College of Arts and Letters

Do you have something you hope to change or build upon this year in your life?

If you've ever struggled to make a substantial life change, it might be because you're too focused on correcting your weaknesses rather than investing in your strengths. That's according to Clifton Strengths Finder.

Nora Cox, senior instructor of communication at Missouri State University, is a certified Strengths Finder coach. She says awareness of ourselves makes us more productive at whatever we hope to achieve.

Part of getting ready for college is imagining yourself there. But some students don’t have a clear idea of what that looks like.

Maybe he would be a first-generation college student. Maybe his school districts doesn’t have the resources for the fields he dreams of. Maybe he believes he has to declare a major when he walks on campus in order to be successful.

"Oh, what a beautiful morning" – it's just one of the many iconic songs attributed to the team of Rogers and Hammerstein. In their first collaboration, they created "Oklahoma!" It's romance, Western and a piece of legendary Americana that many can quote by heart.

Missouri State University students will perform in the world premiere concert version of "Oklahoma!" alongside the Springfield Symphony this Nov. 9-10.

Hundreds of third through sixth grade students from the local area are taking a big field trip on Sept. 25. They'll be visiting the International Culture Fair, hosted by Missouri State University's modern and classical languages department.

"It's essentially a trip around the world," said Dr. Heidi Backes, coordinator of the event. "Students get a bag and a passport booklet. They visit 12 different booths, each representing a different country, and they do a particular activity related to the culture of each of those places."

When you think “gothic,” you think about dark, foreboding, mysterious. In literature, it is all of those things. Dr. Heidi Backes says it is often constructed to tell a tale about the underlying sociopolitical environment or economy.

Backes, assistant professor in the modern and classical languages department at Missouri State University, shares about what you can see between the lines of these gothic tales.

In the state of Missouri, approximately 4.5% of students in schools are classified as English learners. Although this is half of the national average, it's a growing population. It presents unique challenges for teachers and others in the education system.

In star-studded Hollywood, Bobby Lewis hustled but had success. After being there about three years, tragedy hit his family. His mom, dad and younger sister were killed in a car accident.

Bobby Lewis, assistant professor in the department of media, journalism and film at Missouri State University, shares how this experience brought about magnificent change.

College of Arts and Letters, Missouri State University

After a one-year hiatus, the Missouri Fine Arts Academy (MFAA) made its return to Missouri State University this summer.  

The residential program for Missouri high school student artists took place June 2-15. Eighty-nine students from across the state participated. 

It's not what you say, it's how you say it. It's cliché, but true. For people with mental health disorders, how they say something may be quite different than someone not living with a mental illness.

Dr. Isabelle Bauman, interim department head for communication at Missouri State University, has been studying how mental health influences communication styles, and is writing a book on this work. She gives an example of communication differences. 

A carefree summer fling causes romantic clashes, bodies pile up in an Agatha Christie classic and an imposter leads the FBI on a merry chase.

That’s what Tent Theatre at Missouri State University has in store for audiences this summer during its 57th season.

Mark Templeton, managing director, tells about the lineup.

When you sit down to watch your favorite show do you watch just one episode? Or is your DVR full of stockpiled episodes ready for a marathon? Maybe you stream episode after episode, immersing yourself in a show. Binge watching is what we're discussing today on the Missouri State Journal.

Having a stroke or a traumatic brain injury can make you feel like a foreigner in a strange land. Your cognition may still be fully intact, but sometimes you just can't speak the language.

After a stroke, most individuals need speech therapy, something that is offered free at Missouri State University's Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic, and they often recoup much of their language. If you haven't recouped it all, you may become your own worse critic. This makes it difficult to engage in everyday social situations. You may feel embarrassed and become isolated.

American society has come a long way since the inception of the feminist movement. Even as recently as the 1990s. Gender studies could be seen as quite radical. Now, those same notions are largely internalized for kids, thanks to pop culture references, social media, and positive role modeling.

We all hope to enjoy holiday gatherings filled with good food, company and conversations. However, that’s not always possible because conflicts with loved ones can arise. 

Two individuals from Missouri State University’s Center for Dispute Resolution (CDR),  Director Dr. Charlene Berquist and Associate Director Heather Blades, address holiday conflict.

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.

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