Monthly Archives: January 2014

Driskill Art Gallery features Polk County Artist Association

The Driskill Art Gallery, located in the Jester Learning and Performance Center on the Southwest Baptist University campus, is currently featuring the work of 14 members of the Polk County Artist Association. The exhibit displays a wide range of art including oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings; hand-made weavings; felted sculpture; ceramic sculpture; pastel drawings; and printmaking.

Visitors to the Driskill Art Gallery at SBU enjoy work by members of the Polk County Artist Association on display through February 14. (Photo credit – Vicki Neumann)

The featured artists include Colleen Banks, Paula Crook, Paul Drippe’, Deby Gilley, Anita Grant, Kay Jackson, Larry Johnston, Carol Klarr, Rose Magaw, Fletcher Neal, Kathy Roweton, Jennifer Smith, Susie Wilson and Vicki Wingate.

The exhibit is on display through February 14. A reception will be held from 4-5:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 7. The Four Simple Gifts, a winds and strings ensemble, will provide entertainment during the reception. The art gallery and reception are free and open to the public.

For more information, please contact Deby Gilley, director of Driskill Art Gallery, at or (417) 328-1651.

Learn about health careers at Mercy/SBU Health Professions Day

Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences at SBU will host the Sixth Annual Health Professions Day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, 4431 S. Fremont Ave., Springfield. Last year more than 100 visitors of all ages and backgrounds, interested in pursuing an education leading to a career in nursing, attended the event.

“Health Professions Day is an annual event dedicated to providing students interested in pursuing a career in a health-related profession the opportunity to hear firsthand what our programs have to offer,” said Dr. Kezia Lilly, Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences at SBU nursing administrator. “This day gives students an edge over the competition through exposure to admissions, health professionals, faculty, advisers and other students. At our campus we offer a wide variety of health care degrees including nursing, health sciences and radiography.

“The growing demands in health care continue to provide enormous opportunities for students seeking a career as a health care professional. Mercy/SBU is dedicated to meeting these demands by providing a stronger and more competitive workforce of health care professionals. We encourage students interested in a health profession career to see how the programs at Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences and Southwest Baptist University can help you to achieve your goal and begin your path to becoming the next generation of health care professionals.”

Displays, information booths and detailed information on nursing as a career, education requirements and financial aid opportunities will be available. Faculty, staff and current students will be on hand to give demonstrations, provide tours of the facility and visit with prospective students individually and in group sessions.

To register for Health Professions Day, please contact the Office of Admissions at or (417) 820-3272 or (417) 820-5047 no later than Wednesday, Feb. 19.

A pizza luncheon will be served.

SBU Social Work to sponsor free training session

Southwest Baptist University’s Social Work program is sponsoring a free training session on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-V). The session will be led by Dr. Richard Brewer, Psy.D., professor of psychology at SBU, and is from 1 to 5:30 p.m. Friday, March 7, in the McClelland Dining Facility on the SBU campus in Bolivar, Mo.

The training will address changes from the DSM-IV to DSM-V. The DSM is used as a guide by health care professionals throughout the world for the diagnosis of mental disorders. Clinical social workers use the DSM to diagnose disorders affecting personality, identity, moods and cognition. This is the first full revision of the DSM since the DSM-IV was released in 1994.

A certificate for four hours of continuing education (CEU) credit will be e-mailed to participants after the event. This training session has been approved for CEU credit for social workers who reside in the state of Missouri. Other professionals, or individuals residing outside of Missouri, will need to check with their licensing agencies to see if this session will qualify for CEU credit. Both social work and non-social work professionals are invited to attend.

Attendance is free, but registration is required. To register for this event, please complete the online form at The deadline to register is Monday, Feb. 24.

For more information, please contact Christine Saladino, Bachelor of Social Work program director, at (417) 328-1740 or

SBU computer science department leads in groundbreaking course design

Southwest Baptist University Department of Computer Information Science has partnered with Angie Klein, computer science teacher at Liberty High School in Liberty, Mo., to develop an innovative computer science course curriculum.

SBU CIS created a groundbreaking design for the CIS 1033 Foundations of Computer Science course, which satisfies a general education requirement at SBU. The course design is patterned after the prototype for ETS Advanced Placement in Computer Science, which will not debut on the national stage until 2017. SBU plans to be ready to offer this course online to high schools once demand for it increases when it is accepted for advanced placement credit in 2016-17.

“SBU is in the forefront of computer science education. Our students had an amazing experience this past fall, and they may have been completely unaware of how unique it was,” said Dr. Tim DeClue, chair of the department of computer information science at SBU.

This innovative design is providing students the opportunity to experience instructional content in a general education computing course that is currently only available to a handful of institutions nationwide, including Stanford and UCLA. SBU is the only university in Missouri with this curriculum.

Professor Meilani Conley and Dr. Baochuan Lu of the SBU CIS faculty collaborated with Klein to produce a paper titled, “Teaching True Computer Science Principles to the General Student.” The paper reports on the new, leading edge course design used at SBU and Liberty High School.

DeClue also wrote a paper titled, “Computing and the Affective Domain: Learning to Love (and Persist) in Computer Science.” This research reviews the connection between real-world computing projects promoting social good and the ability of students to enjoy and persist as computer science majors.

Both papers will be published in the May 2014 issue of the Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges (JCSC). The JCSC is a publication of the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges, an endorsed society of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the world’s largest and oldest association for computing professionals. In addition to appearing in the JCSC, the papers will be available in ACM’s searchable digital library, the leading digital library of computer science literature, world class publications and online books.

The SBU faculty will also present their work at the Central Plains regional meeting of the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges (CCSC-CP) in April.

For more information about SBU Department of Computer Information Science, please contact DeClue at (417) 328-1704 or

121 degrees awarded at Mercy/SBU nursing and health sciences graduation

During the Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences of Southwest Baptist University Winter Commencement Thursday, Dec. 12, at Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Springfield, 121 students received nursing and health science degrees.

Jay Guffey, chief operating officer of Mercy Hospital Springfield, was the commencement speaker. Additionally, ASN graduate Wesley Skinner of Walnut Grove sang “A Pile of Crowns” and BSN graduate Sharie Nievar of Branson sang “Healing is in Your Hands.”

Degrees awarded include nine Master of Science in Nursing, 35 Bachelor of Science in Nursing and 75 Associate of Science in Nursing, an associate of applied science in emergency medical technology and an associate of science in health science.

Special awards were given to students in each program.

Awards for MSN students were given to:

• Cindi Aurentz of Springfield, MSN Leadership Award.

• Tedra Estis of Springfield, MSN Clinical Practicum Excellence Award.

Awards for BSN students were given to:

• Kelci Schaal of Billings, Mont., the Judy Mitchell Christian Walk Award. This award was established by the Capstone class of Spring 2000 as a tribute to Judy Mitchell, BSN Assistant Professor, who retired at the end of the ’99-’00 school year. The student honored exemplifies the Christian walk in both their personal and professional life.

• Stephanie Nimmo of Buffalo, the Eldridge Award. The D’Wayne and Venita Eldridge Highest BSN Academic Achievement award is given by Dr. Carole and Dr. Daryl Eldridge in honor of his parents. Mr. and Mrs. Eldridge are long-time faithful Southern Baptists who have taught and ministered in church for most of their adult lives. In their constant service to others, their emphasis on doing things right, and their steadfast love for God and people, they exemplify the spirit of the Mercy College of Nursing BSN Program. The student honored with this award has the highest institutional GPA in their graduating class.

• Jade Burges of Ash Grove, BSN Clinical Excellence Award. This award is given to a student who has demonstrated persistence, dedication and excellence in BSN clinical experiences. The student who receives this award has consistently performed excellently in his or her studies but has also shown a positive and loving spirit towards others.

• Sharie Nievar of Branson, BSN Leadership Award. The BSN Leadership Award is given to a student who has demonstrated exemplary leadership qualities throughout his or her time in the BSN program. The student who receives this award has been a leader in clinical settings and in the online classroom. Strengthening and demonstrating one’s leadership skills is a valued achievement of a BSN graduate.

Awards for ASN students were given to:

• Emily Landers of Appleton City (NUR 2124) and Kristin Smith of Willard (NUR 2135), highest academic recognition. Recognition is given for scholastic excellence to the student in each fourth semester nursing course with the highest grade point average of 3.5 or above.

• Candace Garner of Springfield (NUR 2124) and Mercedes DeFreece of Pittsburg (NUR 2135), recognition for clinical excellence. Recognition is given to the student in each fourth semester nursing course who best meets the clinical course objectives in an exemplary manner.

• Jamie Duncan of Urbana, Florence Nightingale Award. This monetary award is based on leadership, professional role model and self-directed learning. This award is voted on by the entire ASN faculty.

• Brittney Fleming of Springfield, Mary McFarland/Bathy Hatfield Memorial Scholarship. The monetary award is given as a scholarship to Southwest Baptist University based on GPA, commitment to furthering education, leadership ability and moral character.

• Jean Ann Rushing of Lebanon, J.F. Johnson ASN Academic Scholarship. College of Nursing incoming students with a GPA of 3.5 or above are invited to submit an application, letters of recommendation and an essay on “Why I am Choosing Nursing as a Career” to be considered for the full-ride scholarship from J.F. Johnson Educational Assistance funds. This scholarship covers tuition expenses, books and professional fees for the two year ASN program.

For more information about nursing and health science programs, including radiography, offered at the Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences, contact Charlie Hungerford at (417) 820-3272 or

Classes in session Jan. 6; administrative offices closed

BOLIVAR, MO — Due to winter weather, administrative offices at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar will be closed Monday, Jan. 6, with the exception of essential personnel, as directed by supervisors.

The physical plant staff has been working all day to clear sidewalks and streets on campus to allow students to attend class tomorrow, Jan. 6, as scheduled. It is the first day of the three-week “Winterfest” term before the spring semester begins Monday, Jan. 29.