Dr. Trent Brown’s Murder in McComb

LSU Press offers the following description of Dr. Brown’s new book:

“What remained of the badly decomposed body of twelve­-year­-old Tina Marie Andrews was discovered underneath a discarded sofa in the woods outside of McComb, Mississippi, on August 23, 1969. Ten days earlier, Andrews and a friend had accepted a ride home after leaving the Tiger’s Den, a local teenage hangout, but they were driven instead to the remote area where Andrews was eventually murdered. Although eyewitness testimony pointed to two local police officers, no one was ever convicted of this brutal crime, and to this day the case remains officially unsolved. Contemporary local newspaper coverage notwithstanding, the story of Andrews’s murder has not been told. Indeed, many people in the McComb community still, more than fifty years later, hesitate to speak of the tragedy.

“Trent Brown’s Murder in McComb is the first comprehensive examination of this case, the lengthy investigation into it, and the two extended trials that followed. Brown also explores the public shaming of the state’s main witness, a fifteen-year-old unwed mother, and the subsequent desecration of Andrews’s grave. Set against the uneasy backdrop of the civil rights movement, Brown’s study deftly reconstructs various accounts of the murder, explains why the juries reached the verdicts they did, and explores the broader forces that shaped the community in which Andrews lived and died.

“Unlike so many other accounts of violence in the Jim Crow South, racial animus was not the driving force behind Andrews’s murder; in fact, most of the individuals central to the case, from the sheriff to the judges to the victim, were white. Yet Andrews, as well as her friend Billie Jo Lambert, the state’s key witness, were ‘girls of ill repute,’ as one defense attorney put it. To many people in McComb, Tina and Billie Jo were ‘trashy’ children whose circumstances reflected their families’ low socioeconomic standing. In the end, Brown suggests that Tina Andrews had the great misfortune to be murdered in a town where the locals were overly eager to support law, order, and stability—instead of true justice—amid the tense and uncertain times during and after the civil rights movement.”

Jennifer Collins (BS, 2014) in New Position at the Discovery Center of Springfield

Springfield, MO, February 19, 2018 — The Discovery Center of Springfield is happy to announce Jennifer Collins as their new Marketing & Advancement Director.

“I’m excited to continue with the Discovery Center on this new chapter. While working at the Discovery Center, you hear the wealth of stories from teachers and families on how we’re changing the lives of children across southwest Missouri. The impact area of the Discovery Center reaches further than Springfield—we’re teaching in rural schools that otherwise would not have access to the technology and STEM resources needed to help these students excel. I am honored and thrilled to share these stories with the public and join this amazing team on our next chapter.”

Jennifer started her career at the Discovery Center as a Graphic Design Intern while completing her master’s degree in Rhetoric & Composition from Missouri State University. From there, she was hired in the Marketing Department as the Education & Marketing Coordinator to serve as the bridge between the two departments. Jennifer also served as the Interim Marketing Director during the Center’s time of transition to the new Executive Director, Rob Blevins. Now as the Marketing & Advancement Director, Jennifer will spearhead marketing and fundraising efforts for the Discovery Center.

She comes to the Discovery Center with an extensive background in both marketing and education, having taught English to nontraditional and nonnative English learners at Missouri State after completing her Bachelor of Science in Technical Communication from Missouri Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri. While at the Discovery Center, Jennifer has increased fundraising revenue with her end of calendar year campaigns, Give Ozarks Day, and the Center’s annual Night at the Museum as well as grown the department’s internship program to provide hands-on learning to marketing, graphic design, and photojournalism students. Jennifer has also been an active writer for Ozarks Living Magazine and has been nominated for the Springfield Business Journal’s Top Local Sales/Marketing award for 2018.

“Having someone like Jennifer to share your story is every nonprofit’s dream,” said Rob Blevins, Executive Director. “She is incredibly passionate about our mission, and she makes it her mission that all of the Ozarks knows about the important work we’re doing here at the Discovery Center. This next chapter is going to be one you’ll want to read about, and, thanks to Jennifer, you won’t be able to miss it.”

Discovery Center of Springfield is an interactive, hands-on science museum committed to inspiring people of all ages with a life-long love of learning and an appreciation for the world and our place in it.

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For more information contact: Rob Blevins, Executive Director (417) 862-9910 or rblevins@discoverycenter.org

Looking for Something to Read?

(adapted from an article by Peter Ehrhard)

Faculty in our department recently offered their choices for some of the most interesting, challenging, and absorbing books and articles they read in 2016.

His Bloody Project, by Graeme Burnet. “It’s historical fiction disguised as a memoir and court documents surrounding a triple murder that took place in a remote village in the Scottish Highlands in 1869,” says Dr. Kristine Swenson, chair and professor. “It’s a brutal page-turner that is so evocative of time and place that I really thought it was based on an actual case.”

• Dr. Ed Malone, professor, recommends “Fractured Lands: How the Arab World Came Apart,” a newspaper feature article by Scott Anderson. It took up an entire issue of The New York Times Magazine. “This article examines the catastrophe that has fractured the Arab world since the invasion of Iraq 13 years ago, leading to the rise of ISIS and the global refugee crisis,” according to the article’s teaser.

The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead. “It is a novel about the history of slavery in America told painfully movingly through the life of Cora, who escapes from a plantation via a literal underground railroad,” says Dr. Elizabeth Vonalt, professor emerita and former chair.

Weapons of Math Destruction, by Cathy O’Neil. “O’Neil describes how mathematical models used in business, finance and government are seemingly rigged, and how deregulation of businesses and finance institutions means less free trade, less competition and greater consolidation for the 1 percent,” says Dr. Dan Reardon, assistant professor.

The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt. “Theo survives an art museum bombing that orphans him. In the midst of the chaos of the explosion, he makes off with a small painting of a goldfinch, which marks his descent into the dark throes of the art underworld,” says Lindsey Dunstedter, lecturer.

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond. “This vivid depiction of impoverished Americans, substandard housing, and the struggles faced by those with few resources and even fewer options will make readers think about the intersections of poverty, housing and social responsibility in a whole new light,” says Dr. Kate Drowne, professor and associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Business.

The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter, by David Sax. “A reporter explores the growing markets for vinyl records, brick-and-mortar bookstores, Moleskine journals and Detroit-manufactured wristwatches, among other things, to show how the real world is both smart business and more satisfying than the hyperbole of digital technology,” says Dr. Trent Brown, associate professor.

Ramsay Paints the Town Red … and Green and Purple

(adapted from a story by Peter Ehrhard)

This past semester, Leach Theatre hosted an exhibition of abstract paintings by artist Ramsay Wise, a Rolla native and lecturer of English at Missouri University of Science and Technology. Wise primarily uses spray paint and acrylics to blur the line between abstract and representational art.

The son of late Professor of English Dr. Jim Wise, Ramsay was born and raised in Rolla and graduated from Rolla High School in 1991. He received a degree in film studies from the University of Missouri. His art work has been featured in publications such as Mud Season Review, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, and Columbia Journal. Past exhibitions of his work include displays at Sager/Braudis Gallery in Columbia, Missouri; Dog Master Distillery in Columbia, Missouri; and Fayetteville Underground in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Below is a photograph of one of Ramsay’s paintings. To purchase his work, email ramsay.wise@gmail.com.

wise-poster-fs16-768x572

Tech Com Graduate Wins Alumna Award

The Missouri S&T Alumna and Woman Student of the Year Committee announced its 2016 award winners during a ceremony on Oct. 17. This year the committee honored three women students and two alumnae who are dedicated to advancing the lives of women and committed to diversity.

The Alumna of the Year Gold Award went to Tara Stone, a user interface designer specialist in marketing and communications. Stone earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in technical communication from Missouri S&T. Before joining the marketing and communications department, she was an assistant director in student success programs office. A Missouri S&T staff member since 2012, she has completed the Leadership Phelps County Program and the Innovative Thought Leadership: Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program. She is a recipient of the Achievement Medal for Civilian Service from the United States Army.

(adapted from a press release by Mary Helen Stoltz)

The Association for Business Communication Awards Research Grant to Graduate Student

Written by Peter Ehrhard

Language barriers and cultural differences lead to the need for large, multinational corporations to adopt localized social media strategies. One graduate student at Missouri University of Science and Technology is looking at four companies in two countries to study best practices for building such a strategy.

Yeon Kyung Lee, a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in technical communication at Missouri S&T, was awarded the C.R. Anderson Research grant from the Association for Business Communication to research the social media strategies of four companies in South Korea and the United States.

Lee will study U.S. companies General Electric and Southwest Airlines and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics and Asiana Airlines. Her goal is to help similarly situated companies in two different countries develop effective social media best practices for producing technical information in a specific language or culture.

“There are marked differences in how cultures utilize social media,” says Lee, a native of South Korea who earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Missouri S&T in 2014. “Korean society has a high level of context within the language, while American English needs less context for clear communication.”

For her research, Lee will analyze each company’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube sites over several months and conduct in-depth interviews with each company’s social media representatives. She will then identify the similarities and differences in the two countries’ business communications via social media and suggest guidelines for an effective localization strategy.

“Social media is a powerful online communication platform for businesses to reach consumers and to analyze market trends, because it decreases barriers between a company and its consumers,” says Lee. “An effective use of social media will decrease the costs and efforts for international market research and localization.”

To kick-start her research, Lee was able to earn a technical writing internship with Southwest Airlines for the summer. She assisted in proofreading and editing various company policies and procedures and writing technical materials.

“While in Texas at the airline’s headquarters, I could apply my writing and editing skills, and learn more from outside of the classroom,” says Lee.

Ranade Publishes Article in STC’s Intercom

Amruta Ranade, a graduate student in technical communication at Missouri S&T, has published an article titled “Writing for a North American Audience” in the May 2016 issue of Intercom, the monthly magazine of the Society for Technical Communication (STC).

Ranade is the current president of the Missouri S&T chapter of STC. She is also a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Department of English and Technical Communication and has full instructional responsibility for one section of ENGL 3560 Technical Writing each semester.

In her article, she writes:

A significant chunk of the technical documentation produced for a North American audience is created outside the United States. I know this from personal experience: I am an Indian technical writer
who worked for American companies throughout my career. Overexposure to American sitcoms, movies, and other media has lead us—non-American technical writers—into believing that we ‘know’ American culture. Thus the documents that we create are based on the stereotypes and faulty assumptions about American culture. As a result, our technical documents are plagued with issues caused by a lack of cultural awareness.

Click on the link below to read the rest of the article:

Ranade’s “Writing for a North American Audience”

Department Welcomes Dr. Sarah Hercula

by Taylor Schubert

The Department of English and Technical Communication is pleased to announce the hiring of another professor: Dr. Sarah Hercula will be joining the faculty in Fall 2016.

Dr. Hercula is a recent graduate of Illinois State University (ISU), where she earned a PhD in English Studies with an emphasis in linguistics. Her research focuses on linguistics and TESOL pedagogy.

While at ISU, Dr. Hercula held several positions, including Instructional Assistant Professor in the School of Teaching and Learning, Program Assistant for the Writing Program, and Associate Editor of the Grassroots Writing Research Journal. In Spring 2015, she was honored with an Outstanding University Graduate Student Teaching Award.

Dr. Hercula is eager to assume her position at Missouri S&T and looks forward to working with her new colleagues and students.

Tech Com Majors Attend Conferences in Springfield

In late April, several S&T tech com majors attended the 8th Annual Workshop for Teachers of Technical Writing and the 10th Annual STC Student Conference at Missouri State University in Springfield. The students were Razmus Kerwin, Misty Adams, Andrew Herbert, Shristy Bashyal, Melissa Hollingshead, Shubhangi Vajpayee, Shubashini Gamagedara, and Kenny Wampler.

The following paragraphs are adapted from Razz Kerwin’s trip report:

“On the first day of the conference, well-known tech com scholars such as Sherry Southard, Carolyn Rude, Tom Warren, Mike Markel, and Steve Gerson gave presentations on various aspects of the teaching of tech com — from retrospectives on teaching tech com to a frank discussion about the uses of social media in the tech com classroom. One thing I found particularly valuable at the conference was Dr. Southard’s brief retrospective of her career in teaching tech com. I was fortunate enough to talk with her at length during lunch about my upcoming GTA position and some basic teaching strategies for someone just starting out.

“The presentations on the second day were primarily geared toward undergraduates preparing to enter either industry or a higher level of academia. Shubhangi’s and Shubashini’s poster presentations were interesting and unique additions to the poster session. At the book raffle several S&T students won a free Bedford/St. Martin’s technical communication textbook. The day concluded with a three-person panel of current tech com PhD students who held an open Q&A session about what it’s really like to be a PhD student. It was a real eye opener regarding the level of commitment it takes to accomplish that goal.”

Missouri S&T tech com majors at Springfield conference on April 26, 2012. From left to right: Kenny Wampler, Melissa Hollingshead, Shubhangi Vajpayee, Subhashini Gamagedara, Misty Adams, and Razmus Kerwin

Malone and Morgan win publication awards

Dr. Ed Malone has won the 2012 NCTE/CCCC Technical and Scientific Communication Award in the category of Best Article Reporting Historical Research or Textual Studies in Technical and Scientific Communication for “Chrysler’s ‘Most Beautiful Engineer’: Lucille J. Pieti in the Pillory of Fame.” Dr. Malone’s article appeared in Volume 19 Issue 2 of Technical Communication Quarterly.

Professor Jack Morgan has been awarded the 2011 Michael J. Durkan Prize for Books on Language and Culture for his New World Irish: Notes on One Hundred Years of Lives and Letters in American Culture (Palgrave 2011). The Durkan Prize is awarded by the American Conference for Irish Studies.