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UCM Feature Stories

Future Teacher Recognized with Learning to a Greater Degree Award

Kelsey Kidd (center) was presented the Learning to a Greater Degree Award for broadening her perspective through travel and volunteerism.

Growing up volunteering and being active in her church, senior Elementary and Early Childhood Education major Kelsey Kidd knew the world was much bigger than her community. This spring, Kidd was recognized as a recipient of the Learning to a Greater Degree Award.

In the nominations Kidd received for the award, the nominators highlighted her service, listing her numerous leadership positions and memberships in organizations on and off campus. Kidd believes in volunteering, because it not only benefits the organization, but it also helps her to learn about herself.

Kidd broadened her perspective and gave back during her Jamaican study tour. She went to Petersville, Jamaica with six fellow UCM students and associate professor of educational foundations and literacy Karen Foster to teach the community children about other countries. At night, they went on staff outings and participated in activities with local residents.

"We saw the difference between living in Jamaica and being a tourist," Kidd says. "We interacted with the locals and saw the local culture."

Kidd took advantage of the traveling abroad opportunities offered at UCM through her major. She went to Sweden with her World Diversity class to learn about its education structure. "I want to take more than a trip. I want to actually live the culture," Kidd says.

Through her volunteerism, practical hands-on learning and travel, Kidd is learning to a greater degree.

UCM Alumni Help Bring Largest Capital Project to Life

UCM alumni Freddy Allison (left) and Scott Gebken (right), pictured with President Charles Ambrose, hold leadership positions for the construction of The Crossing - South at Holden.

McCownGordon Senior Superintendent Freddy Allison and AT Industries Inc. Health and Safety Coordinator Scott Gebken have returned to their alma mater to begin construction of The Crossing — South at Holden, the university’s new mixed-use facility, which will feature a Starbucks, SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza, the University Store and apartments for 325 upper-class students.

When assigned leadership positions on the project, Allison and Gebken saw it as a great opportunity to give back by using the skills they gained at UCM.

"I'm excited to be using my knowledge to help make UCM as safe as possible during the demolition phase of this project," says Gebken. "It's my way of giving back and thanking UCM for everything they’ve given me."

For these alumni, working on The Crossing — South at Holden is exciting, but managing more than 150 on-site tradesmen, coordinating materials and keeping everything on schedule is challenging. They focus on the positives — being outside, facing new tasks everyday and most importantly, working with UCM.

"I feel extremely honored to be a part of this project," says Allison. "I remember touring the library as a student during its construction, and now I'll have the chance to give current students tours of the building I'm actually working on."

By using their skills to support the university, Allison and Gebken are continuing learning to a greater degree.

Mock Trial Team Wins Academic Championship

The UCM Mock Trial team took first place in their regional competition. Here, junior Alana Caruso questions a witness played by senior Andrew Sorrone.

The University of Central Missouri Mock Trial team participated in a regional competition in Kansas City, Mo., where they tied for first place. Even more impressive is that they demonstrated such flawless knowledge of the legal system that one of the judges, a practicing attorney, thought they were already in law school.

To succeed in competitions, the students must be legal scholars, actors and exceptional public speakers. Each year, a new hypothetical case is given to all teams, who then prepare to compete.

Team members who play witnesses can earn points with their acting prowess, by creating and staying in character. Team members who play attorneys are judged on their professionalism, decorum and their knowledge of the rules of evidence.

The competition is tough. UCM’s team competes against teams from Division I programs that have the support of law schools.

Adam Sommer, the coach of the team and a local attorney, focuses on teaching his students how actual courtrooms operate and how to succeed in law school and the professional realm.

"Adam taught us how to do real life trial," says Alana Caruso, a junior Political Science major. "We tailor that experience to win mock trial tournaments, and that's why we're doing so well."

By using real world-knowledge to become tournament champions, UCM Mock Trial is learning to a greater degree.

"Sportspage" Provides Students More Than Weekly Highlights

"Sportspage" anchors Devin Negrete, left, and Alex Grenlee, right, are learning sports broadcasting on the field and in the studio.

Turn on "Sportspage," KMOS-TV's weekly show on UCM Athletics, at 7 p.m. Thursday or 5 p.m. Saturday and you may be watching future sports broadcasters.

When former anchor Shawn Jones accepted the Henderson State University athletic director position, KMOS-TV, UCM Athletics and the Department of Communications and Sociology partnered to provide an opportunity for students. The new format features UCM students as anchors and sideline reporters, interviewing players and coaches.

This season, students Devin Negrete and Alex Greenlee are the co-anchors and Katie Bailey and Briana Blocker report on the sidelines. Students receive academic credit for their work on the show.

"President Ambrose, faculty and staff felt this would be an opportunity to bring engaged learning to students," says Joe Moore, professor of communications and "Sportspage" faculty advisor.

Greenlee, a senior Digital Media Production major, sees "Sportspage" growing interest with viewers and students.

"The show will stay fresh with viewers while students reinforce their skills," Greenlee says.

Negrete, a senior Digital Media Production major, is grateful for the opportunity. The on-the-field experience helped her realize her dream career is sports broadcasting.

"This is what's great about UCM," says Negrete. "I'm doing what I love!"

"Sportspage" is providing more than weekly game highlights to viewers. It's providing students practical, hands-on experience; they're learning to a greater degree.

Student Leads Organization Founded on Carnegie Principles

Shea Holland receives an award after the speech competition at the Carnegian Convention hosted at UCM.

Shea Holland is earning her master’s degree in Mass Communication and has the honor of being President of the first chapter of the Dale Carnegie Honors Society in the nation.

The DCHS was formed when communication professor Jack Rogers approached Holland about starting a student group based on Carnegie principles. The society offers both business and social outlets, which form a great balance of professional development and social networking.

“The DCHS is dedicated to upholding the ideals Carnegie laid out in his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People,” says Holland. “Our goal is to foster interpersonal communication skills in our members, which they can use in their careers.”

In addition to being the first President of DCHS, Holland is also an international board member for Caregians, Inc.

“This allows me to collaborate with them on a vision for how the society will grow and develop not just at UCM, but hopefully worldwide,” says Holland.

Holland recommends DCHS for those who wish to improve their social skill sets. Students interested in the DCHS should contact Jack Rogers.

“Carnegie’s principles truly have an impact on how we communicate and being a part of the society has provided me with confidence in effectively communicating,” says Holland.

By leading students in professional growth and development, Holland is learning to a greater degree.

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