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Learning to a Greater Degree Award graphic
Learning to a Greater Degree graphic

UCM Feature Stories

Smith-Cotton Senior Gains Hands-On Experience, College Credit

As a dual-credit student, Alex Sanchez gained hands-on experience helping produce a high school sports show.

Alex Sanchez, a senior from Smith-Cotton High School in Sedalia loves filming and sports, so when he learned about the inaugural Intro to Sports Broadcasting dual-credit course at UCM, he signed up. The course, taught by Associate Professor of Communication Joe Moore, had 20 high school students enrolled and was made possible through a 2013 UCM Foundation Opportunity Grant.

The course started with a workshop that instructed Sanchez and other students on producing news packages for sports. The rest of the course included shooting, editing and voicing highlights of high school football games for a highlight show on Charter 989 or digital 12-6.

"This course has helped me a lot," says Sanchez. "Getting a hands-on feel for filming and editing has helped me find new ways to focus on the action."

On Friday nights, Sanchez filmed games and interviewed the coaches, if available. Saturdays were spent editing and recording voice-over. He learned to condense game film to three-minute packages.

"Alex is really good," says Moore. "I've shared his work with UCM students as an example of what we're looking for in the future."

This spring, students will produce a high school basketball show. Students are also invited to help the crew webcasting Mules and Jennies games.

By gaining hands-on experience and college credit, Sanchez is learning to a greater degree.

April Roller Earns Learning to a Greater Degree Award for Dedication to Suicide Prevention

April Roller (center) was presented the Learning to a Greater Degree Award for her dedication to suicide prevention and outstanding volunteer work.

Following the loss of her husband, April Roller had a choice to make - become consumed by grief, or rise above and make a difference. This fall, Roller was awarded the Learning to a Greater Degree Award for choosing to make a difference.

In Roller's nomination, she was described as the epitome of living a culture of service. She holds numerous leadership positions and memberships in organizations. Roller believes in volunteering and helping others understand that seeking treatment for depression or anxiety saves lives.

Roller is actively involved with the Warrensburg Out of Darkness Community Walk, is certified through the Ask. Listen. Refer. Suicide Intervention Program, and she started the UCM student chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

"I want to help others, like me, who have lost a loved one to suicide," says Roller. "Raising awareness and helping people learn the warning signs is one step closer to saving a life."

In addition to her volunteerism, Roller is passionate about learning. A Criminal Justice and Psychology major, she is actively involved in the classroom and recently became a McNair Scholar.

"I'm excited to work with the amazing McNair faculty to prepare for my doctoral studies," says Roller.

Through her leadership positions, hands-on learning and dedication to helping others, Roller embodies learning to a greater degree.

Jennifer Carson Receives Learning to a Greater Degree Award for Commitment to Criminal Justice, The Honors College

Jennifer Carson (left), assistant professor of Criminal Justice helps a student with a hands-on learning assignment.

Jennifer Carson, assistant professor of Criminal Justice and coordinator of undergraduate research and external scholarships, says the best part of her job is mentoring students on their research and creative projects. This fall, she was recognized for her passion and dedication with the Learning to a Greater Degree Award.

In Carson's nomination, her student, Brooke Cooley, highlighted Carson's engagement in leading international experiences for UCM students, her dedication to students, and her interest in researching terrorism, policy evaluation and comparative criminology.

"This is an incredible honor," says Carson. "I am deeply humbled by receiving the award given all of the amazing talent and commitment to education I see on campus."

Carson is affiliated with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Response to Terrorism, a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence. Her work has been published in numerous journals, and Carson has presented her research at international conferences.

Carson's passion for international travel has led her to visit more than 20 countries. She's led two study abroad opportunities in London and Paris, and Turkey through the Department of Criminal Justice. Carson also participated in the Consortium for Transatlantic Studies and Scholarship program, where she taught a course that included visits to Spanish police, courts and corrections.

By giving her students a worldly perspective, Carson demonstrates learning to a greater degree.

UCM Professor Completes the New York City Marathon While Knitting for a Cause

UCM professor David Babcock completed the New York City Marathon while knitting a scarf to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer's.

UCM graphic design professor David Babcock began running and knitting five years ago. He didn't intend for the two hobbies to go together at first. As Babcock began running longer distances and became more skilled at knitting, he paired the two hobbies together.

"Both knitting and running are tedious, yet similar tasks so they go together quite well," says Babcock. "Running requires one foot in front of the other and knitting requires one stitch after the other."

After breaking the world record for knitting the longest scarf while running, Babcock traveled to New York to run the New York City Marathon with a new version of knitting. Due to security issues, Babcock invented a new style of finger knitting to closely simulate needle knitting.

Babcock accomplished his dream of running the marathon on Nov. 2 and completed it while knitting a scarf with the message "I'll remember for you" knit into it. The message comes from Babcock's support of the Alzheimer's Association. He uses his talent of knitting while running to raise awareness for the foundation. His goal is to raise $3,500 by Nov. 30, 2014, for the Alzheimer's Association.

Babcock demonstrated learning to a greater degree by using his skills to make a difference for those affected by Alzheimer's.



UCM Professor's Trash Sculptures Aim to Change Perspectives

UCM Professor's Trash Sculptures Aim to Change Perspectives.

For UCM Photography Assistant Professor and alumnus Jeremy Underwood, seeing things others don't is nothing new. As a photographer, it's Underwood's job to see art where others cannot; recently, he found inspiration in trash.

While walking along a beach in Houston littered with debris and a pungent smell this past summer, Underwood felt something had to be done about the way he looked at trash; his answer was building sculptures.

Underwood's hope is that people will see these sculptures of trash along the beach and be curious enough to question the next piece of trash they see. He hopes the sculptures challenge their environmental relationship and the clash of nature and culture.

"That's the purpose of art," says Underwood "For things to be seen in a different way, to think of things in a more deeply complex way."

Underwood will bring his experiences from this project into the classroom in spring 2015 in his contemporary landscape photography course, which will explore the relationship students have with the natural world and their place within it.

"Man's effects on this planet are undeniable," says Underwood. "I read that human beings now have a larger impact on the landscape than the rain does. But how does one individual posit change?"

By challenging the way people look at ordinary trash, Underwood exemplifies learning to a greater degree.

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