Nicki Donnelson

Co-host of "Missouri State Journal"

Nicki received a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Business Administration from Missouri State in marketing, in 2002 and 2004 respectively. After gaining experience in writing, marketing, special event planning, fundraising and public relations, she returned to the university to work as the public relations specialist in the office of university communications. There she tells the university’s story by sharing the stories of individuals at Missouri State. 

Ways to Connect

In November 2017, Missouri State University was awarded a grant from the office of violence against women in the department of justice. That project, which supports programming on MSU and OTC's campuses, is Project HEAL (Help, Educate, Advocate and Listen).

Kunti Bentley, project coordinator, shares about the program.

"What we're doing with the grant is to really focus on prevention and counseling and then victim advocacy," said Bentley. "What we want to do is move on from that heightened awareness of these issues and move into action."

Each November, Native American Heritage Month is recognized with the goal of affirming and celebrating the identities of individuals who are often erased from history. Dr. Billie Follensbee, museum studies program coordinator in the art and design department at Missouri State University, has had a lifelong fascination with Native American history, art and archaeology.

Every day we ought to be thankful for our freedom, but one day every year, we publicly say thank you to the men and women in the military that served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Veteran's Day is Nov. 11, but Missouri State University will be hosting several public events leading up to this special day. 

Not being able to communicate effectively or understand people can be so discouraging and frustrating. It leaves you out – in the dark. Lauren Jones, director of the Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic at Missouri State University, says parents usually become concerned around age 2 that their toddler isn’t talking as much as other children they know. Jones says that signs can be evident before that as well. The clarity or intelligibility of speech for a young child is another common concern, she noted. 

MSU

Missouri State is focused on developing educated citizens of the world – citizens who are engaged in the community, ready to lead with integrity and who are concerned with global issues and respect diverse perspectives. In order to get the campus invested in this mission, we host an annual Public Affairs Conference.

Over the past few decades, the global marketplace has evolved. More international business transactions take place. Team members may be spread throughout the globe. And with that, many companies now seek  individuals who can demonstrate cultural competencies - like language skills - when hiring for positions.

Dr. Jason Jolley, head of the modern and classical languages (MCL) department at Missouri State University, shares about the evolution of language education.

From the very first moments, your child is learning. They are soaking in their environment and learning to interact with it.

Dr. Sascha Mowrey, assistant professor of early childhood education at Missouri State University, gives tips for preparing your child for a lifetime of learning.

To her, one of the most important characteristics that parents can instill in a child is curiosity. It can be challenging to always be “on” and engaged, but Mowrey says the best way to teach curiosity is to model it.

Reading and writing serve as the foundation for so much of elementary school education and always has. While that remains unchanged, expectations of children and teachers evolve with the times.

Dr. Chloe Bolyard, assistant professor of elementary education at Missouri State University, shares recent changes in elementary education.

One of the biggest challenges for all teachers, noted Bolyard, is to meet the diverse and unique needs of all the children in a classroom. 

Selecting a university and attending is a big decision. But it certainly helps when you have a support system that has been through it before. 

Dr. Kelly Wood, interim director for first-year programs and provost fellow for student success at Missouri State University, and Dr. Stephen Spates, assistant professor of communication who went through a specialized advising course to assist first-gen students from the College of Arts and Letters, talk about addressing the needs of these students.

 In describing the work of German choreographer Pina Bausch, you might hear many terms – like performance art, wild or unresolved. But Telory Arendell, associate professor in the department of theatre and dance at Missouri State University, just calls it inspiring.

She is here to open our eyes to understand these art forms that don’t fit into traditional boxes of theatre or dance. Pina Bausch’s work was in that space between, in what she called dance theatre.

Natural: So many foods, cosmetics, cleaners and drugs claim this status. But why does it matter?

Dr. Paul Durham, distinguished professor and director of the Center for Biomedical and Life Sciences at Missouri State, Hunter Sheckley, graduate conducting research in Durham’s lab, and Yan Li Fan, visiting scholar from China, discuss recent research.

When you have a disability, some things are more challenging. In this same mindset, when performers are told to limit their movements or to restrict themselves in some way, they could become frustrated. But to Telory Arendell, associate professor in the department of theatre and dance at Missouri State, she considers it freeing to not be confined by the norms and expectations.

Filmmaking requires a team before and after the cameras roll. This is the story of a soon to be released film called “Break” that was produced by Richard and Lucie Amberg.

Acquiring a new language develops an appreciation of other cultures. Even if you never travel to a country that speaks that language or have an occasion to use the language in daily life, you understand more about the people and the way they operate by learning how they communicate.

Picture yourself in a national park like Denali, the Everglades or Yellowstone.

What comes to mind?

Dr. Judith Meyer, a historical geographer at Missouri State University, wants to know how you experience that landscape and why. 

She has long been fascinated with Yellowstone, where she served as a tour guide for several summers. One of her research interests is what she calls the sense of place.

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