College of Humanities and Public Affairs

Systemic racism: It’s even present in the way we gather data.

Dr. Kyler Sherman-Wilkins, assistant professor of sociology at Missouri State University, recently gained grant funding to incorporate anti-racism modules into his statistics and methods course. works to empower more people of color on the university’s campus and one step is incorporating anti-racism into the curriculum.

The grant funding will be used to assist with resource building and professional development.

To find out the role religion plays on American college campuses today, Missouri State University’s Dr. John Schmalzbauer and his team of co-researchers are exploring the landscape of campus ministries across the country.

A three-year grant of more than $981,000 from Lilly Endowment Inc. has made this project possible.

A group of ladies meditating outdoors.
janeb13, Pixabay / Used With Permission

While some stress is good for you, too much of it for too long will harm your physical, mental and emotional health.

There are several helpful ways to relieve stress, such as yoga and meditation. 

Dr. Stephen Berkwitz is the department head of religious studies at Missouri State University, with expertise in South Asian religions and culture. He offers some insights about yoga and meditation, as well as tips and advice for practicing them.

Natalie Powers, National Endowment for the Arts and The American Theatre Wing

At age 10, Emalee Flatness became interested in music. It soon grew into a passion for the native of Willard, Missouri, who’s now a freshman history major at Missouri State University.

Last summer, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and its partner, the American Theatre Wing, announced that Flatness was one of only six winners—out of almost 200 applicants nationwide—of the 2019 Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge for her original song “Carolina.”

A happy African American couple spending time outdoors.
Pixabay (used with permission)

When we think of a healthy relationship, words like commitment, honesty, respect and trust come to mind. Keeping a romantic relationship strong takes a lot of time, effort and patience. 

As Valentine’s Day approaches, it’s a good time to evaluate the state of your relationship with your partner to see what’s working well and what can be done to make it better.

Bob Linder, Missouri State University

Whether it’s the hillbilly stereotype or the backwoods myth, it’s a fact that there are plenty of misunderstandings about the Ozarks and Ozarkers.

Bob Linder, Missouri State University

Spreading across roughly 40,000-45,000 square miles, the Ozarks covers much of the southern half of Missouri and a large part of northern Arkansas. It also extends into northeast Oklahoma and southeast Kansas.

There are many stereotypes about the Ozarks and Ozarkers. They range from frontiersmen to hillbillies and moonshiners.

With his research on Ozarks history, Dr. Brooks Blevins tries to dispel those misconceptions and present the most complete portrait of the region. 

The Department of Religious Studies at Missouri State University turns 50 this year.

Created in 1969, the department is the oldest and largest department of its kind in a public university in Missouri. It offers both undergraduate and graduate programs. 

Dr. Stephen Berkwitz, professor and department head of religious studies at MSU, highlights the department, its achievements over the years and plans for its 50th anniversary celebration.

Do students lose their religious beliefs when they enter college? Many believe yes. Dr. John Schmalzbauer, Blanche Gorma Strong Chair in Protestant Studies at Missouri State University, worked with historian Dr. Kathleen Mahoney to examine this question: Where does religion stand in the heart of American universities?

They compiled their research in a new book, "The Resilience of Religion in American Higher Education." It was published in September.

Your health can be affected by so many things. Genetics, diet, stress, the people around you - just to name a few.

Dr. Kyler Sherman Wilkins, assistant professor of sociology at Missouri State University, is a social demographer who is interested in the distribution of health in Americans.

Bob Linder, Missouri State University

Whether it’s the hillbilly stereotype or the backwoods myth, it’s a fact that there’s plenty of misunderstandings about the Ozarks and Ozarkers.

Spreading across roughly 40,000-45,000 square miles, the Ozarks covers much of the southern half of Missouri and a large part of northern Arkansas. It also extends into northeast Oklahoma and southeast Kansas.

There are many stereotypes about the Ozarks and Ozarkers. They range from frontiersmen to hillbillies to moonshiners and banjo players.

With his research on Ozarks history, Dr. Brooks Blevins tries to dispel those misconceptions and present the most complete portrait of the region. 

Sociologist, Dr. Alicia Walker likes to explore behaviors that deviate from cultural norms such as infidelity.

After reading several articles that challenged common sense understanding about infidelity, especially among women, Walker set out to research the topic of women and affairs for her doctoral dissertation.

The project took several years and involved in-depth interviews with women across the country who sought or participated in affairs through a dating site.

The first self-evident truth in the Declaration of Independence is the inspiration for this year's public affairs conference at Missouri State University. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness: Reflections on Self Government (April 4-7, 2017). I'm Nicki Donnelson and today my guest is Dr. Kevin Pybas. He is an associate professor of political science and this year's Provost Fellow for public affairs.  

Springfield is a friendly city with an ugly past. However, it’s more than they lynchings that took place on the square in 1906 that tarnish the reputation. To more fully understand the cultural climate that has been prevalent in the Ozarks for so long, three Missouri State faculty members have developed a living archive of testimonials and oral histories of the African American experience in the Ozarks..

Lyle Foster, an instructor in the sociology department, tells us about the project, The Journey Continues.

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