months later she was hired as a

paralegal with the newly formed unit.

“When this job came up, I said, ‘Wow, this is

made for me to do,’” she says. “It’s exciting.

Every day when I get notice there’s been a

new [DNA] hit, just knowing we’re going

to be able to do something about a case

where the offender thinks they’ve gotten

away with it after all these years and saying,

‘Nope, we got ya.’”

Her work touches every aspect of the unit.

During its startup, she worked with three

others for a month in the Kansas City

Crime Lab to catalog the evidence they

saved from 1972 to 1992. Next, they plowed

through the handwritten notebooks

from trace analysts and requested the

corresponding reports from the Kansas

City Police Department.

“It was very tedious work,” she says. But it

was compelling work for the crime junkie.

“You’re holding physical evidence – you’re

touching history of true crime.”

In that month, they identified more than

2,000 cases from 1979 to 1992 that fell

within the statute of limitations and had

sufficient evidence. Meisberger notes a case

becomes “cold” if all leads are exhausted,

no offender is identified or the investigating

detective leaves for another unit.

Meisberger maintains the unit’s databases

and keeps track of the charges they’ve filed.

She assigns cases to analysts and notifies the

lab if a case is approved for DNA testing.

If a sample comes back with a positive

DNA hit, she helps with investigative

activities, such as tracking down suspects,

victims, witnesses, investigative officers and

hospital personnel. She notes that it can be

frustrating to work on a case only to have

the DNA return with no matches or if the

DNA was too degraded to test.

“But there are those certain ones that just

stand out to you for certain reasons, like

when there’s a child victim,” she says. “It

kind of brings you down, but there are

those that give you satisfaction. There’s a

lot of resolution and you feel really good

when you get those hits.”

“it was very tedious work.” But it was compelling work

for the crime junkie. “You’re holding physical evidence

— you’re touching history of true crime.”

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University of Central Missouri | today 7

T hrill of the Chase

8 SPRING 2011

As a bald eagle soars overhead and swoops down for a

fish, Ryan Brown forgets about tying a fly on his line.

More important is the camera in his car’s backseat and

the picture unfolding 30 yards away. Luckily the bird

drops the fish and when it snatches the fish again in its

claws, Brown is ready, firing 10 frames per second.

“That’s kind of the thrill of the chase, like hunting,

only with a camera,” he says. That’s also why he always

carries a camera, even if it’s just his cell phone.

(continued next page)

University of Central Missouri | today 9

(continued from previous page)

Life is a delicate balancing act

for this 2003 UCM graduate. The

award-winning photographer

juggles new fatherhood, a freelance

business in Lee’s Summit,

MO, and a full-time job managing

the design and lab department of a

high-end wedding album maker in

Santa Ana, CA.

Wedding photography pays the

bills, but Brown has a passion for

all photography. He’s endured

cold to capture the sun rising

over the Grand Tetons on a crisp

morning and traveled south for

the rich scenery around the Gulf

of Mexico. He describes his distinct

style as romantic. He says others

call it pure, classic or timeless

because it relies on ambient light.

“I like to show the emotion in the

relationship. I don’t go with the

trends. I try to keep my own style.”

As an artist, Brown likes to try

different things. “My style is

always changing. You have to

keep up with the times and do

your own thing.”

10 SPRING 2011



Whatever Brown is doing, it’s

paying off in terms of recognition.

In 2010, he pulled down several

prestigious awards while

staying active in six professional

organizations. He was named the

2010 Heart of America Regional

Master Photographer of the Year,

Missouri Master Photographer

of the Year and International

Photographer of the Year. He won

a Golden Bellows Award from

the Professional Photographers

Association of Greater Kansas City

and Fuji Masterpiece and Kodak

Gallery awards.

He also earned the 2010 Canon Par

Excellence Award, which came

with an extra bonus in addition

to the sparkling crystal trophy – a

$3,500 lens.

“Canon is the largest camera

manufacturer in the world,”

he notes, “and my work was

considered worthy of winning this

honor? What it meant for me is

that I did something correct this

year, and next year I need to do

something different.”

Brown says UCM gave him the

dedication, motivation and

perseverance to pursue success.

“I wanted to be the best and

insisted on doing whatever I had

to do to make it. The university

gave me the intangible education

to keep going.”

— By Matt Bird-Meyer ’97

University of Central Missouri | today 11

campus currents

12 SPRING 2011

track and field add

More National titles

Two more national athletic titles entered the

University of Central Missouri record book this

spring when pentathlete Lindsay Lettow was

named the U.S. Track and Field/Cross Country

Coaches Association’s Women’s National Field

Athlete of the Year, and heptathlete Shane Boss

was selected for the NCAA Elite 88 Award.

Lettow of Urbandale, IA, smashed track and

field records all season long. Not only did the

junior repeat as MIAA champion in the 60-meter

hurdles, 600-yard run and pentathlon, she also

broke two building, three meet and four school

records. Her point total of 39.5 was also a meethigh

for the second straight year.

At the NCAA national championships in

Albuquerque, NM, she stood on three podiums,

adding a fourth-place long jump (19’00”) and

sixth-place 60-meter hurdles to go with her

first-place pentathlon finish. The 4,064 points

she totaled were an NCAA championship’s

meet high and the

most ever scored

by a Division II

pentathlete. In 2011,

across all divisions,

she was only bested

by nine others in

the country for the


Boss of Oak Grove,

MO, is a computer

information systems

major with a 4.0

grade point average.

He competed nationally this spring in the

heptathlon, finishing in third place. The Elite 88

embodies the true spirit of the student-athlete. It

is given to a male and female participant at each

of the 88 national championships recognized by

the NCAA.

The national titles capped off a great spring

season for the Mules and Jennies. The Jennies

bowling team made its eighth consecutive

appearance at the national championship. Player

Natalie Jimenez was tabbed the Division II/III

Player of the Year while teammate Kara Richard

was named the D-II/III Rookie of the Year.

The Mules golf team reached the NCAA

Tournament as the automatic bid from the MIAA.

They made a perfect run through conference

competition winning the MIAA tournament title

by 29 shots. Honors included Matt Miller as MIAA

Player of the Year and Tim Poe as Coach of the

Year. It is their second straight MIAA title and

national appearance. It is their third consecutive

regular season crown.

Not just with current players did athletics make a

splash this spring. Central Missouri is sending four

individuals and two teams to the 2011 MIAA Hall

of Fame. Inductees include Jorja Hoehn, Jennies

basketball coach from 1980-85; Carla Eades,

Jennies basketball player from 1980-84; Lynn

Nance, Mules basketball coach from 1980-85;

and Ron Nunnelly, Mules basketball player from

1981-85. The four will be inducted, along with

UCM’s 1984 national championship men’s and

women’s basketball teams, at the annual MIAA

Awards Dinner June 9 in Kansas City.



Central Missouri President Charles

Ambrose participated in two special

events this spring at the invitation of

the U.S. Air Force and Department of

Defense. He was selected to observe and

engage with the military and exchange

ideas related to national security at

the DoD’s Joint Civilian Orientation

Conference 81 in Washington, D.C. and

the USAF’s Annual National Security

Forum at Maxwell Air Force Base, AL.

“It’s an honor to be selected to

participate in these events, particularly

as UCM continues building strong

relationships with the men and women

who serve at Whiteman Air Force Base,”

Ambrose says.

“These were unique opportunities that

gave me an insider’s look at what it

means to serve our country and to learn

more about issues affecting the safety

and well being of all U.S. citizens.”

bhattaRaI, StaLLMaNN NaMEd


Jackie Bhattarai, a psychology and

Spanish major from Warrensburg,

and Andrew Stallmann, an actuarial

science and mathematics major from

Washington, MO, received the 2011

Charno Award.

The honor for Central Missouri’s top male

and female senior students is named

for George Charno Sr., who established

the award in 1940 to recognize the

outstanding male member of the

graduating class. The award for the

outstanding female was created one

year later.

GRab a bIKE, SaVE ON GaS

Parking the car and jumping on a bicycle

to navigate campus became easier this

spring with a program that gives “recycling”

new meaning.

The Re-Cycles Program for students

and staff continues to expand UCM’s

commitment to sustainability. The

program started out with bikes rescued

from UCM surplus, rebuilt by a local bike

shop owner and painted emerald green

by a local body shop.

“We recycled 15 bicycles that had

been discarded as useless,” says

Manny Abarca, the graduate student

coordinating the campus’ sustainability

efforts. “We’re encouraging people to

look to alternatives for fossil fuels for

local transportation while reducing each

individual’s carbon footprint.”



Jack Horine, professor emeritus of

aviation, received the 2010 President’s

Award from the University Aviation

Association, a nonprofit organization

representing high schools and

universities that offer aviation degrees.

Horine started with Central Missouri’s

aviation program in 1961 and became

department chair in 1990. Although he

retired a few years ago, he continues to

teach as an adjunct faculty member and

advise students in the aviation safety

graduate program.

In the UAA, he is widely respected for his

support of the group’s DC Seminar on

Establishing Aviation Policy, to which he

has recruited one of the largest student

contingents for the past 20 years.



Central Missouri received the top

award for its student-directed alcohol

prevention initiatives at the National

Association of Student Personnel

Administrators annual meeting. The

2011 Prevention Excellence Awards were

announced by Outside the Classroom;

UCM received the Highest Honors of

Distinction and a $5,000 prize for the

quality of its prevention programming.

One campus program contributing to

the national recognition is Encouraging

Positive Interventions in Chapters, which

aims to reduce high-risk drinking and

negative consequences among Greekaffiliated

students. The program was

implemented at UCM in spring 2010.

tOP uCM faCuLty hONOR


Rhonda McKee, a professor whose work

includes dedication to helping young

women pursue mathematics careers,

has earned the University of Central

Missouri’s highest faculty honor as

recipient of the 2011 Byler Award.

Colleagues in the Department of

Mathematics and Computer Science

note that McKee exemplifies the type

of individual for whom the award

is intended. They describe her as

exemplary, passionate and professional.

Terry Goodman,

professor of



called McKee

an “enthusiastic

and gifted




‘sing her

praises,’” he

said in his letter of support. “While

her courses are demanding and push

students to excel, she works hard to

create a learning environment that is

challenging, yet safe and supportive.”

The award is named for William H. Byler,

an inventor, author and teacher who

graduated from UCM in 1927 with a

major in chemistry and physics.

University of Central Missouri | today 13

Bits of the old — like the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair mirror,

tiles from the 1939 swimming pool, even the original

gymnasium hardwood floors — combined with state-ofthe-art

green technology and fitness equipment that rivals

an NFL team make us proud to show off the campus’ first

LEED-certified building. Plus it’s available for alumni to use.

The new Student Recreation and Wellness

Center is open, completing a $36-million

project that included renovation of both

Morrow and Garrison gymnasiums. It is

the largest construction project on campus

since Kirkpatrick Library was built in 2000.

14 SPRING 2011

Covering 69,000 square feet, the center

houses six basketball/volleyball courts,

three fitness rooms, three cardio-fitness

areas, indoor walking track, weight room,

climbing tower, bouldering area, conference

room and an Einstein Brothers Bagels.

It’s the university’s first LEED-certified

building, earning a gold rating for its

environmentally friendly design. Features

include automatic sinks and hand driers,

recycled carpet, energy-efficient light bulbs

and motion sensor lighting.

There are elements of the original Morrow

and Garrison buildings that make the

center historically unique, such as the

gyms’ hardwood floors in the ceiling and

the swimming pool tiles that surround the

Einstein eating area.

The original swimming pool sits

underneath Einstein’s. It’s being used to

collect rain water to irrigate the grounds.

Garrison’s original stone walls are again

exposed. The old wrestling room was

converted into the athletic training area.

Also impressive is the 36-foot-tall climbing

wall. The university hired a professional

climber to set routes on the climbing and

bouldering wall. Each path is marked by

different colors of tape to indicate the

degrees of difficulty.

University of Central Missouri | today 15

central yesterday

16 SPRING 2011

Remember the dolphins

and their 1939 debut

Green-tiled swimming depths stretch

across the front entry to Einstein

Brothers Bagels and continue around

the restaurant, symbolizing much

more than a retro recycle from one

of the campus’ oldest buildings. When

Central Missouri students finally got a

swimming pool in 1939, it was big news.

The day was Dec. 13, 1939, when the university

celebrated the dedication of the Walter E.

Morrow Physical Education and Health

Building. At that point, the campus had 15

buildings and 1,631 students. Its largest annual

enrollment had been the previous year at 2,590.

There were 96 faculty members, and so far,

100,000 students had attended with some 20,000

earning certificates or diplomas.

Students had waited quite awhile to get a pool.

It didn’t happen when Dockery Gymnasium

was constructed in 1904. It happened in 1939,

thanks to the Works Projects Administration.

The Depression era, New-Deal program

provided $90,000 toward the $270,000 used to

build the 36,000-square-foot facility. It featured

two gymnasiums, one for men and another

for women; a basketball arena with seating for

2,000 spectators; a health center; locker rooms;

showers, classrooms and special purpose rooms;

offices, laundry and other special facilities. Its

Gothic design was considered modern.

The swimming pool held center stage in the

new building and became home for a new

athletics and entertainment tradition, men’s

and women’s swim teams. Reading about

the Dolphins swim team and its high school

companion, the Dolphinettes, and seeing their

old photos bring back some colorful moments.

Call it a carnival or circus, for the building’s

dedication, the teams presented their first

public show March 28, 1940 — 16 water skits

for the 250 people lucky enough to get tickets,

since seating in the balcony above the pool was

limited. Think what the evening was like by

the titles of some of the acts alone: Fish Antics,

Snake Charmer, Water Pyramids, Trained Seals.

The Student reported, “The girls have obtained

new suits of velvet, lastex, scarlet in color, with

a black dolphin on the front. A red ‘W’ is on the

dolphin which has a red eye.”

The teams continued to perform and compete

until around 1980, garnering collective and

individual titles at conference, state and national

levels. Other than swim records of wins and

losses, history, though, is somewhat sketchy

about the teams and how they ended, but in the

new recreation center, their legacy lives on.

the big bear hunt

Alumnus Unearths Ancient Biggest, Baddest Bear

By Dalene Abner ’09

Most people try to avoid bears, especially big ones with bad

attitudes, but not Blaine Schubert. It’s his lifetime work. It

helps that the bears he tracks are not alive but millions of

years old. The paleontologist’s discovery of the largest known

bear species made the Journal of Paleontology and some of

the nation’s most renowned media, including National

(continued next page)

University of Central Missouri | today 17

18 SPRING 2011

(continued from previous page)

Geographic, Discovery, CBS and others.

“During its time, this bear was the largest

and most powerful meat-eater in the

world,” Schubert notes. “It’s always

extremely exciting to find something that’s

the largest of its class and not just a little bit

larger, but quite a bit larger.”

Schubert, a 1994 Central Missouri

alumnus, is a professor at East Tennessee

State University, director of its Center of

Excellence in Paleontology and curator

of its Natural History Museum. He

has published more than 20 articles on

paleontology and has appeared multiple

times on national television to talk about

short-faced prehistoric bears, his specialty.

For more than 14 years, Schubert and

Leopoldo Soibelzon, a researcher in

Argentina, have studied fossil collections

for prehistoric South American, North

American and European mammals.

Schubert is only one of a handful of

people who specialize in bear fossils in

North America; Soibelzon is the only such

specialist in South America.

They recently analyzed the fossil remains

of a bear unearthed during a hospital

construction project in 1935 at La Plata City

in the Buenos Aires Province and donated

to the La Plata Museum. They describe the

remains of this gigantic extinct creature

called Artotherium angustidens in the

January issue of the Journal of Paleontology.

The bear stood at least 11 feet tall on its

hind legs and weighed about 3,500 pounds.

“It just blew my mind how big it was,”

Schubert says, adding that as meat-eaters

go, “nothing else even comes close.” He

explains that, in comparison, “the largest

record for a living bear is a male polar bear

that weighed about 2,200 pounds.”

The scientists calculated the giant bear’s

size using bone measurements along with

equations for estimating body mass. Most

telling was its elephant-size humerus or

upper arm bone, which had once been

injured and infected. “This would have

been a very large bear that probably had a

bad attitude,” Schubert says.

The researchers aren’t certain what caused

the bear’s physical damage, but speculated

it could have been from male-to-male

fighting, from hunting giant ground sloths

or other megafauna, or from getting into

disputes with other carnivores, such as a

saber-toothed cat, over food.

“We think that these bears were

omnivores, which means that they ate

both plants and animals, but they probably

ate a lot of meat,” Schubert says. “Based on

their size, they were probably dominating

carcasses and scaring other animals away

from carcasses, even if they weren’t doing a

lot of their own hunting.”

He says that scientists don’t really know

why South American bears became so

large, but some attribute it to both a glut in

prey and a lack of competition. The bears

prospered after their ancestors traveled

over the land bridge that developed

between North and South America about

2.6 million years ago. Even the sabertoothed

cat was much smaller than the

giant South American short-faced bear.

Over time more carnivores appeared on

the South American landscape, and the

giant bears became extinct. Other related

large bears lived on though; some survived

up until the end of the last Ice Age.

The closest living relative of the extinct

short-faced bears is the South American

spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus), a

relatively small species.

The giant bear isn’t Schubert’s only recent

discovery. He is part of an ETSU team

that confirmed a venomous lizard called

Heloderma, today found only in the hot

deserts of Arizona and the tropical forests

of western Mexico, roamed North America

some five to seven million years ago from

Working as a paleontologist has been all that Blaine Schubert

hoped it would be. His work has taken him around the world,

from his first excavation of a buffalo skull in Warrensburg in

1993 to a trip for his Ph.D. dissertation that took him to some

of the most important sites of human ancestry in Africa.

The bear stood at least 11 feet tall on its hind legs and weighed

about 3,500 pounds. “It just blew my mind how big it was.”

Florida to Tennessee. Their findings are

discussed in Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, a

leading paleontology journal.

Finding the remains of such extinct

monster lizards and bears continues to

affirm what Schubert realized almost 20

years ago when he was a student at UCM

— that digging around in the dirt could

become an exciting career.

Schubert and his two brothers grew up

between Lowry City and Osceola, MO,

on a farm owned since the mid-1800s by

his mother’s family. “The country living

provided the perfect environment for my

brothers and me to explore nature,” he

says. Both of his brothers became scientists,

and when Schubert came to Central

Missouri in 1989, he wanted to do the same.

“At first I was undecided. I originally was

leaning toward biology, but I took Dr.

[John] Sheets’ class, and I became hooked

on the fossil record instead.”

Schubert attributes his career success to

Sheets, professor emeritus of anthropology

and history, and three other faculty

members: John Emerson and John Nold,

both in earth science, and Oz Hawksley, a

retired biology professor.

“They all served as my mentors and to this

day, they are the best teachers I had ever

had — and that’s after 11 years of college

courses,” he says. “In fact, when I teach, I

emulate their methods.”

He says that Sheets and Emerson helped

him discover his true interests. “They

continually encouraged my research and

helped set me on the path to graduate

school.” Sheets introduced Schubert to

Hawksley, who took him on a dig in an

Ozark cave. “I first realized in Dr. Sheet’s

and Dr. Emerson’s classes that you could

do paleontology as an actual job,” says

Schubert. “Before that, it was just sort of a

hobby. Then Dr. Hawksley took me under

his wing, and I developed a passion for

bears and cave paleontology.”

After he graduated from UCM in 1994,

Schubert went to Northern Arizona to

pursue a master’s degree. Next he went to

the Illinois State Museum for three years,

worked on fossil from Ozark caves, and

completed a book titled Ice Age Cave Faunas

in North America. He then pursued a Ph.D at

the University of Arkansas on vertebrate

paleoecology. He began working at East

Tennessee State in 2004 and two years later,

joined the faculty.

Working as a paleontologist has been all

that Schubert hoped it would be. “I love

teaching and going on digs,” he says. His

work has taken him around the world,

from his first excavation of a buffalo skull

in Warrensburg in 1993 to a trip for his

Ph.D. dissertation that took him to some

of the most important sites of human

ancestry in Africa.

He’s written articles published in academic

journals such as Proceedings of the National

Academy of Sciences and the Journal of Zoology.

He’s also appeared on two of The History

Channel’s most popular shows, “Monster

Quest” and “Jurassic Fight Club,” because

of his expertise.

“I get to travel a lot,” he says. “Last year

I went to England to talk about the bear

specimens that I’ve researched, and before

that, I went to Argentina to investigate a

wide variety of fossil bears. The traveling is

definitely one of the best parts of the job.”

As much as he likes the exploration and

teaching part, he also has responsibility for

getting external funding and supervising

a university department. While Schubert

loves digs and traveling, he also is content

writing articles.

“I really do love what I do,” he says.

“Teaching students is one of the most

fulfilling parts.” The challenges of being a

paleontologist are balanced by the rewards.

With his colleague Steven Wallace,

Schubert recently received a $320,000

grant to excavate and study fossils at the

Gray Fossil Site, a massive fossil site in the

Appalachians of eastern Tennessee.

“This site is one of the most remarkable

fossil collections in the world,” he says. “It

represents one of the only Miocene and

early Pliocene forested ecosystems in the

Americas and preserves a multitude of

species and biological communities new to

science. It’s a massive site with less than one

percent sampled.”

Schubert says his job comes close to being

perfect. “I just want to keep doing what I

am doing,” he says. “This is what I love to

do.” He adds that Central Missouri helped

him on his way to his career and passion.

“The university was great, my teachers

were great, and they helped me pick this as

something that I would love to do.”

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University of Central Missouri | today 19


20 SPRING 2011

a New Clubhouse for Pertle

As Central Missouri’s golf team earned its way to

a second consecutive national NCAA tournament,

the university started construction of a new

clubhouse for their home course at Pertle Springs,

thanks to a $1.5 million gift from philanthropist,

Audrey Walton.

“We’re very grateful to Mrs. Walton for making this

new facility possible,” says UCM President Charles

Ambrose during a groundbreaking March 30. “Our

golf course has undergone many renovations

since 2008, and we’re excited about what a new

clubhouse can mean for this outstanding facility.

We expect it to become a focal point for Pertle

Springs and a hub for golfing events and many

other activities not necessarily related to the sport.”

Construction of the 5,000-square-foot clubhouse

began in April. It will feature men’s and women’s

locker rooms, a banquet room that can seat up

to 150 people, professional kitchen facilities, a pro

shop, staff offices and a patio that overlooks the

18th green and that can seat about 60 people.

“The clubhouse will meet many university needs,

but we also look forward to finding new ways to

share it with the community,” says Athletic Director

Jerry Hughes. He adds that the facility will become

a great venue for such special events as weddings,

family reunions and fundraisers.





The UCM golf team attended the ceremony and

helped Walton officially break the ground where

the facility will stand. Afterward Ambrose and

Hughes presented Walton with a shadow box,

which held a UCM golf ball and artist renderings

of the clubhouse, in recognition of her generosity.

Walton is one of UCM’s largest individual donors.

She contributed funds to help build the football

stadium that bears her name and annually gives

major items, such as her suite at the St. Louis Rams

stadium, to the UCM Athletic Auction.

Keth Memorial Golf Course has held a unique

place in UCM history since it opened in 1964. Earl

Keth, the first UCM basketball player to make All-

American, was its original architect. After serving

as head basketball coach from 1946 through 1961,

he coached the golf team until he died in 1972.

Since its start as a nine-hole sand course, the

facility has been continually improved. It was

expanded to 18 holes and coverted to grass greens

in 1972, the same year that the university also

named the course in honor of Keth. Improvements

since then have included cart paths, an automatic

irrigation system and even its designation as an

Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary preserving the

ecology of its wildlife setting.

In 2008, the university opened a new 300+ yard

driving range with multiple tees and target greens,

an all-weather turf tee, a four-bay indoor hitting

facility and two short game practice areas.


thaNKS PadGEt


Alex Caselman loves to play the trumpet.

He’s been interested in music his entire

life but something happened as a high

school junior. He realized music could be

a career.

“I always knew that Central Missouri was

a fantastic educational school, and the

music department was attractive,” he

says. His family also had strong UCM ties.

Both his parents

have music

degrees from

UCM, and his

brother, Adam,

is currently a



For Caselman,

the choice to

attend UCM

happened as

a high school senior when he heard

performances by the Marching Band and

the Wind Ensemble. “I decided then that

I wanted to be part of that,” he adds.

He’s now a senior music education major

and for two years, has been principal

trumpet chair for the Wind Ensemble. As

such, he receives the Douglas E. Padget

Principal Trumpet Chair Scholarship.

“This scholarship has made many things

possible for me,” he says. “For starters,

I was able to purchase numerous

recordings of famous trumpeters and

buy sheet music to add to my music

library. I was able to get things like

valve oil, mutes and other items that

are essential for trumpet players. The

scholarship has made a tremendous

impact on my education.”

That was the intent of Padget when

he established the scholarship in 1993

when he graduated with a bachelor of

music in education and signed his first

teaching contract. He saw his gift as an

opportunity to give back to help other

deserving students.

As a student, Padget participated in

University Concert Band for five years,

and he received scholarships, often to his

surprise. He since has finished a master

of arts in music and is teaching at a

middle school in Blue Springs, married to

another UCM music alum, Robin Rolf.

Caselman is grateful for his UCM

education. “My favorite experience to

date has to be performing with the Wind

Ensemble in New York last year at the

world-famous Carnegie Hall. We were

in New York five days. We had a very

successful performance and received a

standing ovation. It was amazing.”



A gift from the estate of Hazel Nance

of Lakewood, WA, will increase a

scholarship originally established by

her husband, the late Lt. Col. E. James

Nance, in honor of his sister, Corinna.

The Corinna Harte Nance Memorial







Scholarship helps students who graduate

from Osceola High School or are from

St. Clair County, MO. They must be a

full-time student at UCM pursuing a

degree in teacher education; have a

minimum 3.0 grade point average; and

show good character, leadership and


When he established the scholarship

in 1999, Nance praised his sister’s

intelligence and her penmanship, which

he described as “a thing of beauty.”

She was a graduate of Osceola and

was Nance’s first-grade teacher. While

attending UCM in 1927, she became ill

and died two years later at age 22.

Nance attended UCM from 1938 through

1940, when he volunteered for flight

training in the Army Air Corps upon the

outbreak of World War II. During his

military career, he and Hazel lived in Iran,

Germany and the Canary Islands. They

built La Florida Tennis Club on the island

of Tenerife and operated it for 17 years

before returning to Tacoma, WA. They

were married 44 years. He passed away

in 2007; Hazel died in 2010.



Most people got to know Martha

Johnson as a grade school teacher in the

Odessa R-VII school district in Missouri.

She taught for 33 years, primarily in the

second and fourth grades. So respected

were her abilities as a teacher that she

was inducted into the Odessa R-VII

Public Foundation Hall of Fame.

Johnson received a bachelor’s degree

in education from UCM in 1957, followed

by a master’s in 1972.

When she died in 2010, her family

wanted to do something special to

remember her so they created a

scholarship they knew Johnson had

talked about doing herself.

The Martha L. Johnson Education

Scholarship will help a graduating senior

from Odessa High School planning to

pursue a degree in teacher education

at UCM. They must rank in the upper

25 percent of their high school

graduating class; be actively involved in

school, church or community activities;

and show financial need.

University of Central Missouri | today 21

Future Thinking Now

By Mike Greife ’74

Eugenia Crain established a

scholarship through a charitable

annuity with the UCM Foundation.

Dale Carder, interim executive

director, notes that annuities are

a venue that friends and alumni

should consider. “For people tired

of getting a one percent return on

their investments, a charitable gift

annuity pays five percent or better

guaranteed. And you help more

students become UCM graduates,”

he says.

A charitable gift annuity works

simply, starting with a minimum gift

of $25,000. “Based on the ages of

you and your spouse, a return rate is

locked in for the remainder of both

of your lives. You draw a guaranteed

quarterly payment,” Carder

says. “Upon death, you can have

predetermined what the remainder

of your annuity funds, such as an

academic program or scholarship.

Depending on your tax bracket,

about 50% of your donation is tax

deductible and in some cases, even

the first two or three years of your

quarterly payments are tax free.”

22 SPRING 2011

Eugenia Crain’s career as an educator

provided her with opportunities to meet

interesting people who encouraged her

to explore new challenges. Now retired,

the professor emeritus of accounting has

made those same opportunities available

to new generations of University of

Central Missouri students by establishing a

charitable gift annuity that eventually will

provide a $100,000 gift through the UCM

Foundation for scholarships.

A native of Sturgeon, MO, Crain graduated

from Northeast Missouri State Teachers

College in 1942. After working for the state

family services agency, she began teaching

high school business classes in 1946 in New

Franklin, MO. She soon moved across the

river to Boonville, where she and her first

husband, the late Aven Roberts, taught

at Kemper Military Academy. While

teaching at Kemper, she obtained her

master’s and specialist’s degrees from the

University of Missouri.

Following Roberts’ death in 1969, Crain

taught briefly at Northeast Missouri State

before accepting an opportunity to come

to UCM as an accountant in the financial

affairs office working with sponsored

programs. She had remarried, and she

and her husband, Stanley Crain, took

advantage of the opportunity to move to

Warrensburg in 1972.

“Dr. Wyss was the vice president for

financial affairs at the time, and I had

known him when he lived Boonville,”

Crain says. “I saw him one day when I

was visiting in Boonville, and he asked me

if I would consider coming to CMSU. It

sounded like a wonderful opportunity.

It seems so many of the wonderful

experiences in my life have come from

generous offers from people I know.”

While serving as an accountant in

financial affairs, she also taught a class in

accounting. Wyss encouraged her to begin

teaching accounting courses in the College

of Business. That opportunity turned into

a career preparing UCM students for the

business world.

Following Mr. Crain’s death in 2000, she

retired in 2001, but not before making

the decision to establish the Stanley

and Eugenia R. Crain Scholarship for

undergraduate students in accounting

through the UCM Foundation.

Crain is enjoying her retirement, where

she remains active in the Columbia

community. She recalls her years at

UCM and in the Warrensburg community

with fondness.

“My years at UCM were filled with

wonderful friendships on campus and

in Warrensburg,” she says. “I wanted to

enable future students to share the same

benefits I received at UCM. Those benefits

included the counsel of fellow teachers

and administrators who worked hard to

provide the leadership and service that

produced the quality education enjoyed by

UCM students.”

She still finds time to interact with young

people, maintaining her season tickets

for the University of Missouri women’s

basketball games. She stays in touch with

friends in Warrensburg and still hears from

former students.

“Education is important,” she says. “It’s

important to support the schools that

educate the American public. The

success of our democracy depends on

an educated public.”

“Education is important. It’s important to support the

schools that educate the American public. The success of

our democracy depends on an educated public.”

University of Central Missouri | today 23

class notes


Martha Groner-Fennewald ’33

turned 100 years old Aug. 24, 2010.

She attended UCM from 1929-1933

and received a Regents certificate,

which gave her the required

credentials to teach. Her 30-year

teaching career began in one-room

schoolhouses in Westphalia, Folk

and St. Elizabeth. She remembers

walking four miles one way to

reach the schools, lighting the

stoves and sweeping the floors.

She had five children and when

they were older, she taught at

Immaculate Conception School in

Jefferson City and St. Joseph School

in Westphalia. After she retired

from teaching, she sold insurance

for 25 years, retiring at age 90.

Her daughter, Joyce Fennewald-

Springer, was her student for six

out of eight years in grade school.

1960 – 1969

Paul Collier ’61 is retired as a high

school principal in Ohio. He began

teaching and coaching in 1961 at

John Adams High School, then

became head track and field coach,

winning several invitationals and

league championships. In 1973,

he joined Heath High School as

assistant principal and served as

principal from 1961-1992. In 2003-05

he served as interim principal for

Utica High School. He has served

38 years as a registered track and

field official, volunteers as a Red

Cross board member, is a lay

delegate to the annual conference

for his church, and is active in the

Licking County Retired Teachers

Organization where he served as

president for two terms. He and his

wife, Nancy, reside in Heath, OH.

Larry Bossaller ’65 is a broker

and sales executive for RE/MAX

Boone Reality in Columbia. He

won Opportunity and Persistence

awards from RE/MAX and has been

involved in more than $163 million

of real estate sales. He is on the

board of directors of the Columbia

Kiwanis Club.

Marilyn (Fajen) Stafford ’65 and

husband, Robert, have sold their

home in Sedona, AZ, and moved to

Nixa, MO.

Chris “Moon Dog” Dautreuil

’69 is an investigator with the

24 SPRING 2011

Louisiana Department of Justice

Office of the Attorney General. He

has served in military intelligence

in Vietnam and as a special agent

with Southern Pacific Railroad and

Diamond Offshore. He and his wife,

Linda, have one son, Christopher,

who is attending the University of

Louisiana in Lafayette.

Bill Hays ’69 is raising Black Angus

cattle after he retired from General

Motors. His wife, Karlyn, is raising

registered miniature horses. They

reside in Tipton, MO.


Jerry Hogan ’71 read his story,

“Ozark Beats,” originally published

in the Dead Mule journal for the

Tales from the South NPR radio

program on KUAR-FM in Little

Rock, AR.

Daniel Huggins ’71 is a branch

manager with the Scotts Company.

He and his wife, Mary, have been

Solving eating Disorders

married 30 years and have three

grown children. He has started

flying again after 30 years.

Toni Clark-Moulthrop ’73 and

husband, Mike, have retired to

Treasure Lake in west central

Pennsylvania to golf, fish and boat.

Craig Lowe ’74, ’75 has been

appointed chief appellate review

judge for the Washington

Department of Social and Health

Services Board of Appeals.

John Zey ’75, ’76 completed his

doctorate of education from the

University of Missouri in Columbia

in December. He and his wife, Alice

Greife, who retired from the U.S.

Public Health Service in 1996, have

been with the University of Central

Missouri since 1996. They have two

daughters, Sarah and Kat.

Larry Perry ’77 retired as captain

after 30 years with the Shawnee

Kansas Police Department last

June. He served as patrol officer,

detective, patrol sergeant,

lieutenant, patrol commander

and retired as investigations

commander. He and his wife,

Beverly, reside in Shawnee.

Brig. Gen. Arnold N. Gordon-

Bray ’78 has been named deputy

director of operations for U.S.

Africa Command.

Alfred Lomax ’78 has been

nominated by President Barack

Obama as U.S. marshal for the

western district of Missouri. Lomax

began his law enforcement career

with the Kansas City Missouri

Police Department and after almost

30 years, became chief of airport

safety and security at Kansas City

International Airport.


Richard Palmer ’80 is vice

president of business development

of Integrity Management

one of the top national and international researchers in eating disorders traces

her scholarly roots back to the University of Central missouri. dr. denise E.

wilfley has the distinction of holding four appointments at the Washington

University School of medicine in St. Louis – professor of psychiatry, medicine,

pediatrics and psychology. She is also director of the university’s Weight

management and eating Disorders Program.

“She really is quite a renaissance woman,” says research assistant Brooke Genkin.

Wilfley frequently speaks about eating disorders and obesity at national and

international scholarly events. She also keeps busy on multiple research studies

and has nailed down about $25 million in funding throughout her career.

Wilfley graduated from UCm with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1982.

She and her husband, robinson Welch, live in Clayton, mo, with their children,

10-year-old Wil and four-year-old twins, emma and ella.

not only has Wilfley led groundbreaking research into childhood obesity,

treatments for anorexia nervosa and family therapy, she’s also a strong mentor to

her junior researchers. “She’s an excellent role model, especially as she entered

the field when there weren’t a lot of females doing this research,” Genkin says.

“She’s the best mentor i’ve ever had.”

Photo courtesy Robert Boston, Washington University in St. Louis

Consulting, a provider of full lifecycle

acquisition, contracting and

program management consulting

services for federal sector

customers in McLean, VA.

Christopher Gentile ’81 is

president of Honeywell Federal

Manufacturing & Technologies,

which manages and operates the

Kansas City nuclear weapons parts

plant for the federal government.

He was previously vice president

for national security programs

at the Kansas City plant and vice

president for the Honeywell

operation at the Savannah River

Nuclear Solutions facility in

South Carolina.

John Luetkemeyer ’81 was

appointed director of state audits

for Missouri. He has been with the

state auditor’s office for 30 years.

Mark Magers ’82 has written a

book, Strategies of a Fantasy Baseball

Champ, based on his experience

participating in and winning

fantasy baseball leagues since the

1980s. In the past five years, he

annually has won at least one

fantasy league, and often he has

won multiple leagues.

John Healy ’83 retired from the

Lenexa Fire Department after 27

years of service and 30 years as a


Jerry Harmison, Jr. ’84 was

recently elected chair of the

board of the Springfield Missouri

Chamber of Commerce. A former

Mules wrestler, he is a lawyer in


Steve Gorman ’85, ’96 was

featured in a solo exhibit

at the Nerman Museum of

Contemporary Art at Johnson

County Community College. He

retired from North Kansas City and

Centerview school districts after

teaching 25 years. He also studied

at the Philadelphia University of

the Arts. His works are included

in the Waterloo Museum of Art

in Waterloo, IA, and University

Art Museum at Southern Illinois

University in Carbondale.

Tal Moore ’87 has been named

chief performance improvement

officer for the Ft. Defiance Indian

Hospital at Navajo Nation and

has been elected president of the

National Native American Human

Resources Association. Tal, his

partner, Darin, and their son, Sean,

reside in Placitas, NM and Palm

Springs, CA.

Jennifer (Deardorff) Malcolm ’88

completed a teacher certification

and master of education program.

Her specialty is general special

education-learning disabilities.

Timothy Stewart ’88 has been

promoted to warden at the

Federal Correctional Institution

in Morgantown, WV, after 22 years

with the Federal Bureau of Prisons.


Joe Harlan ’93 has been appointed

dean of physical education and

athletic director at Rio Hondo

College in Whittier, CA. He was

previously athletic director at the

University of Wisconsin-Stout.

Michael McAfee ’93 has been

named inaugural director of the

Promise Neighborhoods Institute

in Oakland, CA. He has spent more

than 20 years in the government,

philanthropic and humanservice

sectors, collaborating

with government, civic, business,

nonprofit and faith leaders to

connect families and children to

economic and social opportunities.

Prior to PNI, McAfee was senior

community planning and

development representative in the

Chicago regional office of the U.S.

Department of Housing and Urban


Justin Page ’94 was promoted to

assistant warden at the Boonville

Correctional Center for the State

of Missouri.

Aaron Barth ’97 has moved to

Ft. Leavenworth, KS, for a yearlong

military school after being

redeployed from Iraq this winter. It

was his third deployment with the

U.S. Army 1st Cavalry Division.

Kelly Melies ’98, ’02 works for

the Department of Health at the

Marshall Habilitation Center in

Marshall, MO. She is taking online

classes at Full Sail University

pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in

Creative Writing.



to nuclear


how do you become a respected scientist in the field of

nuclear threat reduction? You heed your professor’s advice to

apply for a summer internship.

that’s what doug berning attributes as the start of his career

at Los alamos national Laboratory in new mexico. he credits

John hess, retired professor of biology, for encouraging him

to apply for the internship at the University of missouri in

radiopharmaceuticals, which, in turn, led to his pursuit of a

graduate degree in chemistry.

“radiopharmaceutical chemistry turned out to be good for me

because it allowed me to use what i had learned from both my

undergraduate degrees in biology and chemistry,” he says.

the 1991 graduate says his experiences had more hands-on

opportunities than most universities offer. “UCm provided a

very solid knowledge basis for my education. Because of the

low teacher-to-student ratio, the professors can challenge

their students in ways logistically impossible at large


Berning explains that he works on a variety of threatreduction

and threat-assessment projects, including chemical,

radiological and explosives.

“i am proud to work with people and at an institution that has

such a rich history and impact on national and international

decisions,” he says. “from a personal standpoint, i am proud

and feel privileged to have worked in a wide range of fields

including biomedical, renewable energy, environmental

remediation, forensics, emergency response, and global

security. i believe my ability to quickly adapt to each of these

areas is a strong testament to the broad education that i

received at both UCm and UmC.”

— By Matt Bird-Meyer ’97

wE waNt yOuR

Have you moved? Been married? Changed jobs? Retired?

Gotten a new email? Received an award? We want your news!

Go online to www.ucmo.edu/alumni

Email us at alumni@ucmo.edu

Write us at UCM Alumni Association,

University of Central Missouri,

Smiser Alumni Center,

Warrensburg, MO 64093

University of Central Missouri | today 25


Andy Ball ’02, ’04 has joined

the athletic staff at Truman State

University as defensive line coach

and co-recruiting coordinator. He

spent three seasons at Culver-

Stockton College in Canton, MO.

He also was at Missouri University

of Science and Technology, where

he was in charge of the offensive

line, strength and conditioning,

special teams and recruiting.

Stephanie (Benedict) Coulter

’03 received a master of art from

the University of Missouri-Kansas

City. She is working as a freelance

photographer and as an adjunct

You Probably Wear their Stuff

26 SPRING 2011

instructor for the Art Institutes

International Kansas City.

Erin vanVoorst ’04 married Nick

Purifoy in June 2010. They reside in

Lawrence, KS.

Laura Faust ’05 is assisting with

sales and marketing for Pyro

Novelties, Inc. in Lenexa, KS. She

will be attending trade shows,

developing product and editing

artwork. Pyro Novelties is a

family-owned business that creates

customized products.

David Cook ’06 is releasing a

second album this year with some

songs available March 3. The 2008

American Idol winner recorded

Simple Minds’ 1985 hit, Don’t You

Forget About Me, which aired this

season during the elimination


Sam Flower fs ’06 graduated from

Moberly Area Community College

with an associate of arts degree

and is now a history major at the

University of Missouri-Columbia.

Kelly Hemmingsen ’06 is

marketing manager for the

National World War I Museum

at Liberty Memorial in Kansas

City. Kelly will help the museum

create and implement a strategic

Check the label on apparel at college bookstores throughout the country, and

more than likely, you will see the name, Gear. in addition to universities, their

clients include major sports leagues, military bases, golf courses and resorts.

Behind that label, and the apparel designs, are several Central missouri alumni.

three UCm graduates are managers in the art production and support

departments at this custom-decorated sportswear company based in Lenexa,

KS. Stu Lantz ’91 is the screen print art support manager. he was recruited to the

company by his co-worker of 19 years, Pete Leodler, a 1986 art graduate, who

manages the screen print graphic artists in Gear’s art production department.

John foulke graduated in 1992 from UCm with a degree in graphic arts

technology management. he is a manager in the embroidery design department.

the company prints and embroiders its designs on Gear for Sports apparel

as well as garments with the Champion and Under armour labels. Leodler says

the company ships 60,000 to 100,000 garments each day. their design teams

produce a raft of custom art designs, churning out 88,000 designs last year.

“our biggest thing here is the culture and the environment,” Leodler says. “the

people are the best. We hire the most qualified.”

the Gear design studio has 65 artists, and 12 claim UCm as their alma mater.

Lantz credits the university’s art faculty for preparing students for a profession

in commercial art. “one of the things they continually emphasize today is to

ensure the student’s portfolio is ready and just to make sure you’re ready for that

interview when it comes,” Lantz says.

he adds, “artists are perfectionists, and we want to make sure that portfolio is

perfect front to back, not just the stuff inside but the presentation as well.”

— By Matt Bird-Meyer ‘97

marketing and communications

plan, including public relations,

advertising, promotions

publications, digital media,

photography and outreach.

Patrick Nurse ’06 received his

master of business administration

degree from Mississippi State

University and works as a project

manager for the Nucor Corp. He

resides in Starkville, MS.

Bryson LeBlanc ’06, ’09 has been

named an assistant coach with

the University of Oregon Ducks

baseball program. He coaches

first base and works with the

outfielders. He has been with the

Ducks for three years and was

previously camp coordinator.

Luke Oyster ’06, ’08 is a tax

associate for the firm of Eide Bailly

LLP, one of the top 25 certified

public accounting firms in the

nation. He is working from its

offices in Norman, OK.

Alicia Givens ’08, ’10 is a staff

probation officer for the city and

county of Denver.

Brett Cavanah ’09 is playing

arena league football with the

Nebraska Danger. The four-year

letterman for the Mules will play

offensive guard. The Danger, based

in Grand Island, NE, is one of 22

teams in the IFL, created in 2009

through a merger of the Intense

Football League and United Indoor

Football League. The team began

its schedule in March and will play

throughout the U.S.

April Hayes ’09 is working for

The Steritech Group, the largest

hospitality brand protection service

provider in the U.S. She received

her certified professional in food

safety credential in November.

Laylan Hecker ’09 is volunteer

and outreach events coordinator at

West Central Independent Living

Solutions in Warrensburg.

2010 – 2019

Scott Roddy ’10 is in his 30th year

in education, teaching in Ohio. He

is a certified firefighter, nationally

certified in para-medicine and

tactical medic, and a certified

medical death investigator with the

coroner’s office.

Kathy humphrey believes

she can improve the world

— one student at a time. as the vice provost and dean

of students for one of the nation’s largest universities,

she acts on that philosophy every day.

“i am a leader who believes that everything can be

made better,” she says. “making the world better by

positively impacting the lives of students is my life’s

mission.” She does that at the University of Pittsburgh,

more commonly known as Pitt, with 27,000 students at

its main campus and another 32,000 at four regional


the 1984 Central missouri graduate got her career start

as a resident assistant in houts-hosey hall. “i always

loved working with young people,” she says. “i feel like

my life’s mission is to make a difference in their lives.

higher education is a launch pad for young people to

be what they want to become.”

humphrey returned to UCm to become associate

director of university housing from 1991 to 1994. She

continued to advance her career at St. Louis University

as director of residence life, associate vice provost

for student development and then vice president for

student development before arriving at the University

of Pittsburgh in 2005.

there, she developed outside classroom curriculum

to provide a well-rounded education for students. the

curriculum has students preparing for their careers

early through building resumes, visiting job fairs,

earning credit for leadership positions and public

speaking experiences.

— By Matt Bird-Meyer ‘97

Dick Schromm ’57 received

Sacramento’s Lasalle Club Coaches

Hall of Fame award. He was

honored for his 20+ years of major

college basketball officiating and

for serving 12 years as Northern

California Commissioner of

Officials, assigning officials for

all sports for more than 100 high

schools. He is president of the



her Daily


Sacramento Valley Chapter of the

National Football Foundation and

Hall of Fame.

Morris Collins ’69 has been

named a 2011 Icon of Education

by Ingram’s magazine. The Kansas

City business publication chose

nine people for the annual award

based on their contributions to

the success of their grade schools

or universities. Collins, a retired

K-12 educator, was the first black

teacher in the Warrensburg school

district as well as the district’s first

black school board president. He

currently is an adjunct professor

for the UCM Department of Art,

which is chaired by one of his

former students, Mick Luehrman.

He notes that five of the eight art

instructors in the Warrensburg

district were his student teachers or

he was their university supervisor.

Jane (Luehrman) Hillhouse

’77 is owner and president of

Hillhouse Graphic Design in

Kingsport, TN. The firm won five

local Addy Awards at the 2011

annual celebration of the Northeast

Tennessee Chapter of the America

Advertising Federation. They

received best of show overall for

a campaign produced for the

Silent Heroes Foundation, which

raises funds to help veterinarians,

rangers and conservationists to

protect animals in Africa as well

as a gold for the campaign and

a silver for its stationery. They

also won silver awards for author

Barbara Kingsolver’s web site and

for Eastman Corporation’s history

and vision wall mural. Hill, a

1973 graduate of University High,

started Hillhouse Graphic Design

in 1984.

Steven Larson ’80, ’02 is teaching

and coaching at Warsaw High

School. His Warsaw Lady Wildcats

won the 2010-2011 Class 2 State

Championship in softball, finishing

the season 25-4 with a 4-0 win

over Palmyra in the championship


Meryl Lin McKean ’80 received

the Achoth Award at the 2010

National Delta Zeta Convention

in recognition of service to the

Epsilon Gamma chapter. She

also won a Mid-America Emmy

for health science news. She is

the health and medical reporter

for Kansas City’s Fox 4 News and

produces the nightly segment,

“Fox 4 Health.”

Kenneth Ervin ’88 received

second and third places in the Iowa

Newspaper Association Better

Newspaper contest in the Breaking

News Photo category for weeklies

under 1,399. His winning entries

were for his coverage of the floods

in 2010 and a picture of a fivevehicle

accident that closed I-35.

He also received second place in

the best agricultural advertisement

for an ad thanking Ag Partners for

helping DFS after a fire at its feed

mill. Ervin is editor of the South

Hamilton Record-News in Jewell, IA.

Thomas Turner ’90 has been

promoted to executive director

for American Bonanza Society Air

Safety Foundation, which publishes

Flying Lessons Weekly, a free aviation

safety eNewsletter. He was honored

in 2010 as National FAA Safety

Representative of the Year. In 2008,

he was named FAA Central Region

Flight Instructor of the Year.

Amanda Duffy ’99 was awarded

the UCM theatre department’s Ed

See Outstanding Alumnus Award.

She completed the professional

internship program in the wig

program at The Julliard School

and a master of fine arts degree

from Case Western Reserve

University’s Cleveland Play House

after completing her degree in

design technology from UCM. She

has done professional wig work

on Broadway and has worked

regionally and in New York as an

actress in professional productions.

Jesse Zeugin ’06 won his first

headlining mixed martial arts

event. He defeated Chris McDaniel

for the 155-pound pro title belt

Feb. 5 at the XCF 14 Super Brawl

in Springfield, MO. This was

McDaniel’s 28th career fight and

Zeugin’s sixth. Zeugin teaches

and coaches at Logan-Rogersville

Middle School in Rogersville, MO.

Eric Czerniewski ’10, former

Mules quarterback from

Montgomery City, MO, was

honored at the state capitol in

Jefferson City by the Missouri

House of Representatives and

Senate with a proclamation,

recognizing his achievement

as the 2010 Harlon Hill winner.

Czerniewski was the first Missouri

native to win this award.

University of Central Missouri | today 27

awards & honors

in memoriam


Mary E. Letz ’12


Edith B. Lehman ’37


Walter A. LePage ’40

Grace Ferrier ’43


Mozelle M. Booth ’50

Patricia R. Briggs ’51

Ralph C. Theiss ’52

Virginia Atwell ’54, ’63

Elizabeth Mae Irle ’54,

College High ’57


Calvin D. Delozier ’60

Juanita M. Wood ’60

Raymond Grossmann

Raymond Grossmann, 80, a 1952

Central Missouri alumnus who

organized a construction labormanagement

group that became a

national model, died Jan. 9, 2011.

For nearly four decades, he headed

his family-owned Grossmann

Contracting. It was one of the

first sheet metal companies in

St. Louis to automate, and the

business grew. Customers included

Famous-Barr, Dillard’s, General

Motors, Chrysler and the St. Louis


In 1986, a larger contractor,

Murphy Company bought out

the firm. Grossmann worked for

Murphy until he retired in the

mid-1990s. After retiring, he was

active in the Lake St. Louis Sailing

Club, where he twice served as

commodore. He was co-chair of

the Peruque Creek Watershed


He is most known for starting

Pride of St. Louis Inc., the

nation’s first and oldest voluntary

construction labor-management

organization. In 1972, he also

was chair of the local Council of

Construction Employers.

thomas hollyman

Thomas Benton Hollyman,

89, a nationally published

photojournalist who was honored

in 1988 as UCM Distinguished

Alumnus, died Nov. 14, 2009.

28 SPRING 2011

Marshall E. Smithpeters ’61

Dora May Craven ’63

Lois R. Spurgun ’63, ’88

Verle E. Cornish ’64

Eugene W. Pike ’65

Jack A. Roberts ’65

Rodney P. Dierking ’66

Linda A. Lewis ’66, ’77

Christina M. Porter ’66

Hazel V. Tickemyer ’68

Leon E. Eppright ’69

Lanny K. Grosland ’69

Leon Morris ’69


Paul L. Erickson Jr. ’70

James A. Hardinger ’70

William C. Hunt ’70

Christine E. Keefer ’71

Jack Milton Moore ’71

John M. Sandy ’72

He was a 1940 Central Missouri

graduate who got his start as a

photojournalist at the The Daily-Star

Journal in Warrensburg.

Serving in the Air Force during

World War II, he helped to establish

a photography intelligence

program. He was the official

photographer at the funeral

service of President Franklin

Roosevelt. While a student, one of

his pictures was published by Life

magazine. Hollyman later worked

for The Kansas City Star, St. Louis

Post-Dispatch and Acme Newspapers,

the forerunner of the wire service

photography division of the

Associated Press, in Chicago.

For many years, he specialized

in travel photography, shooting

for Holiday and Town and Country

magazines. In the 1960s, he

moved into television, producing

educational films, a travel

documentary and commercials.

In 1963, British director Peter

Brook tapped him as director

of photography for the movie

adaptation of Lord of the Flies.

Before retiring, he had produced

documentaries, short films, photo

essays, educational television

series, and a commemorative

book. He served as president of

the American Society of Magazine

Photographers (now the American

Society of Media Photographers)

from 1969 to 1971. He was a favorite

visitor to campus, especially with

Deborah E. Brewer ’73

Judith A. Collins ’73

Linda A. Good ’74

Stuart E. Gressley ’74

Joe K. McNay Jr. ’74

Gary L. Paul ’74

Gary L. Havrum ’78

Virgil V. Underwood ’78


Robert K. Dempski ’81

Peggy A. Leibrand ’81

Marilyn S. Skipper ’83

Matthew P. Wilson ’83

William L. Chambers ’84


Nyong George Ibok ’90, ’92

Rose A. Crawford ’91, ’98

Steven R. Wallen ’92


Rosina L. Hicks ’04


Lindsey Marie Morris ’10

College high

Ethel Hile ’30

former Students

Maxine W. Henty

Samuel B. Merryman Jr.


Marvin L. Case

Bob Coffman

Vernon D. Croy

Dale Emery Ek

Carl E. Elliott

Jim Foster

Central Missouri photography

students. A frequent lecturer, he

inspired students to see beyond the


With gifts to the UCM Foundation,

he also maintained a fund, named

for his favorite food of popcorn,

to help students pay for photo

supplies. He was an emeriti

member of the UCM Foundation

Board of Directors. In 2001, he

received an honorary degree from

the Board of Governors.

avis tucker

Avis Green Tucker, 95, former

owner and publisher of

The Daily-Star Journal in Warrensburg,

a philanthropist and pioneer for

women in the newspaper business,

died Dec. 17, 2010.

She was a University of Missouri

graduate but a tremendous

friend also to the University of

Central Missouri. She and her

late husband, William, both

loved the newspaper business and

enjoyed life on their farm near

Centerview, MO. She succeeded

her husband in 1966 as publisher

of the Warrensburg newspaper and

became involved with the Missouri

Press Association, Missouri

Associated Dailies and the National

Press Association.

She served not only as one of the

state’s rare female publishers but in

other leadership roles.

Frank F. Haston

Josephine Henry

Albert Kreisel

Merrill Leutung

John C. Lippincott

Billie McReynolds

Donald L. Quibell

Floyd E. Smith

Donald R. Stewart

Herbert R. Stockton

Julian F. Upton

James M. Weyer

Leroy H. Woerner

Gervase A. Wolf

She became the first female

president of Missouri Associated

Dailies in 1973 and received the

Missouri School of Journalism’s

Honor Medal in 1976.

In 1982, she served as the Missouri

Press Association’s first female

president and received the National

Newspaper Association’s McKinney

Award, given to a woman who

“exhibited distinguished service to

the community press.”

She became the first woman

inducted into the Missouri

Newspaper Hall of Fame in 1992.

She also was the first woman

president of the University of

Missouri Board of Curators. She

was chair emerita of the Missouri

Press Association’s Foundation

Board, which she helped to

establish and fund.

She served as chair of UtiliCorp

United and was a member of the

board of United Telecom, as well as

the nonprofit board of Children’s

Mercy Hospital and a trustee of the

University of Missouri-Kansas City.

She was appointed to serve

on the first Missouri Gaming

Commission and was active in the

State Historical Society. In her

selection to be honored among

Show Me Missouri Women, it was

noted that she enriched people and

community with her character,

scholarship and presence.

our serve

“Shuttlecocks have become an iconic representation of our community.

That connection inspires us. We seek to create a similar bond with you

by serving as an important cultural resource.” –The KTBG Staff

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