Nicki Donnelson | KBIA

Nicki Donnelson

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. 

A teacher's job is complex. Not only does the teacher need to communicate subject matter clearly, he or she must do so in a manner that keeps attention. He must minimize distractions, answer questions as they arise, provoke students' critical thinking skills and perhaps most importantly, notice.

Music tells a story. It is a narrative that inspires and moves many. 

Daniel Ketter and Emlyn Johnson, faculty from the department of music at Missouri State University, share about their work with Music in the American Wild and how they are celebrating the Centennial of the women's suffrage movement.

They began Music in the America Wild in 2016 as a celebration of the National Park Service Centennial.

Unless you have a medical background, you likely feel slightly uneasy and confused when you, or a loved one, are in the hospital or are facing a new diagnosis. As doctors, and others on the care team, spout off procedures, you may catch only a portion. 

Tara Stulce and Jeanie Skibiski from the McQueary College of Health and Human Services at Missouri State University participate in an interdisciplinary committee that focuses on healthcare teams and creating better overall cooperation and communication among team members.

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.

In our changing world, how can teachers be confident they are still teaching and reaching their students?

Dr. Stefanie Livers, assistant professor of childhood education and family studies at Missouri State University, researches teacher preparation and professional development of those already in the field. Her goal: to improve access and equity for all students.

Not seeing eye to eye with someone? Need to find a solution without going to the courts? Dr. Stan Leasure, business law professor at Missouri State University, says alternative dispute methods might be your best bet.

Unimaginable and devastating. Those are words you might use to describe a sinkhole.

Dr. Doug Gouzie, geology professor at Missouri State University, explains why sinkholes are more common in Missouri than many other places in the world.

To even the playing field and to break the cycle of poverty, Missouri State University has taken a stance. The university is making it easier to access a college education, because we know that higher education helps people overcome socio-economic boundaries, and achieve personal and professional success.

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.

Opioids are commonly prescribed for those with a total knee replacement. But with the increased attention turned to the abuse of these narcotics, a new method was approved a few years ago: cryoneurolysis.

"Cryoneurolysis takes the nerve just to the point of slightly damaging, basically bruising it, so that it doesn't conduct the painful impulses anymore," said Dr. Jeanie Skibiski, assistant professor in the School of Anesthesia at Missouri State University.

"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.

When you think about technology, perhaps you consider the huge biomedical advances it has propelled forward. Or perhaps you think of the family dining at a restaurant that can’t be bothered to hold conversation – instead they are enraptured by their smartphones.

Technology. It’s yin and yang.

Dr. Paul Durham, distinguished professor of biology at Missouri State University, is serving as the lead for this year’s public affairs conference, The 21st Century Digital World.

In every sport, athletes risk injury. Athletic trainers support and assist these athletes to lower that possibility. They help them warm up, stretch and prepare the body for rigorous action.

Dr. David Carr, associate professor in the department of sports medicine and athletic training at Missouri State University, shares a story about a tragedy that highlights why adequate medical training is important on the sidelines.

As a butterfly enthusiast for his entire life, Dr. Chris Barnhart remembers collecting caterpillars in a grass-filled Radio Flyer wagon as a young child.

Now a distinguished professor of biology at Missouri State University, Barnhart says his hobby turned into an outreach program about a decade ago.

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.

One hundred percent of living humans are aging every day. That shouldn't surprise any of us. But did you know that 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day? By 2030, 20% of the U.S. population will be older adults, which will meet or outnumber children.

Dr. Lisa Hall, coordinator of the Gerontology program within the psychology department at Missouri State University, is here to tell us how that demographic shift is changing the world we live in.

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.

Hundreds of volcanoes exist in the United States. Most are considered dormant and haven't erupted for more than 10,000 years. That doesn't mean that they can't or won't.

Dr. Gary Michelfelder, assistant professor in the department of geography, geology and planning at Missouri State University, says that though you may not know it, volcanoes affect our lives every day. 

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.

The world is constantly changing. Scientists and conservationists showcase events of climate change and global warming worldwide and are striving to slow down the effects.

Dr. Deb Finn, assistant professor of biology at Missouri State University, has spent her career studying flowing water environments, but she specifically loves the alpine streams, which are in high altitude environments above the permanent treeline. 

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.

Graphic novels. They're just a fancy name for long-form comics. But when you think about one, you may picture the bulging muscles of Marvel's superheroes. But my guests say not to judge comics by this preconceived imagery.

Cole Closser and Jennifer Murvin teach a course at Missouri State University on creating comics and are paving the road to an interdisciplinary program that is largely unheard of at the undergraduate level. Murvin and Closser share about what keeps them intrigued in this medium.

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.

Over the last several years, wine enthusiasts have cheered over the revelation that red wine has positive health benefits. While many assumed it was the grapes, skins and juice providing the antioxidants, the grape seeds took the back seat - until now.

Dr. Paul Durham, distinguished professor of biology at Missouri State University, and Jessica Cox, graduate student in Durham’s lab, share the good news about their recent National Institutes of Health funded study in grape seed extract.

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.

The sustainability movement continues to grow and evolve. Individuals are more concerned than ever about the source of their foods, materials and products they purchase. This focus has caused many industries to look closely at their processes, products and byproducts – ultimately to improve themselves and improve the reputation of the organization as a whole.

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