Truman Review Summer 2000 - Index

Summer 2000
Vol. 4. No. 4

A Cultural Exchange
Finding A Hidden Story

Around the Quad
Faculty / Student Profiles
Foundation News
Alumni News

Class Notes*

*The Class Notes section for this issue is no longer available online. To request a copy of Class Notes for this issue, e-mail

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Truman Review Summer 2000 - Around the Quad

Truman Alumnae Address Graduates
Picture of Mary Rhodes RussellMary Rhodes Russell ('80), chief justice of the Missouri Court of Appeals, and Cynthia Brinkley ('83) president of South-western Bell-Arkansas, returned to campus as guest speakers for Truman's commencement ceremonies.

Picture of BrinkleyEarlier this year, Russell delivered a speech to Truman's spring graduates on May 13 in Stokes Stadium. Russell received her bachelor of science and bachelor of arts degrees from Truman graduating summa cum laude. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia Law School in 1983 and was appointed by Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan to the Court of Appeals in 1995. She is the youngest person in the court's history to hold the position of chief justice.

Brinkley spoke to Truman's most recent graduates during the summer commencement ceremony held on the Quad on Aug. 5. Originally from Milan, Mo., Brinkley received her bachelor's degree in political science from Truman and went on to earn a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Brinkley was appointed president of Southwestern Bell-Arkansas in 1999 and is responsible for the company's regulatory, legislative, governmental and external affairs. In addition, her duties include community and industry relations throughout Arkansas.

Professor of Mathematics Named Educator of the YearPicture of Tony Vazzana
On April 4, Tony Vazzana, assistant professor of mathematics, was honored at a banquet as Educator of the Year. Vazzana began teaching at Truman in 1998 and currently teaches college algebra, analytic geometry/calculus III, and algebraic structures. "I know that most of my students will not directly apply the majority of the factual material they study in my course," says Vazzana. "Hopefully, though, they will come away with a need to ask interesting questions for their own sake and then have the appetite and perseverance to answer them...."

Vazzana's wife, Dana, is an assistant professor of mathematics at Truman. The couple are the parents of a new daughter, Audrey, born earlier this year on March 29.

The Educator of the Year program is sponsored by Student Senate, Alpha Phi Sigma, Pershing Society, Phi Eta Sigma, and Phi Kappa Phi.

Bailey Named Head of Business and Accountancy Division
On July 1, James Bailey assumed the position of division head for Truman's Business and Accountancy Division. Prior to assuming the position at Truman, Bailey had been serving as chair of the accounting department at Central Washington University (CWU) in Ellensburg, Wash. since 1997. He began at CWU in 1992 as an assistant professor of accounting and advanced to full professor in that department. Previously, he worked six years as a certified public accountant.

Bailey received his bachelor of science degrees in accounting and finance from Brigham Young University, his master's in business administration from the University of Utah, and his doctorate in accountancy from the University of Nebraska.

International Business Executive Advocates a Liberal Arts Education
On March 14, Lars Leicht visited campus speaking to students on how a liberal arts education has been instrumental in his career. Leicht, who works out of Old Brookville, N.Y., is the vice president of Banfi Vintners, a producer of premium wine at the Castello Banfi estate located in the Tuscany region of Italy and a leading wine import company in the United States.

Leicht told students how his career has taken him from newspaper journalist, to sales representative for Banfi, through the ranks of the company's international sales branch, to his current position. Leicht attributes his success in the international business world to the broad range of subjects he studied while pursuing a degree in political science with an emphasis in journalism at State University of New York, Oneonta.

"A broad liberal arts education has been the vehicle for my career," said Leicht, who explained how language, history, geography, chemistry, and many other courses have all come into play. "From Italian language, to writing, to public speaking - they have all helped prepare me for the range of tasks I face today."

Minner Named Head of Education Division
Sam Minner was named as the new head of Truman's Education Division and began serving in the position on July 1. With more than 23 years in the field of education, he has served both faculty and administrative roles. Minner had held the James H. Quillen Chair of Excellence in Teaching and Learning at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City since 1997. From 1988-1997, he served in various capacities at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, including a four-year stint as chair of the Education Department. He began his career as a special education/elementary teacher.

Minner received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville and completed his doctoral work at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He and his wife, Joan, have two children, Brook, 21, and Sammy, 8.

Critical Race Issues Discussed at Symposium
Truman's Multicultural Affairs Center and Vice President for Academic Affairs Office sponsored The Image of Blacks II: The Politics of Race Symposium on April 8. The symposium addressed how politics, music, literature and film link culture and race; how Black tactics, voices, and images have changed from the past; whether historical Black expressions are still relevant today; and whether contemporary Black expression has changed the way America views African-Americans.

After a welcome ceremony, Robert Weems, associate professor of history at the University of Missouri-Columbia, presented "Maya, Puff, or Alan...Who Shall it Be?: Black Culture and Experience Defined." The session examined how African-Americans are portrayed in the media. Following this session, actress and singer Anita Jackson discussed marketability and political forces that set trends among Black females in entertainment. Activist Jamala Rogers and Truman alumna Nyasha Nyamapfene also talked about the New York shootings of Amadou Diallo.

The day's final session, "Hip Hop Nation Divided," was presented by top-rated radio personality and authority on hip-hop Kevin "Kevy-Kev" Pulley. The activities concluded with a question-and-answer period with panelists from the sessions.

Stanford Historian Presents Kohlenberg-Towne Lecture
Professor of history at Stanford University Barton Bernstein delivered this year's Kohlenberg-Towne lecture on May 1. Bernstein presented his lecture, "Truman, Acheson, and the Decision to Develop the Hydrogen Bomb," along with a related presentation, "Scientists and the Atomic Bomb." He also participated in a round-table discussion on atomic bombings.

Bernstein received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and has taught at Stanford since 1965. His major research fields in American history include the Cold War, World War II, the atomic bomb, nuclear weapons, weapons policy, post-World War II crises, science and medical policy, and the Truman Administration.

The Kohlenberg-Towne Lecture Series offers Truman students an opportunity to listen to nationally acclaimed social science scholars.

Debate Team Wins National Titles
Truman's debate team won two national championship titles at the National Parliamentary Debate Association's National Championship Tournament held at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., March 8-12. Kevin Minch, forensics director and debate coach, said 224 teams representing 80 colleges and universities competed for honors. Truman's debate team is also coached by Paul Hood, assistant director of forensics.

Ryan Kennedy, a communication arts major, from Excelsior Springs, Mo., and Jacob Stutzman, a communication arts major from St. Louis, defeated the University of Wyoming to win the final round of the debate competition with a rare 7-0 decision. Four of the remaining Truman debate teams also reached the elimination rounds, and the Truman team won the overall tournament sweepstakes national championship, outranking teams including University of California, Los Angeles; Nebraska State; University of California, Berkeley; Rice; Colorado State; and others.

At the beginning of the season, Minch had challenged his team saying he would shave his head if the team won a national championship. After the team won two first-ever national championships at the tournament in Omaha, Minch fulfilled his promise and allowed members of the debate team to shave his head.

Front row, L-R: Ryan Kennedy, Excelsior Springs, Mo.; Jacob Stutzman, St. Louis, Mo. Middle row, L-R: Paul Hood, assistant director; Kevin Minch, director; Robert Layne II, Wentzville, Mo.; and Amy Kearney, Leešs Summit, Mo. Back row, L-R: Tyler Unsell, Parkville, Mo.; Henry Harmon, Kansas City, Mo.; Michael Denham, Kansas City, Mo.; Shane Mecham, Lincoln, Neb.; Kristopher Stroup, Lansing, Kan.; and Brian Amsden, Fenton, Mo.

MoDOT Approves Highway 63 Transportation Corporation
Missouri's Highway and Transportation Commissioners gave final approval April 7 to a plan that allows the Highway 63 Transportation Corporation to become an official entity and continue their work in expediting the highway expansion.

Their work began more than a year ago when the Kirksville Chamber of Commerce organized the Highway 63 Task Force. The corporation seeks to accelerate the four-lane construction of Highway 63 from the Macon bypass to the Kirksville bypass - a project that covers 23 miles of roadway.

The corporation will negotiate with officials to establish time-lines, financing, and construction details. Members of the corporation include representatives from the cities of Kirksville, Atlanta, LaPlata, and Macon, as well as representatives from Adair, Macon, and Schuyler Counties. Reggie Padberg ('00) addressed the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commissioners.

Reggie Padberg ('00) addressed the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commissioners.

Truman Forensics Students Win High Honors
Nine students from the Truman State University Forensics Program captured a total of seven awards at the National Forensics Association National Championship Tournament, April 13-18, at Ohio University in Athens. Kevin Minch, Truman's director of forensics, said 574 competitors from 89 colleges and institutions attended the tournament.

Shane Mecham, Lincoln, Neb., was ranked fourth in the nation in extemporaneous speaking, his first national finals placement. In addition, Mecham reached the semifinals of After Dinner Speaking and the octafinals of Lincoln-Douglas Debate. Mecham also received the special honor of placing 15th in the pentathlon, an award that determines the best overall speakers in the nation by looking at the student's best performance in their five strongest events. Cabell Gathman, Pocahontas, Mo., placed in the semifinals in impromptu speaking. To round out the team's performance, Robert Layne, Wentzville, Mo., reached the double-octafinals in Lincoln-Douglas Debate.

The team as a whole ranked 10th in Division One Sweepstakes. Sweepstakes rankings are a measure of a school's overall performance against other institutions of comparable size.

"Lincoln and the Dome" Added to Schwengel Lincoln Collection
Long-time supporter of Truman State University, Ethel Schwengel ('32), Arlington, Va., has added another piece of historical art to Pickler Memorial Library's Schwengel Lincoln Collection. Schwengel paid for the restoration and framing of some artwork which was the working sketch for one of the murals painted by Allyn Cox in the U.S. Capitol.

The drawing had been severely damaged and required serious conservation work. The restoration of the artwork/cartoon took two years, and it is now displayed on the third floor of the library. It portrays President Abraham Lincoln with the Capitol architects designing a new dome intended to symbolize the Union.

Schwengel and her late husband, Fred Schwengel ('30), have donated an extensive collection of Abraham Lincoln books, artwork, artifacts, and memorabilia to the University. In addition, they set up a special fund to support student contests. For a complete history of the Lincoln Collection, log on to

Young Scholars Attend Joseph Baldwin Academy
This summer marks the 16th consecutive year that Truman has hosted the annual Joseph Baldwin Academy for Eminent Young Scholars. During the summer 2000 session in June and July, almost 300 specially selected junior high school students lived in Ryle Hall and attended a focus class.

The academy is designed to enrich the learning process of gifted seventh-, eighth-, and ninth-grade students by challenging them with a college curriculum.

Academy participants must be nominated by their school principal or counselor and must score in the top three percent of a national achievement test. Two three-week sessions are offered and students choose one class from a number of different courses offered each session. Subjects included acting, King Arthur, criminal justice, Latin, chemistry, computer programming, psychology, the Vietnam Conflict, biology, creative writing, French, Civil War, music, physics, college algebra, history, and Shakespeare.

This year's instructors included Truman faculty members Lee Orchard, Adam Davis, Doug Davenport, Bridget Thomas, Dana Delaware, John Erhart, Judi Misale, Tom Zoumaras, Lin Twining, Priscilla Riggle, Jeff Gall, Faith Beane, Tom Trimborn, Ken Hahn, Jay Belanger, and Betsy Delmonico.

Thirty-two Truman students were selected and trained as 'preceptors' for the courses. They served as faculty assistants who helped prepare course materials and worked with students in and out of the classroom. The preceptors lived in Ryle Hall with the students and worked closely with the academy's director Ryan Bergmann and assistant Paige Bixler. Dr. David Christiansen is Dean of the Joseph Baldwin Academy.

Picture of Young Scholars

Family Day at Truman
All Truman families and friends are invited to campus for Truman State University's Family Day on Oct. 7. A full day of activities has been planned starting with a reception on the Student Union Mall. A picnic lunch will be served in Red Barn Park, and tickets must be purchased in advance. Cost is $4 per guest, and students' lunches are free with the presentation of their meal cards.

Several Truman sporting events will take place throughout the day including Women's Volleyball, Women's Soccer, and Bulldog Football. Other activities include a performance by the University Concert Band, and the Students Activities Board plans to provide entertainment.

The 24th Annual Red Barn Arts and Crafts Festival sponsored by the Kirksville Arts Association will be held the same day at the Kirksville Court House Square just four blocks north of campus.

For information on Family Day, contact the Public Relations Office, (660) 785-4016. A detailed brochure will be mailed directly to Truman parents in the next several weeks.

Actor Robert Urich Makes Guest Appearance on Campus
Picture of Robert UrichEmmy award-winning actor and advocate for the arts Robert Urich spoke in Baldwin Auditorium on April 8 wrapping up the 1999-00 season for the Kohlenberg Lyceum Series. Urich replaced the previously scheduled Beverly Sills, who had to cancel her appearance due to a family emergency. Urichšs presentation concluded the year-long 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Kohlenberg Lyceum Series.

Urich has starred in 10 television series during his career. In 1992, he received an Emmy Award for his narration of the National Geographic Explorer film "U-Boats: Terror on our Shores," and he currently hosts TBS' National Geographic's "On Assignment" series and performs in the Broadway hit "Chicago."

While on campus, Urich spoke about his life as an actor, as well as his successful battle fighting synovial cancer. Urich entertained the audience with stories, jokes, singing, and played songs on a grand piano. At the end of the presentation, he accepted questions from the audience and offered advice to students seeking acting careers. After the event, students had the opportunity to talk to Urich at a reception in the Student Union.