November 19, 2002 - Vol. 7 No. 14
Assessment Results in Curriculum Change
Profiles in Leadership Public Lecture

Kirksville Schools and Truman Work Together

"A Christmas Carol” to be Performed Nov. 18-23
University Music and Dance Events
Great AmericanSmokeout

Truman Today

Students Receive Certificates of Achievement
Scholarship Opportunities Available

Native American Heritage Month 2002
The Department of Public Safety will provide a shuttle to the LaPlata Train Station 

On Campus
Contact Us

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Assessment Results in Curriculum Change 

This article is the first of several articles that will show how assessment is being used at Truman.

Article submitted by Sara Orel, associate professor of art

At Truman we have a long tradition of assessment, which takes the form of setting goals for improving the outcomes of our curriculum and identifying concrete ways that we can measure whether we are meeting our goals. In Art History we are using the results obtained from one assessment measure to improve the outcomes of our students’ research. Specifically, we have used both qualitative and quantitative methods to assess senior thesis papers written in the capstone, and we have made changes to the Art History curriculum based on assessment results. These changes have, in turn, resulted in improvements in students’ performance on their senior thesis papers.
     Art History majors write their senior papers in a two-semester capstone class taught by a faculty committee. Each paper is read by all faculty members on the committee, graded, and the student receives an averaged grade. Topics are selected by students and have ranged in period from ancient Mesopotamia to post-modern America and in topic from artists’ manifestos to comparative formal analysis to semiotics. A successful thesis paper has a clearly defined focus, demonstrates a solid understanding of the issues discussed, includes a comprehensive review of the relevant literature in English, and is written in clear, grammatical English in an appropriate scholarly tone.
     We have used both quantitative and qualitative methods to look for changes in student performance on the senior thesis over the years. Although quantitative assessment (average page length, average number of items in the bibliography, average number of sources) has provided us with reassurance that what we are attempting has been achieved to some extent, qualitative measures have been more useful in the development of the curriculum.
     A good example of how we have used qualitative measures to make curricular improvements is our analysis of the quality of students’ thesis statements. Faculty have read and ranked the quality of thesis statements from 1992 through 2001 holistically on a one (lowest) to five (highest) scale. Two faculty independently read each statement and the scores were averaged for the final score. In the 37 statements read, only two elicited scores that differed substantially.  All other statements were assigned either the same or “touching” scores (for example, a 3 and a 4). Results showed that, although there have been years when the average score has gone down slightly, the trend is clearly upwards. The highest mark so far (3.83) was reached in 2000, falling slightly in 2001 (to 3.5).
     This continued improvement reflects two changes we have instituted in the curriculum. First, because of the problems students had in the early years in defining a thesis statement, we have added practice in writing and refining a thesis statement to earlier classes in the major sequence, including the Survey of Western Art and the Historical Methods courses. In the Senior Thesis course itself, we have moved the date of submission of the first draft of the thesis statement to the first week of the semester to allow for earlier clarification of the thesis and an earlier start on the research project.
     Through evaluating the end product of the capstone class, the senior thesis paper, we have made modifications in the complete undergraduate curriculum from freshman to senior classes, and we can show how these changes have fed back into the final product. We have also learned that establishing and maintaining such an assessment process is a long-term challenge. Improvements in student performance as a result of curricular changes happen slowly over time. Curricular changes, therefore, need to be given the opportunity over a period of three to four years to demonstrate effectiveness. 


Profiles in Leadership

Public Lecture

Jack Shewmaker

7 p.m.
Nov. 21
Ophelia Parrish Performance Hall

A reception will follow the presentation.

Shewmaker is an executive consultant recognized internationally for his retailing expertise. He retired as an officer of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in 1988, after serving in numerous capacities including president, chief operating officer and vice chairman. He continues as a member of the board of directors.

The Profiles in Leadership program is sponsored by the Truman State University Foundation.


Kirksville Schools and Truman Work Together in New Special Education Program

Pete Kelly, assistant professor of special education, works with Truman students Tammy Campbell and Beth Thome at the Kirksville Junior High School.

The learning curve is on the rise in the Kirksville schools this fall - and not just for Kirksville public school students. Truman State University special education majors and professors are learning as well. The Kirksville schools and Truman are working together in new and exciting ways to improve teaching and learning for Kirksville and Truman students alike.
     The new special education professional development school (PDS) program, Partners in Learning, is located in the Kirksville schools. A dedicated group of experienced Kirksville teachers and Truman’s special education faculty members put in long hours planning the partnership beginning last spring. The focus of the group was to combine resources, including knowledge, professional wisdom, and financial capital, to simultaneously improve teacher training and enhance student learning in Kirksville. The Partners in Learning program is the product of their work. 
    For the fall term Kirksville special education teachers work closely every day with Truman students and faculty. In the mornings Truman students assist and teach along side experienced teachers at both Ray Miller Elementary and the Junior High School. In the afternoon, they take their Truman courses in a classroom located in the Junior High School. 
     “The partnership is definitely a win?win situation.” Kathy Childers, a mentor teacher in the project, said. “Kirksville students benefit from extra help in the classroom, and Truman students get real life teaching experience.” 
     The partnership has proven helpful to all parties involved. First, Kirksville teachers and their students benefit from the extra help that Truman special education majors provide in the classroom. Second, Truman special education majors more effectively learn both the art and science of teaching from working daily with experienced teachers and their Truman professors. Ultimately, the practical wisdom of veteran teachers combined with the expertise of Truman’s special education faculty will increase learning for all students. 


A Christmas Carol” to be Performed Nov. 18-23

The classic Dickens tale “A Christmas Carol” is set to debut at 8 p.m., tonight, in the new Ophelia Parrish Courtyard Theatre.
     The show is straight from the Dickens short novel but provides a twist to the familiar characters. The characters are acted out by a group of homeless individuals who are preparing for a long, freezing Christmas Eve on the streets.
     As the characters are making a fire to stay warm, a mysterious stranger, Choice, appears just in time to stop them from burning the novel “A Christmas Carol.” As the stranger tells them of the tale he transforms the characters into and out of Dickens characters.
     The production is about the communal act of storytelling. The need to share is acute among the characters because few are willing to listen to them. It is only through the magic of storytelling, of creating theatre and living out actions that they realize they “all know by heart,” that they are able to understand they are not alone.
     ”A Christmas Carol” will run through Nov. 23. Tickets can be purchased at the box office located in front of the theatre, the cost is $2 per ticket.


University Music and Dance Events

Truman Society of Dance Arts 
Winter Dance Recital
7 p.m.
Nov. 20
Baldwin Auditorium

Admission is free and special guests will include High Street Dancers, Ceilidh Club, International Club and University Swingers

Faculty Viola Recital
8 p.m.
Nov. 20
OP Performance Hall

See Notes for more information

University Chorus
3 p.m.
Nov. 24
Baldwin Auditorium
See Notes for more information


Great American Smokeout 

11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Nov. 21
SUB and outside each dining hall

Quitting “cold turkey” can be difficult but Bacchus and Gamma, Human Resources, Phi Epsilon Kappa and Ekklesia want to help

Trade in your cigarettes (at least 10) for free gifts and the chance to win 
a frozen turkey from Ekklesia

Contact Kristin Walstrom at 785.7516 for more information


The Truman Today will not publish next week due to the holiday.
Please note entries for the week of Dec. 2 should be turned in by Nov. 21. 

The submission entry form can be accessed at
or pick one up in the Public Relations Office, McClain Hall 102.
Call 785.4243 or e-mail for more information. 


Students Receive Certificates of Achievement

Students receiving the awards pictured from left to right are Sara Clouse, Alan Toigo and Magen Hembree.

The Missouri Coalition for Quality Care issued certificates of achievement to three Truman students at the MCQC Board of Directors meeting Nov. 2 in Columbia, Mo. Sara Clouse, senior health and exercise science major from Smithville, Mo.; Alan Toigo, junior health science major from Gladstone, Mo.; and Magen Hembree, senior health and exercise science major from Greenfield, Mo.; presented results of a recently completed research project done in partnership with MCQC. Research data resulted from a study of the state ombudsman program. The students, under the direction of Carolyn Cox, associate professor of health and exercise sciences, are members of Gamma Rho a chapter of Eta Sigma Gamma, a National Professional Health Science Honorary. Toigo and Clouse are currently ombudsmen at the LaPlata Long Term Care facility and Hembree is currently serving as one of six ombudsmen at Northeast Regional Health Center in Kirksville. The awards were presented by Phyllis Krambeck and Ann Hartmann, officers of MCQC.


Scholarship Opportunities Available

Several scholarships are currently available to Truman students.The Missouri Retired Teachers Foundation is offering five $1,000 scholarships to active teachers in public schools and to students enrolled in teacher education programs who are committed to teach in Missouri schools. Application deadline is Dec. 15. Contact the Financial Aid Office, McClain Hall 103, for an application.
     The James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation is seeking applicants for graduate-level fellowships worth up to $24,000. If you are a secondary school teacher of social studies or American history or are planning to become one you might be eligible to apply. For an application or additional information, contact the Financial Aid Office, McClain Hall 103, or visit the Foundation’s Web site at


Native American Heritage Month 2002

Sponsored by the MAC & Residential Living, Diversity Collateral

History of Native American Jewelry: Hishi Style Jewelry
presented by Rosalee Caldwell
7 p.m.
Nov. 19 
Blanton Hall Main Lounge

American Indian Authors’ Image of the Nuclear Threat
presented by Martha Bartter
7:30 p.m.
Nov. 20
Centennial Hall 
Main Lounge 

Music and Spirituality in Native American Tradition
presented by Marc Rice
7 p.m.
Nov. 21
Dobson Hall Main Lounge 


The Department of Public Safety 
will provide a shuttle 
to the LaPlata Train Station 

9 a.m.
Nov. 26 and Nov. 27
Public Safety Building

Call Joyce Burnett at 785.4177 to reserve a space on the shuttle. 

Students must pay $5 in advance with reservation for a specific date.



Jim Barnes, writer-in-residence and professor of comparative literature, has had a poem, “Last Look at La Plata, Missouri,” selected for publication in 250 Poems: A Portable Anthology, to be published this fall by Bedford/St. Martin's Press.

Marijke Breuning, associate professor of political science, had a review essay titled “Foreign Aid, Developmental Assistance, or Development Cooperation: What's in a Name?” published in International Politics in September 2002. 

Four Truman students presented original research Nov. 7-9 at the 2002 Missouri Folklore Society convention in Potosi, Mo. Carrie Heathcote, senior classics major from Edina, Minn., compared the shift from orality to literacy in ancient Greece with the contemporary shift to cyberculture in its consequences for communication in folk communities; Karen Highland, English graduate student from Gideon, Mo., reported on fieldwork, collecting lore from outlaw bikers; Ken Lineberry, English graduate student from Kirksville, Mo., discussed a genre of military folklore, the cadence-call or “jody;” Jim Whitworth, senior history major from Novinger, Mo., spoke on the Iowa and St. Louis Railroad, which ran through the Chariton River valley from 1902-1936. Next year’s statewide convention will be held at Truman.

Nine competitors from the Truman Forensic Union placed seventh in one of the most difficult invitational tournaments of the season, the L.E. Norton Invitational at Bradley University, Nov. 8-9. Thirty-two of the top college and university forensics programs from across the country competed in the invitational, and Truman’s showing placed them ahead of several top national programs including Ohio University, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Ohio State University and Cornell University. Truman students captured 11 individual awards at the tournament.



The Faculty Development Weekly Lunch Series will meet from 12:30-1:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 19, in the SUB Spanish Room. The topic will be “Get Out of Class Free: Teaching Opportunities in the Art Gallery.” Contact Faculty Development at 785.4391 for more information.

Lutheran Student Fellowship invites everyone to attend their TE DEUM prayer and praise service at 8 p.m., Nov. 19, in the SUB Down Under.

There will be a Faculty Viola Recital at 8 p.m., Nov. 20, in the Ophelia Parrish Performance Hall. Sam McClure, assistant professor of music, will present the recital of chamber music for viola featuring trios by Dvorak and Martinu and “Like the Clay in the Potter’s Hand” for viola and piano by the Israeli composer Menachem Wiesenberg. McClure will be joined by Patrice Ewoldt, piano; Rebecca McClure, flute; and student violinists Carol Carlson and Carrie Jones. Admission is free and the concert is open to the public.

The Truman Bookstore is having a customer appreciation day Thursday, Nov. 21. Receive 25 percent off of Truman apparel and 15 percent off of gift items and trade books. Refreshments will be served. 

Does an internship in Washington, D.C., interest you? An informational session about the Washington Center will be held from 5-6 p.m., Nov. 21, at the University Career Center. Get information on the application, 15 hours of academic credit and hear from former interns. Contact Julia DeLancey at, the University Career Center at 785.4353 or for more information.

Graduation clearance packets for December 2002 graduates are due by Nov. 22 in the Registrar’s Office in McClain Hall 104. If you have not received your packet, please contact the Registrar’s Office at 785.4143 or

There will be two different Thanksgiving dinners for Truman students who may be staying in town during Thanksgiving break. The Lutheran Student Fellowship will sponsor a free Thanksgiving dinner for students. The traditional Thanksgiving dinner will be at 6 p.m., Nov. 24, at the Faith Lutheran Church (corner of Baltimore and LaHarpe). Students needing a ride to the church should meet in the Violette Hall lobby at 5:45 p.m. For more information, contact Karen at the Lutheran Campus Center at 665.6488 or e-mail Lutheran Student Fellowship at The Countryside Christian Church will be having a community Thanksgiving dinner from noon until 2 p.m., Nov. 28. Call Terese or Shelley at 665.3171 by Nov. 26 to make a reservation. 

The University Chorus will present a program of seasonal music at 3 p.m., Nov. 24, in Baldwin Auditorium. The chorus will perform holiday music with the assistance of the Truman Brass Ensemble, various instrumentalists from the Department of Music and dancers from Truman’s dance department. The event is free and open to the public.

Students Together Educating Peers and Delta Chi fraternity will locally sponsor the White Ribbon Campaign, an international awareness campaign to end violence against women. White ribbons will be available from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., Nov. 25, in the SUB. 

USA Today is searching for the best undergraduate students in the nation to be honored on the All-USA College Academic Team. Faculty are invited to nominate students for this award. Nominations must be post-marked by Nov. 30. Contact the Public Relations Office at 785.4016 or go to or e-mail for more information.

“Scars: Peeling Away the Layers” by Jay Ballanger will be on display at the University Art Gallery until Dec. 7. Admission to the gallery is free and its hours of operation are: Mon.-Thurs. 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; Friday 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday noon-4:30 p.m.

The Chariton Valley Audubon Society will sponsor the Kirksville Christmas Bird Count Dec. 14. They are asking for volunteers to help count all the birds within 7.5 miles of downtown Kirksville. There will be free doughnuts, juice, cocoa and coffee in the morning and a free dinner at which results will be compiled. There is also a prize for the individual who spots the most unusual bird. Contact Pete Goldman at 785.4632 or for more information. 


On Campus
19 Tuesday

12:30 p.m.-Faculty Development Weekly Lunch Series, SUB Spanish Room; see Notes
8 p.m.-“A Christmas Carol,” Courtyard Theatre; see "A Christmas Carol” to be Performed Nov. 18-23
8 p.m.-TE DEUM prayer and praise service, SUB Down Under; see Notes

20 Wednesday
4:30 p.m.-American Film Classics Series Features “Down by Law,” OP 2210; see Master Calendar
7 p.m.-TSODA Dance Recital, Baldwin Auditorium; see University Music and Dance Events
8 p.m.-Faculty Viola Recital, OP Performance Hall; see Notes
8 p.m.-“A Christmas Carol,” Courtyard Theatre; see"A Christmas Carol” to be Performed Nov. 18-23

21 Thursday 
11 a.m.-Great American Smokeout, SUB; see Great AmericanSmokeout
5 p.m.-Washington Center Internship Informational Meeting, University Career Center; see Notes
7 p.m.-Jack Shewmaker Public Lecture, OP Performance Hall; see Profiles in Leadership Public Lecture
8 p.m.-“A Christmas Carol,” Courtyard Theatre; see "A Christmas Carol” to be Performed Nov. 18-23

22 Friday
Graduation Clearance packets due, MC 104; see Notes
8 p.m.-“A Christmas Carol,” Courtyard Theatre; see "A Christmas Carol” to be Performed Nov. 18-23

23 Saturday
8 p.m.-“A Christmas Carol,” Courtyard Theatre; see "A Christmas Carol” to be Performed Nov. 18-23

24 Sunday
3 p.m.-University Chorus Concert, Baldwin Auditorium; see Notes

25 Monday
10 a.m.-White Ribbon Campaign, SUB; see Notes


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