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A Helping Hand

Posted by on Jan 16, 2018 in Featured Story, Students | 0 comments

A Helping Hand

Editor’s Note: This story was included in the latest edition of Affinity Magazine. Click here to check out the magazine in its entirety!

Freshman Hannah Ricketts is the oldest sibling in her family, so she’s the first to leave home for college.

Even though Columbia College’s main campus is just down Route B from her home in Hallsville, it’s still a different world. And, even though Ricketts’ mother, Shawn, graduated from Columbia College in 1992, things have changed a bit around campus since then.

Eight upperclassmen serve as First-Year Mentors for new Columbia College day students. From left: Kristin Tatters, Caroline Kelly, Reagan Patterson, Marina Heard, Stephanie Layton, Leah Hoveln, Chris Harris and Ethan Veit
(Photo submitted by Kim Coke)

So Hannah is happy to have her First-Year Mentor, senior chemistry major Leah Hoveln, to lean on.

“I already look up to her, and I just met her (at the beginning of fall semester),” Hannah says. “I have no idea how anything works. It’s really nice talking to her about simple things. It’s nice having an older sibling, I guess you could kind of say, who knows the ropes around here.”

Hoveln is one of eight upperclassmen who serve as First-Year Mentors for new Columbia College students. Each First-Year Mentor is responsible for co-facilitating at least one Introduction to Columbia College class — Hoveln and another mentor co-facilitate two — as well as arranging a half-hour meeting with each member of their new student cohort in the first weeks of the fall semester.

In the past, Community Consultants handled both the orientation events and the INCC classes. This year, for the first time, the group of student leaders split up into Orientation Leaders and First-Year Mentors.

Ricketts is one of 33 students that Hoveln has in her group.

“I love Columbia College, and I want everyone to have the best experience they can have while they’re here,” Hoveln says. “I think it’s really important students know there is someone you can always go to. There are always resources available on campus. I just wanted to be a part of that and help make their transition to college and, hopefully, their next three or four years here better than they would have been otherwise.”

Kim Coke, who served as director of new student programs in the Student Affairs office before recently transferring to Student Support Services as an advisor, says First-Year Mentors come from two main sources. Student leaders identify younger students in their groups who they think would make good mentors and recruit them. Freshmen and sophomores also approach Coke and ask for ways in which they can get involved.

Each student applies for a position and goes through an interview process to see where their skills would be best utilized. They also go through a preparatory course in the spring that primes them on topics such as peer advising, community building, active listening and handling crisis situations.

By the fall, they’re ready to be role models for the new students.

“Between the Orientation Leaders and the First-Year Mentors, they really set the climate on campus as far as how our culture is going to be. We definitely want it to be a caring culture,” Coke says. “I think they’re phenomenal. They put themselves out there quite a bit and really do great work.”

The new students get a built-in support structure as soon as they arrive on campus. The mentors, too, get to learn skills that will help them in their careers.

Hoveln says that her time in the First-Year Mentor program has given her valuable experience in contributing to a cohesive group of mentors, as well as taking a leadership role with the students she helps guide.

Coke hopes that all of the mentors are getting a multifaceted experience that they can build on for the rest of their lives.

“It’s all the non-tangibles of being in a position where you’re helping others, growing through that process, where you truly are role-modeling for other students on campus,” Coke says. “There is the part where they’re gaining skills that they can apply into their career, then there’s the other part that’s really about the relationships they build and the growth that comes from that.”

Hoveln took the LSAT in the fall and plans to go to law school to study patent law. Ricketts, a member of the Cougars track team, is a biology major on a pre-med track. She is interested in pediatrics, but says that could change in the future.

They’re developing a bond through the First-Year Mentor program, one that Ricketts hopes she can duplicate as an upperclassman in a couple of years.

“It’s just kind of cool because I was a senior mentor to the incoming freshmen (at Hallsville High School), so now it’s reverse roles,” Ricketts says. “I’m glad I have Leah as someone to talk to.”

Fall 2017 Semester dean’s list announced

Posted by on Jan 2, 2018 in Academics, Instagram, Students | 0 comments

Fall 2017 Semester dean’s list announced

deans list graphicCongratulations to the following students who were named to the Columbia College dean’s list for the Fall Semester (August-December 2017)! To be named to the dean’s list, a student must have completed 12 semester hours in a 16-week period and achieved a minimum GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0-point scale.


Coast Guard Island | Crystal Lake | Day Campus | Denver | Elgin | Evening CampusFort Drum | Fort Leonard Wood | Fort Sill | Fort Stewart | Fort Worth | Freeport | Guantanamo Bay | Hancock Field | Hunter Army Airfield | Jacksonville | Jefferson City | Kansas City | Lake County | Lake of the Ozarks | Lemoore | Los Alamitos | Main Campus Graduate | Mesquite | Moberly | NAS Jacksonville | NS Everett/Marysville | Online Education | Orlando | Patrick Air Force Base | Redstone Arsenal | Rolla | Salt Lake | San Diego | San Luis Obispo | Springfield | St. Louis | Whidbey Island


Coast Guard Island – California

First Name
Last Name
Jenny Beushausen


Crystal Lake – Illinois

First Name
Last Name
Brian Schmitt
Krista Smith
Matthew Barber
Ariel Seubert
Jim O’Donnell
Katelyn Beeksma
Melissa Bulatek
Lisa Wuest
Joshua Meadows
Alma Landa
Julie Johnsey
Kayla Knaak
Maria Rivas
Hunter Mitchell
Lisa Davidson
Angel Torres
Jennifer Joern
Mindy Auld
Jenna Ehrhardt
Megan O’Donnell
Nathalia Henrickson
Linda Nagdimon
Renee Trojan
Lauren Eisenmenger
Samantha Gersch
Elizabeth Mutter
Kevin Hazel
Svetlana Alexeeva
Jennifer Chicas
Amme Brennan
Beata Przyborowski
Nicole Harris
Diana Gomez
Frankie Teti-Teal
Richard Roehrig


Day Campus – Columbia, Missouri

First Name
Last Name
Gabriela Walton Lecompte
Sarah Richardson
Madison McGregor
Joshua Morrison
Katie Espen
Anastasia Jung
Jesse Brown
Grey Hayes
Jennifer Avila-Gonzalez
Michael Lyewski
Michael Bowen
David Biggs
Reed Sprinkle
Jessica Marron
Brandon Root
Abigail Knight
Victoria Vegher
Megan Korte
Jack Lamie
Samantha Bassler
Brittany Prange
Allison Sparrow
Spencer Myers
Drake Baker
Jacob Delong
Chloe Tiemann
Nathan Biggs
Abigail Meyer
Abigail McCracken
Kenneth Piper
Katy Marshall
Samantha Gamache
Seth Schenck
Paige Garrett
Brianna Stevens
Megan Hanneken
Clara Hagedorn
Ivana Easley
Patrick McDermott
Joshua Vitoux
Jennifer Hummel
Evan Johnson
Elizabeth Schimpf
Matt Hebisen
Adam Smith
Kara Meyer
Lauren Lagemann
Hannah Sutton
Rachel Sullivan
Breanna Belville
Adam Bundy
Alexis Russell
Trevor Cronin
Nicholas Powers
Anna Weeden
Brendan Mann
Brandi Peasel
Emilee Hanne
Alix Ray
Emily Bouldin
Abbegail Robinson
Kayla Poeling
David Delia
Alyssa Riefesel
Alexandra Coones
David McReynolds
Cameron Durst
Kayla Merrell
Ebony Teter
Kaylee Smith
Nick Bradshaw
Katy Cook
Craig Smith
Abigayle Feeney
Claire Whitney
Hadley Twidwell
Timothy Fox
Katherine Madigan
Aliya Christopher
Natalie Dummitt
Hannah Crone
Carington Key
Breana Peters
Connor Woodward
Emily Holt
Madison Dechman
Claudia Wall
Landon Parker
Taylor Luster
Jared Lauhoff
Bailey Parks
Ariel Search
Justin McKinzie
Haven Nichols
Heather Willman
Jacob McGinnis
Edward Harrison
Taiya Horn
Calah Tackett
Ashley Stiefermann
Tyler Wolfe
Zach Burns
Samantha Lindenbusch
Tanner Atteberry
Jenna Holterman
Morgan Bowden
Alexa Dickerson
Jade John
Sabrina Blankenship
Zachary Slouha
Carolyn Brewer
Morgan Brandt
Charlie Hollingsworth
Michael Mehrhoff
Mikala Jungmeyer
Grace Young
Kelsey Perry
Abigail Baldwin
Olivia Little
Silas Luetkemeyer
Tanner Elder
Monique Clarke
Allyson Metz
Dakota Newton
Abigail Beshuk
Sarah Pippins
Margaret Stieferman
Alex Thompson
Elizabeth Oeftering
Andrew Helmreich
Tausha Reed
Dustin Beckwith
Brianna Bogucki
Corey Ring
Brooke Wooten
Andrew Baker
Jessica Scott
Joseph Gorombey
Eric Levine
Jillian Staton
Joel Kelsay
Rachel Mooney
Julia Rages
Amy Mason
Samantha Flowers
Ian Humbertson
Joelle Thompson
Theodore Stokes
Summer Buttrum
Lindsay Ross
Emily Deeken
Broc Crook
Dung Pham
Anna Remus-Tamerius
Michael Wampler
Karissa Brickey
Maxwell Palmer
Seth Boren
Jayla Cody
Renee Brochu
James Le
Rachel McKernan
Lacey Kennedy
Jenna Stewart
Claire Petsinger
Adriannah Silvey
Lauren McFarland
Ebony Kimmins
Haley Chapman
Hannah Warburton
Abigail Halley
Carter Cox
William Lalka
Madelynn Grossman-Hegenbart
Andrea Lang
Kristen Tucker
Abigail Brown
Luke Rawlings
Max Miller
Brooke Drebenstedt
Hieu Ngo
Molly-Mae Godwin
Laurie Frew
Megan Carlyle
Joseph Koetting
Kaitlyn Cook
Kelsey Lyman
Landon Miller
Farena Saburi
Gretchan Hudson
Lindsay McEvar
Sophia Redelfs
Jonathon Weishedel
Ashley Rippeto
Prince Chingarande
Kelsey Mirts
Roberto Caputo
Bret Weise
Jakob Rettke
Andrea Collette
Edward Jose
Nell Chronister
Brianna Thompson
Jacob Lee
Alexandra Flakne
Logan Widhalm
Friederika Dorothea Caroline Albrecht
Grace Wardle
Michaela Karrick
Jason Alpert
Hope Devries
Todd Roberts
Tyana Shelby
Zachary Hutchinson
Ozoda Saburi
Rachel Cullen
Alexander Johnston
Giselle Ballinas
Quin Bartels
Ellen Dryden
Lucy Kingsley
Brooke Williamson
Bailey Humphreys
Hannah Stambaugh
Khanh Nguyen
Nicolas Reynolds
Ai Van Nguyen
Tanisha Lyngdoh
Yuliia Bychkovska
Johanna Mueller
Tess Losacker
Meaghan Rice
Oscar Rivera
Chloe West
Jordan Copeland
Deanne Emde
Kayla Poulsen
Allison Keen
Allison Hodge
Madison Owen
Zachary McAdams
Daymond Dollens
David Holliday
Rachel Blades
Caitlin Spears
Kirsten Hann
Tara Fuemmeler
Marina Heard
Mason McCaleb
Brent McCrary
Hannah Ricketts
Bethany Bucholtz
Elizabeth Brush
Rebecca Reed
Erik Adams
Jessica Slagle
Lauren Richardson
Courtney Bales
Brandon Boyer
Yoko Lea
Jordan Sayre
Sarah Vanderslice
John Heimann
Anthea Rackley
Jonathan Turner
Kerigan Wessing
Zachary Nichols
Elizabeth Gilbert
Sarah Walters
Kaleena Logan
Jacob Kindle
Caroline Kelly
Nathan Perkins
Emma Laney
Reagan Paterson
Ashlee Marlatt
Alexis Uffmann
Wade Howser
Alyson Goodale
Will Reimer
Stacie Torske
Alexandria Bergman
Derek Sallee
Brett Clements
Allison Garcia


Denver – Colorado 

First Name
Last Name
Heather Sellers
Lydia Banuelos
Sabrina Dixit
Barsha Dahal
Anna Marie Guyette
John Gwartney
Donald Haggitt
Nawal Mahmood
Richard Duskey
Daniel Price
Brian Long
Bishal Shrestha
Joseph Wolfe
Sunil Pandey
Rafia Sagheer
Qubeen Ranabhat
Poonam Adhikari
Iroda Mukhamedova
Nyambayar Ganzorig
Rohit Suwal
Rupesh Paudel
Reema Khatri
Rabin Phuyal
Ngim Chhamji Sherpa
Kenneth Schiedel


Elgin – Illinois 

First Name
Last Name
Alex Gonzalez
Dylan Meade
Erica Bolger
Khamla Khoxayo
Connor Cordone
Robyn Stanke
Briannon Schmidt
Carley Lehner
Claire Bechard
Geraldine Rabey
Michelle Huerta
Miguel Padilla
Cecilia Cabrera
Jose Alvarado
Taylor Lantz
Deizy Horta
Janine Martin
Shawn Gray
Robert Smith
Peter Ramierez
Rebekah Arndt
Jarveen Pearson
Karina Padilla
Bradley Waddell
Dwight Brown
Joseph Wirtz


Evening Campus – Columbia, Missouri

First Name
Last Name
Niki Freie
Nicole Phillips
Christina Snodgrass
Debonnie Taylor
Devin Shrum
Dawn Llewellyn
Azalee Morgan
Kyle Walker
James Gaddis
Caylee Burkett
Jack Burris
Benjamin Rust
Brandon Haynes
Lance Petre
Carman Seay
Marlee Billingsley
Ashley Pearson
Kyle Simpson
Sarita Thacker
Irma Villanueva
Moriah Farmer
Eric Kopfer
Kelly Kirkland
Heather Wagoner
Angela Hills
Olivia Breuer
Olatunde Opakunle
Micah Moore
Kylie Wilcox
Jeremy Simkins
Robin Mennel
Nghia Manning
Laura Dykstra
Kyle Schafer
Stanton Idel
Jessica Heisler
Jessica Knigge
Jodi Ellis
Patricia Creason
Kassi Slater
Amanda Group
Nicole Ettleman
Rosanna Eastman
Krystalyn Weltha
Aaron Timma
Abbie Lewis
Nanita Washington
Samuel Harty
Garret Ennenbach
Rachel Parker
Jacalyn Leake
Raul Aguilar
Samuel Ghirmatzion
Lindsey Whitt
Cody Bounds
Christian Araiza
Charles Faith
Sydney Marsden
Monica Flynn
Autumn Naught
David Roberts
Heidi Buxton
Claire Jeffrey
Kory Michael
Crystal Peterson
Beth Ellison
Nicholas Leonhard
Ian Stich
Paula Bibian
Tracy Bernskoetter
Abbie Gottman
Michael Timpe
Tyler Jennings
Madeline Baggett
Grant Glabe
Tatianna Todd
Jacob Murta
Rachel Scott
Rokia Abrogouah
Sanja Kalender
Ryan Hirth
Loren Woody
Jessica Noga
Kaitlyn Fountain
Zandrew Zimmerman
Courtney Palmer
J Andrew Poet
Megan Wampler
Jessica Barkwell
Derek Landes
Tiffany Schneller
Jeremy Martin
Kyla Brown
Mariah Medina
Kimberly Evangelista
Eric Perrigo
Crystal Nelson
Jacob Vitale
Tiffannie Nitcher
Taylor Collins
Drew Crowley
Molly Leach
Jordan Ball
Chandler Kovar
Jesse Beshears
James Seago
Jennifer Roe
Samantha Hutsell


Fort Drum – New York 

First Name
Last Name
Nina Harrigan
Jennifer Derouin
Jodi Taylor
Raeshaundra Krouse
Andrea McNamee
Stephanie French
Chantel Mead


Fort Leonard Wood – Missouri

First Name
Last Name
Aleksandar Trenchovski
Jennifer Hunter
Sean Phillips
Joshua Curtis
Rachel Walters
Elizabeth Dalgetty
Yessica Morris
Brook Townsend
Mary Box
Daniel Reid
Jame Rahmani
Lastanton Neal
Emily Thomas
Amanda Nichols
Cynthia Switzer
Trudie Buchanan
Justin Keziah
Sharon Greathouse
Roderick Hodges
Melissa Stallings
Jeremy Martin
Taylor Olson
William Finch
Rhonda Nordeoff
Amanda Weibring
Maria Wallgren
Emma Hargrow
Karen Shackleford
Zackery Williams
Abigail Hamilton
Christopher Janes
Michele Glen
Amber Narug
Shelly Tester
Jarred Zalewski
Kristin Beels
Michael Dickerson
Juan Toruno
Kelly Clark
Martin Hager


Fort Sill – Oklahoma 

First Name
Last Name
Kimberly Kinard
Nilsa Gonzalez
Bobbi Case
Lielbeyn Blackman
Kareem Zeigler
Jeffrey Hardy
George Byrd
Billy Vance
Edwinna Sanders
Nokeitha Winterbower


Fort Stewart – Georgia

First Name
Last Name
Frank Garner
Michael Johnston
Belinda Stevenson
Felix Ramos
Frances Glenn
Jacqueline Denson
Sandra Harris
Roger Jones
Tabetha Rodriquez
Liz McDonough
Felicia Farmer
Rayniel Johnson
Daniel Austin
Jason Rains
Alfonza Chatfield
Barbara Rice
Lauren Uptegrove
Philisa Campbell
Vanessa Silverman
Namon Howell
Catherine Brown
Annette Mitchell
Cari Vande Kamp
John Buckley
Leonard Russell
Mark Jeffries
Francisco Vazquez Colon
Ana Toledano Hernandez
Alexandria Johnson
Tyler Lentz
Mohammad Gul
Jean Powell
Theresa Morgan
Veronica Welch
Justina Walker
James Bendele
Kayleigh Jenkins
Sierra Childers
Christina Cox
Ray Jones
Kristin Walters
William Rodriguez
David Humphries
Isaih Thomas
Darlene King
Delese Garrett
Donavan Cann
Felix Espada
Devin Pikula
Brittany Sanders
Christi Vinyard
Melissa Griffith
Jessica Joshua
Betsy French
Kash McKinney
Taylor Robinson
Justin Joyce
Sarah Borba


Fort Worth – Texas

First Name
Last Name
Alicia Nunez
Nicole Summers
Bradley Whetstone
Gabriel Tyree
Dontrail James
Racquel Sumter
Robert Mention
Albany Harris
Samantha Caudle
Michele Duncan-Grays
Jason Carlson
Ryan Loucks
Jessica Kelly
Chad Robbins
Robert Ivey
Anthony Mrha
Lauren Johnson
Jennifer Thompson
William McAlister
Mark Johnson
Christine Landers
Braden Bullard
Nimia Long
Victor Dickson
Tami Clay-Mitchell
Arthur Brown
Lisa Clark
George Kinlein
Melissa Cruz
Todd Ryia
Kimyetta Wilkins
Mladenka Baki
Allen Jackson
Douglas Moebus
Renee McLain
Courtney Bieghler
Norma Myers
Michael Abata


Freeport – Illinois

First Name
Last Name
Heather Stenzhorn
Leah Dixon
Janelle Nelson
Elizabeth Wilson
Benjamin Bastian
Brandon Rowe
Lucinda Eastlick
Sonya Oefelein
Tamberly Peahl
Jessica Peight
Peggy Kempel
Grayce Copeland
Samuel VenHuizen
Alyssa Hess


Guantanamo Bay – Cuba

First Name
Last Name
Melissa Battle


Hancock Field – New York

First Name
Last Name
Elena Madden
Jennifer Crowhurst
Amanda Van Nostrand
Courtney Anderson
Marie McVeen
Devin Cramer
Kelly Carley
William Henry
Cynthia Porter
Sydney Sherman
Jonathan Wood
Anthonia Butcher
Jessica Fredericks
James Edwards
Jessica Webber
Anthony Racciatti
Kimberly Johnson
Andrew Watling
Angela Somers
Heather Wyatt
Erik Sexton
Carl Williams


Hunter Army Airfield – Georgia

First Name
Last Name
Sarah Harden
Chamara Mitchell
Francisca Dearman
Darrell Jackson
Desiree McGhee
Pherleskia Rainey
Johnell Graves
Mathew Perry
Israel Ramos
Cheri Brown
Amanda Stuyvesant
Cotrice Gallaher
Odrae Barrett
Mecca Luke
Anyce Tripp
Marcos Casul
Dennis McCoy
Shamaria Banner
Tyree Lasseter
Alice Adkins
Elliott Dawkins
Issac Barnwell
Joseph Jacobs
Jared Standridge
James Fronzak
Paul Lamanna
Andre Slaughter
Allen Cote
Sara Kovach


Jacksonville – Florida 

First Name
Last Name
Lorena Gancerez
Claudiapriscilla Valverde
Casandra Coen
Jessica Gordley
Robin Owens
James Wright
William Smith
Andrew Pyon
Kelly Brickman
Lana Bagaturov
Mary Peoples


Jefferson City – Missouri

First Name
Last Name
Kimberly Faatz
Emily Watson
Diana Haines
Nathan Ridenhour
Zachariah Gehlert
Jennifer Kremer
Michael Freeman
Terri Pearson
Brooklyn Richey
Danielle Briot
Adam Weis
Leah Korenberg
Zachary Kueffer
Shawna Rippee
Alexis Vaughan
Samuel Beck
Dana Plunkett
Amy Reed
Carrie Herold
Ashley Korsmeyer
Andrew Cobble
Robert Lueckenotte
Elizabeth Anderson
Kayle Denny
Raven Redel
Alexander Luebbert
Sabrina Barton
Lisa Walker
Margaret Ponder
Samual Ponder
Nikki Graham
Brooklynn Beanland
Elyssa Luebbering
Katelyn Otto
Ashley Reinkemeyer
Jeremy Prenger
Brian Wolz
Jessica Kusick
John Keller
Melanie Myers
Shayna Sinor
Adam Petty
Stephen Sheppard
Kimberly Threet
Matthew Meeks
Darci Gerity
Michael Johnson
Vanda Seibert
Layne Happy
Joanne Lewis
Brenda Campbell
Stefanie Ioia
Nikki Wrinkles
Lauren Slover
Tynesha Hardin
James Pinkston
Dalton Ponder
Alexandria Koetters
Rachell Owens
Bradley Oliver
Gabrielle-Renee Ahlefeld
Christie Tellman
Ryan Hawkins
Zachery Harris
Jarrell Williams
Seth Intsiful Dickson
Jessica Baumhoer
Coleen Hastings
Cheyenne Barber
Katelyn Holtmeyer
Dakota Hutcheson
Jerica Roark
Alara Wilbers
Justin McPeters
Jamie Goff
Lisha Womack


Kansas City – Missouri

First Name
Last Name
Jessica Harwood
Olivia Christensen
Evelyn Churchill
James Dailey
Andrew Neer
Sylvia Wightman
Melissa Cureton
Heidi Martin
Jessica Ritter
Curtis Cattau
Sean Shaffer
Fancis Che
Stephanie Chandler
Emily Stifter
Katelyn Palmer
Jennifer Kohl
Katrina Williams
Rami Husein


Lake County – Illinois

First Name
Last Name
Dulce Murray
Tommy Burroughs
John Hamrick
Jennifer Price
John Fruelda
Martin Belan
Victoria Hedlund
Suzanne Graham
Febin Thomas
Matthew Vechik
Elizabeth Cannon
Edward Sparks
Linda Trojan
Susan Kuhlman
Megan Smith
Jose Reino
Lucyann Leguizamo
Jack Greenberg
Anna Runyen
Holly Sproule
William Sproule
Eric Kahler
Donald Long
Samantha Combs
Andrew Pokrajac


Lake of the Ozarks – Missouri 

First Name
Last Name
Kevin Harrison
Cassandra Rowcliff
Susan Porter
Jeffrey Holst
Mary Ann Moore
Donald Hines
Robert Bowling
Julie Rudner
Chera Craig
Vicki Granneman
Jennifer Bowling
Kristie Shrieves
Jacob Plume
Walter Moehle
Sidney Prater
Jesse Dreste
Amber Bungart
Angelica Sinio
Parker Rowe
Nichole Hanks
Madelyn Deskin
Deidra Duncan
Emily Ball
Jerame Gilbert
Aubrey Etheridge
Christian Libby
Sandra Nahrstedt
Jordan Clary
Stephanie Penachio
Salina Franklin
Calvin Massey
Melissa Mackay
Carey O’Neil
Gregory Morris
Frank Holleman
Ann-Marie Holleman
Katie Sharpe
William Johnson
Terri Forsythe
Laci Cox
Alysha Mettle
Gabrielle Berry
Douglas Krieger
Joseph Adrian
Jamie Stein
Jeremy Porterfield
Alyssa Buttner
Pamela Doyle
Ernest Miller
Nancy Freeman
Lesli Hendrix
Sarah Goodwin
Maci Parrack
Rebekah Wickham
Leslie Foster
Rachel Hall
Taylor Brown


Lemoore – California

First Name
Last Name
Mitchell Capelli
Jessica Keck
Christin Champlin
Sean Wenrick
John Ingraham
Jordan Perry


Los Alamitos – California

First Name
Last Name
Fiora Vallez
Steven Cosby
Sharon Rutter
Alejandro Vargas
Benjamin Moore
David Negreros
Kyle Fischer
Manuel Chavez
Stanley Jenkins
Benjamin Welch


Main Campus Graduate, Columbia – Missouri

First Name
Last Name
Samantha Lederle
Jennifer Winters
Joseph Reeder
John White
Kyle Lestina
Alex Bray
Ruzana Tadzhibayev
Megan Tupper
Kelley Chacon
Teresa Schmitz
Taylor Buckner
Wendi Sirna
Hannah Reeves
Paul Turner


Mesquite – Texas

First Name
Last Name
April Flaherty
Joshua Pitts


Moberly – Missouri 

First Name
Last Name
Sydney Brockman
Kellie Schleicher
Sherry Poeppe
Amy Dennis


NAS Jacksonville – Florida

First Name
Last Name
Kyle Teague
Stephen Gillaspie
Alexander Witzman
Orlando McMiller
David McConnell
Ronald Wynn
Roy Brown
Kelly Dobson
Christopher Murphy
Robert Bardroff
Keri Whitmore
Latonya Spears
Basim Adib
Christopher Hutter
Kieara Taylor
Jeromy Olszynski


NS Everett/Marysville – Washington

First Name
Last Name
Vickie Cozby
Matthew Lindhorst
Timothy Eltrevoog
Laura Wheeler
Stacie Naweli
Dante Magolhado
Harold Griffin
Angela Goodwin
Roland Trujillo
Noe Torres
Lucas Johnson
Angela Davis
Teresa Vantrece
Kylie Bloedel
Jason Powell
Victor Pendt
Vanessa Wertz


Online Education 

First Name
Last Name
Matthew Botelho
Rachel Williams
Yudel Moya
James Dreher
Renee Turner
John Estevez
Aron Fyne
Patricia Skinner
Alexandra Leclair
Kathryn Woods
Alex Depasquale
Crystal Brown
Samantha Williams
Gerald Doughty
Charles Depp
Dalton Gatlin
Mindy Danzberger
Joshua Marvin
Justin Conklin
Steven Scanlin
Kelli Summers
Lee-Anne Dandrea
Tiffany Fuller
Lena Kellam-Karras
Charles Wright
Dana Wright
Dimitra Bennett
Clarence Johnson
Mariel Moore
Jean O’Brien
Irene Summerhill
Leah Sealing
Anthania James
Serena Smith
Stefanie Bushnell
Karina Quintanar
Ronald Bush
Dennis Walker
Joseph Cox
Tiffany Makupson
Corey Beardsly
Alexander Lovato
Allison Brooks
Brian Redman
Collin French
Zachary Rollins
Lizeyka Garcia
Terri Lane
Adan Gancerez
Breyana Stilts
Nicholas Sousa
Kimberlee Rabenstein
Lena Smith
Leon Welcome
Timothy Counts
Marie Salanitro
Breanna Alderson
Aaron Miller
Kristin Conner
Trixie Coley
Shanika Spencer
Jessica Valentine
Deyan Pantovich
Gloria Williams
Katherine Meade
Barry Ranft
Jeremy Davis
Tyler Dunagin
Dori Parker
Nichole Meister
Desmond Sprowl
Edward McEneany
Raymond Borden
Josh Brinegar
Michele Turner
Carolanne Donfried
Rebecca Schrooten
Julia Grant
Andrew Hogenson
Rachel Osburn
Tara Jakubowski
Tamara Johnson
Kylie Sigrist
Stephanie Gonzalez
Robert Green
Shayna Rever
Richard Ruff
Charles Buell
Kayleigh Davis
Heather Ellinor
Amber Fisher
William Hutton
Amy Reeder
Samuel Scheffler
Cheryl Young
Kaitlyn Crawford
Jessica Spillman
Julie Zgiet-Ellis
Lourdes Cine
Michiko Smith
Shelby Strunk
Hannah Roettger
Georgia Hearn
Matthew Arnold
Melisa Fielder-Spence
Kevin Kasper
Nathan Hillard
Reece Mettes
Brittany Dare
Kathy Roberts
Tasha McKim
Jenrose Malloy
Carli Taylor
Jason Wilhelm
Alisha Hendrix
Jami McEntire
Alexander Ware
Katana Almond
Riley Smarr
Coli Creach
Brooke Weed
Jessica Byers
Aaron Norsic
Sheri Kauffman
Lauren Kliethermes
Troy Lambert
Sara Horn
Tiffany Krigbaum
Rebecca Goldsmith
Melissa Lewis
Kham Thang
Tyler Killen
Briana Kile
Courtney Cain
Taylor Krohn
Gina Loesing
Michelle Allphin
Thomas Webster
Bridget Biesemeyer
Jessica Staats
Theresa Fuemmeler
Anthony Davis
Rebecca Vaughan
Whitney Carey
Alexandrea Delp
Alyssa Delp
Jacquilin Fenton
Daryn Hofstetter
Brock Schuld
Luke Brown
Jack Linthicum
Anna Love
Amy Vandegriffe
Rian Booyer
Julia Algya
Tara Schlieper
Jason Nave
Joshua Brecke
Jolivette Williams
Dustin Kent
Karen Alvarez
Jordan Sanders
Michelle Williams
Julian Stevens
Whitney Green
Lauren James
Shawn Hesson
Andrew Lickteig
Alicia Sivelle
Jude Joseph
Dominique Poitier
Heather Johnson
Matthew Thomas
Edmund Gallegos
Mitchell Palermo
Deanna Diambrosio
Rachel Lane
Lorie Gower
Victoria Rodriguez
Lance Pounds
Eric Nelson
Zachary Nielson
Tiffany Jefferis
Kathleen Robertson
Jessica Romero
Shane Ostling
William Kramer
Andrew Thomas
Chelsea Howard
Matthew Nelson
Lizeth Gonzalez
Kyle Alston
Sheryl Heyser
Sarah Kohl
Stephanie Ogles
Holly Franklin
Elizabeth Vande Streek
Angela Bartlett
Christopher Medina
Stephen Shewell
Jessica Anderson
Josiemarilyn Manalo
Jeremiah Taylor
Hannah Ullorn
Keith Osburn
Stephanie Harrell
Jennifer Daniels
Ryan Rader
Ronald Larson
Daniel Christofano
Shannon Boyer


Orlando – Florida

First Name
Last Name
Drena Poitier
Harry Prochet
Kimberly James
Marco Justiniano
Charles Albrecht
Stacie McCoy
Marie Labossiere
Adler Labossiere
Kristin Orta
Andrea Alexander
Michelle Rivers
James Huff
Kayona Jackson
Gabens Jean
Tyees Wesley
Tabrisha Jenkins
Yzeaminda Parker
Magdala Beaucicot
Kyle Reynolds
Rosalind Williams
Tiffany Mims
Nayami Davis
Regina Hoggard
Joshua Striker
Sharri Antoniazzi
Maira Ruiz
Adrian Cook
Tiyahna Carter-Murray
Cedric Harris
Rusty Hill
Nakisha Hopkins
Deanna Wright
Angela Thomas
Joel Christian
Gerardo Negron-Martinez
Carlos Zeballos
Brittney Evelyn
Samuel Mendez
Frankie Campbell
Sheryl Kilpatrick
Joshua Graham
Jeffrey Hofferberth
Jose Rivera
Jeryis Tadros


Patrick Air Force Base – Florida 

First Name
Last Name
Robert Gazy
Patricia Shipe
Jeffrey Parent
David Valdez


Redstone Arsenal – Alabama

First Name
Last Name
Torria Cason
Joshua Gibson
Lee Glaser
Susan Nance
Daniel Worsley
Donald Jones
Ladarrius Coleman
Andrew Statz
Joshua Perr
Judy Olvera
Robyn Rudock
Jonathan Harker
Caleb Farrier
Ian Raymond
Jarred Gray
Joshua Topper
Tyler Noton
Christopher Wolsifer
Sonja Jones
Perchelle O’boyle
Alisha Goodloe
Audrey Buxton
Michele Bright
Shequila Radcliff
Jolanda Cotton
Tyron Drake


Rolla – Missouri

First Name
Last Name
Semaj Sconiers
Jeffrey Nye
Kristopher Nye
Travis Hood
Brooke Pyrtle
Lucinda Heck
Denielle Hawkins
Briann Delafuente
Sarah Block
Anna Vitzthum
Savanna Engelmohr
Analycia Montes
Rashid Alshamsi
Sarah Webb
Corey Dunn
Jenna Shepherd
Kelli Mabe
Austin Thomas
Adam Carey
Derek Zboran
Jacqueline Zboran
Sarah Smith
Cody McCray
Tina Maggard
Candace Harris
William Weible
John King
Elizabeth Sparks
Alexis Gavitt
Linda Shasserre
Shayla Willoughby
Kenneth Kilmer


Salt Lake – Utah

First Name
Last Name
Stephanie Nunez Maradiaga
James Faile
Joshua Scharman
Gerel Altankhuyag
Swati Chaturvedi
Hugo Montero
Oleksandra Rudenko
Elizangela Figueiredo
Ena Kojima
Lucas Virhuez Nunez
Jana Cechova
Manju Lama
Felipe Soares
Andrea Whatcott
Cristian Millan
Karol Millan
Stephen Edwards
Camila Matos
Maria Moraes
Zukhra Chalimova
Sokhom Heng
Yuliya Gurzhiy
Aleksei Cozacu
Gabriela Nicoleiti
Elmer Pineda Magana
Brenda Saldivar Gomez
Andrii Melnyk
Varun Dutia
Laura Lucky
Camila Sawada
Claudia Gosain
Edward Vasquez
Daniel Filipo Francisco
Nayanchuluun Puntsag
Iryna Liudvikouskaya
Bright Mazura


San Diego – California

First Name
Last Name
John Mazurik
Corey Williams
Eugenia Turner
Christopher McGinnis
Ceroromo Bragg
Feng Guo
Jack Beardmore
Saul Ocampo
Antonio Milord
Chadwick Pusey
Kenneth White
Amy Mintert
Daniel Wood
Osmel Delgado
Clarence Lamin
Gabriel Aguiarvalentin
Caleb Cloud
James Taylor
Alejandro MacIas


San Luis Obispo – California

First Name
Last Name
Kassandra Rendon
Susannah Brown
Kathryn Mahar
Clare Cardoza
Joni Rose
Samantha Wheeler
Parisima Goetz
Rebecca Binkley
Mattie Davis
Jared Corbin
Nikki Rodriguez
Natalie Hunt
Miranda Rose
Dakota Yount


Springfield – Missouri

First Name
Last Name
Dakota Yount
Kristopher Taylor
Erika Davis
Christen Tracy
Matthew Wilson
David Bossler
Deanna Kimball
Trisha Littell
Carrie Jordan
Elizabeth Scott
Amy Lamar
Travis Phares
Melany Sims
Anthony Sims
Jonathan James
Kimberly Mattison


St. Louis – Missouri

First Name
Last Name
Luvinnie Pomerlee
Erin Reed
Kelley Koenig
Malori Scales
Karen Bartlett
Kalisha Jefferson
Courtney Cannon
Veronica Fosdick
Jalesa Watson
Julie Dickerson
Keiza Taylor
Cerise Leachman
Patrick Lavin
Benjamen Fisher
Charles Grellner
Darrien Echols
Asa-Hossein Millar
Joslyn Wallace
Sherae Williams
Alexandra Geseck
Belinda Steeples
Christopher McGennis
David Evans
Jeremy Crane
Shaun Scott
Logan Shively
Sharvell Smith
Michael Hogan


Whidbey Island – Washington

First Name
Last Name
Claire Sagers
Scott Hollis
Shawna Schloe
Jade Dreyer
Daniel Russell
Rachel Hutton
Alyssa Heintz
William Stein
Brandi Hall
Allison Bennion
Brittany Rogers
Vicente Mayoral
Miguel Gomez
Amanda Simpson
Cornelia Godwin
Taryn Chin
Anthony Drew
Gabrielle Binder

Student-Athlete Spotlights – Gabriela Walton and Laurie Frew

Posted by on Dec 18, 2017 in Featured Story, Students | 0 comments

Student-Athlete Spotlights – Gabriela Walton and Laurie Frew

Columbia College has around 270 student-athletes on campus who compete in its 18 athletic programs, all of whom know that getting an education is just as important as competing in their respective sports.

Here is the story of two — volleyball player Gabriela Walton and women’s soccer player Laurie Frew — who are emblematic of the academic and athletic achievement Cougar Athletics strives for.

From Colombia to Columbia College

Columbia, Missouri, is a bit different from where Gabriela Walton grew up in Cartagena, Colombia.

For one thing, Cartagena is situated on the Caribbean Sea, so Walton was never very far from the beach. Columbia, Missouri? Well … it’s a little more landlocked than she’s accustomed to.

“(Cartagena) is so different from here,” Walton says. “The weather and the culture are way different. I’ve had to adapt myself to these changes.”

Walton found a way to acclimate herself to her new surroundings and succeed both in the classroom and on the volleyball court for the Cougars.

On the court, Walton was Columbia College’s defensive specialist — the libero. This season, she led the team with 4.37 digs per game and also passed at an impressive 95-percent clip. It was her job to be the team’s main communicator. The Cougars ended the season with a 34-8 record — the program’s 30th straight season with at least 30 wins — and earned a spot in the NAIA National Tournament.

“For us to make our system work, it has to start with the passing. I have to do a great job passing and encouraging the other players to make a good pass,” Walton says. “So I have to talk a lot all the time, being a leader on the court. I talk to the blockers about doing good at block set so I can dig and we can do a better defensive job.”

Those skills will prove beneficial in her career after college as well. Walton is a senior majoring in international business and marketing. She says her favorite classes have been Consumer Behavior and a Principles of Marketing class she took with School of Business Administration Dean Shanda Davis.

Walton, an academic all-conference selection each of the past two years, plans to graduate in the spring and use her work visa gaining experience for a post-graduate year before applying to graduate school close to family members in New York City.

She’s aiming to attend New York University or an Ivy League school with an academic scholarship sponsored by her country.

“Marketing is all about persuasion and how we can influence people,” Walton says. “I like the idea that we can shape people’s perception through specific strategies.”


No place like home

If Laurie Frew had stuck with her original college plan, she’d have just finished up her soccer career at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg.

Instead, after moving away to campus following high school, the Columbia native decided it wasn’t the right fit for her. She wanted to be closer to home.

And she couldn’t get much closer than Columbia College.

“I was just going to come back and be a student at Mizzou. But Coach (John) Klein reached out to me and asked if I would like to come play here,” Frew says. “I didn’t really have any expectations, I guess. But I gave it a chance, and it’s worked out.”

That’s an understatement. Over her four years playing for the Cougars, Frew set the program record for goals with 72 and was a four-time first-team All-American Midwest Conference player, including her 2015 and 2017 conference player of the year awards. She and teammate Jordan Poire also became the first Columbia College women’s soccer players to earn NAIA All-America third-team honors this season.

Frew was a key part of the nucleus of native mid-Missourians that helped Columbia College go from new program to an annual national tournament contender and 2016 national quarterfinalist in just five seasons. The Cougars finished this season 21-2, bowing out in the second round of the NAIA National Tournament.

“We’re just building a very positive culture that good players from everywhere are wanting to be a part of,” Frew says. “But it’s also really cool that the core group of our team is from Columbia. Everyone just buys into wanting to win championships. Everyone is very close, including the coaching staff. It’s just a really cool thing to be a part of.”

Frew, who was a first-team academic All-American the past two years, is on track to graduate in the spring with her education certification. She will spend her final semester student teaching and hopes to work with elementary school children in her career.

“I knew I wanted to work with people, and I really like kids,” Frew says. “I think teachers really impact other people’s lives. Coaching is something I want to get involved in, too, so I thought education would be a good route to take.”


Mother and son inducted into national honor society

Posted by on Nov 29, 2017 in Jefferson City, Students | 0 comments

Mother and son inducted into national honor society

By Kelsey Lyman

You could say Meg and Samuel Ponder’s overachieving nature runs in the family.

The mother and son, both of whom are Columbia College-Jefferson City students, were inducted into the Alpha Chi National Honor Society for scholastic achievement during an October ceremony at Columbia College’s main campus in Columbia, Missouri. Meg, a senior, is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in English literature, while Sam, a junior, is studying computer information systems and security (CISS) as his degree.

Meg Ponder and her son, Samuel, were both inducted into the Columbia College chapter of the Alpha Chi National Honor Society in October.
(Photo submitted by the Ponders)

After having Sam, Meg quit her job as a secretary to raise and home-school him. When Sam graduated from home school, he and Meg both enrolled in “CollegePlus,” a program that enables students to test out of classes, earn college credits and prepare for college. They found that the Columbia College testing center in Jefferson City was the most convenient way to take their CLEP (College Level Examination Program) tests.

“We really liked the idea that they would work with us and cared about us getting an education,” Meg says.

After looking further into Columbia College and its programs, they decided to enroll and pursue their degrees, taking a mixture of online and in-seat classes through the Jefferson City location. Meg tends to take primarily online classes while Sam attends more in seat.

This fall, they were among the 53 Columbia College students from around the nation inducted into Alpha Chi, which is open to students from four-year colleges and universities. Danielle Langdon, an assistant professor of art at Columbia College and an advisor for the society, said Alpha Chi has rigorous membership requirements.

“It limits membership to junior and senior students — we invite students from our day, online and AHE programs — of good character who rank in the top 10 percent of their class based on cumulative GPA, have earned at least 24 credit hours at Columbia College and are enrolled for coursework at the time of eligibility,” Langdon said.

Meg and Sam are also now eligible to compete for member-only scholarships.

“It was pretty awesome,” Sam said of being inducted into Alpha Chi. “It was pretty great that you put in all this hard work and stuff, all these hours of studying and thinking, ‘Is it really worth it,’ trying to get A’s all the time. Then you get inducted into a society like that, and it’s like, ‘Wow, that’s pretty cool.’”

Meg and Sam were two of the 14 students who took part in the main campus induction ceremony in October.

“I was so proud of him, but he was proud of me,” Meg says. “And I was proud of me, because I was amazed that we did this.”

The two have a history of success at Columbia College, also winning the Jefferson City location scholarship at the same time last year. After graduation, Meg plans to use her degree to open doors to new professions, and Sam aspires to be a highway patrol officer.

“We worked so hard,” she said, “and it was really nice that the college recognized the effort we put in.”

Columbia College nursing graduates boast high exam scores

Posted by on Nov 29, 2017 in Academics, Evening Campus, Students | 0 comments

Columbia College nursing graduates boast high exam scores

November 21, 2017  via the Columbia Daily Tribune

On Monday afternoon, surrounded by eight Columbia College nursing students, Victoria gave birth to a baby boy after a scary moment when she called out “something’s wrong, something’s wrong.” When it was over, the students took time to talk about the birth and consider how it went. And Victoria prepared to give birth again in a few minutes. Victoria — technically the Victoria S2200 by Gaumard — is a birth simulator used by Columbia College for the first time Monday in a classroom setting. The simulator doesn’t just give birth in a realistic way — the noise and tension in the room are also similar to a real delivery room but with a chance to stop and talk when students need help.

“Columbia College nursing graduates boast high exam scores” – Columbia Daily Tribune

‘Extravaganza’ showcases Columbia College international population

Posted by on Nov 22, 2017 in Students | 0 comments

‘Extravaganza’ showcases Columbia College international population

A group of eight exchange students from Japan practiced tirelessly, for weeks, in the basement of Banks Hall to get everything right. The placement, the rhythm, the movements, the steps.

Exchange students from Japan perform a choreographed dance to close out this year’s International Extravaganza at Columbia College.
(Photo by Kaci Smart)

By the time they unveiled their act at Columbia College’s International Extravaganza on Nov. 14, most of their hallmates had already seen snippets of the act before. Once the students put the entire synchronized dance routine together, complete with music and matching outfits, the last of nine acts at this year’s event brought the crowd of about 130 people in Dorsey Gym to its feet.

“It’s really special for me, because we have a lot of international students and this is one event where we get to showcase our cultures and our countries,” said Jerry Nguyen, vice president of the Columbia College International Club, which hosts the annual International Extravaganza in coordination with the school’s International Center. “I love watching all the talent and how they put a lot of work into their performances. I just love the conversations that happen afterwards. I feel like conversations about other countries and diversity need to happen more, and this is one of those events that sparks those conversations.”

Nguyen, a senior majoring in public relations, was born in Vietnam and came over to the United States to attend Columbia College. She has participated in the International Extravaganza each of her four years on campus and was the event’s emcee this year.

The International Extravaganza brings together the college community for an afternoon of food and fun from around the world. Dorsey Gym, the setting, featured informational banners from 15 different countries hanging from its balcony.

It’s a chance for the Columbia College international population, which numbers almost 100 students, to take center stage.

“We always tell people, ‘Do whatever you’re good at,’ and we always have a great variety of talents that people bring forward,” Nguyen said. “The night before the Extravaganza, we have a three-hour dress rehearsal. We just practice all together, address all questions. There were a lot of changes happening that night. We just need a lot of flexibility as well.”

A student from Japan played the piano, one from Korea played the piano and sang, a student from Ecuador sang and played her guitar, and a student from Kazakhstan sang. An American student who studied abroad in Peru through Columbia College gave a presentation on the country, Nguyen and three of her fellow Vietnamese students performed a traditional dance, and the yearly fashion show featured clothing from Zimbabwe, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Korea, Kazakhstan and Vietnam.

And, of course, the Japanese students’ dance brought the house down.

“(The International Center) created a great foundation for the (international) community within the larger community on campus,” Nguyen said. “Normally I get support from my friends and the International Center, and the professors and staff on campus are extremely helpful and supportive as well. I feel like I can come to anybody, not just the International Center. That’s what I really appreciate.”

Nguyen even got some volunteers from the crowd to participate in a Vietnamese “bamboo dance.” People sit on the ground parallel from each other, holding bamboo rods, on either side of the dance floor, hold them slightly apart and tap them on the ground in rhythm. The dancers then have to time their jumping between the tapping of the rods to get from one side of the dance floor to the other.

Nguyen found she had more success calling for volunteers before telling them what it involved this year.

“People get to see, like, ‘Hey, I’m not going to break my ankle!’” Nguyen said. “Some people came up to me afterwards and asked if we could do it again. That makes me really happy.”

Check out more pictures of this year’s International Extravaganza below!

Missouri emerges as home of college eSports

Posted by on Nov 9, 2017 in Day Campus, Students | 0 comments

Missouri emerges as home of college eSports

Coach Duong Pham and the Columbia College eSports team prepare for their quarterfinal match against Ohio State at the Midwest Campus Clash in April, 2017.
(Photo by Kaci Smart)

October 23-25, 2017 –

The home of collegiate eSports is right in the middle of nowhere. Flyover country, they call it. This isn’t the West Coast, where the North American League of Legends Championship Series and Overwatch League live. It isn’t the Northeast with its vibrant fighting game community. No, this is a part of the country best known for being flat. But through a confluence of coincidences and coordination, it’s become the biggest player in varsity eSports, with the most programs in the nation and the most success in the collegiate League of Legends scene. Welcome to Missouri, the home of college eSports. took a trip to tour the state’s five college eSports programs in September to figure out why schools in St. Louis, Columbia and Bolivar became champions of the college eSports craze.

“Midwest emerges as home of college eSports” –

“A college esports love triangle lies at the heart of varsity League play” –

Coach Taylor Possail brings new energy to Cougars women’s hoops

Posted by on Nov 6, 2017 in Featured Story, Students | 0 comments

Coach Taylor Possail brings new energy to Cougars women’s hoops

Taylor Possail doesn’t get the kids’ musical taste nowadays, what with their Ne-Yos, Drakes and Taylor Swifts.

Coach Taylor Possail is in his first season leading the Columbia College women’s basketball team, after he spent the past three years as former coach Jessica Keller’s assistant.
(Photo by Kaci Smart)

OK, so maybe the first-year Columbia College head women’s basketball coach does have a soft spot for Swift. And a secret one for the rest of his players’ music.

“He pretends not to like the rappers, but he really likes them,” Cougars sophomore forward Raegan Wieser said.

“We play it in the locker room and he opens his door so he can hear it,” sophomore guard Jordan Alford added.

Regardless, things were different when Possail was getting his degree at Winona State University in Minnesota. You know, all the way back in 2012.

“The funny thing is I do like their music, but I never tell them that,” Possail said. “You’ve got to keep them guessing a little bit.”

The 28-year-old Possail doesn’t exactly fit the stereotype of a collegiate head coach. He’s less than a decade older than most of his players and can commiserate with the sorts of challenges faced by college students in the 2010s.

His three years on the Cougars’ staff as former coach Jessica Keller’s assistant, a period in which the team posted a 75-24 record, showed Columbia College Athletic Director Bob Burchard all he needed to know when Keller took an assistant coaching post at NCAA Division I school Illinois State in April.

Burchard hired Possail to succeed Keller, which was welcome news to the Cougars’ players. Even if it did raise a few eyebrows around the NAIA.

“It comes off as a compliment,” Possail said. “This program is so well-known and well-run, lot of history and tradition here at Columbia College.”

Possail got his first basketball coaching job at 19 years old. By 23, he was head coach of the girls basketball team at Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton High School in Janesville, Minn.

He had previously worked with Keller at Minnesota State-Mankato and, when Burchard hired Keller to run the Columbia College women’s basketball program before the 2014-15 season, Possail told her that he’d love to come along as assistant coach.

Possail had never even been on campus when he took the job.

“I couldn’t be more happy with that decision,” said Possail, who earned NAIA Assistant Coach of the Year honors after last season. “It took some risk, obviously, but it paid off.”

Possail plans to play a more uptempo brand of basketball than Keller, one in which the Cougars try to wring as many possessions as they can out of a game. The goal is to get a bunch of looks at the basket, and Possail believes his team has the shooters to fit his high-volume style.

The Cougars return five players who shot at least 36 percent from 3-point range last year: Alford, Wieser, sophomore Grey Hayes, junior Sarah Walters and junior Ashlee Marlatt, who ranked 24th in the NAIA last year with 74 3-pointers and 34th with a 38.1 3-point percentage.

“If we get going and all of us are making it, it’s going to be really hard to stop us,” Alford said. “All of us can shoot it. That’s going to be hard to defend.”

Columbia College is ranked No. 16 in the nation to start the year and brings back 92 percent of its scoring from last season and honorable mention All-Americans in Marlatt and Morgan Brandt.

Alford is also back healthy after missing the final two months last season with a knee injury. She led the team in scoring at 14.5 points per game before the injury.

“It’s almost the same team (as last year),” Wieser said. “We’re gelling well right now, and this is only the very beginning of the season. I’m excited to see where we’ll be in just a couple more weeks. I think we’ll be playing really well.”

Possail realizes the dynamic between he and the players has changed a bit. So he has made it a point to stress that, even though his title has changed, he’s still the same person that he was as an assistant for the past three years.

“We spend so much time together that they end up being like sisters,” Possail said. “You know how family is: Sometimes you get along, sometimes you’re not getting along but, at the end of the day, you always have each other’s back. That’s why we talk about family quite often. It really keeps us as a close-knit group and keeps that cohesiveness that we’re looking for.”

Possail was in charge on the sidelines for the first time at Columbia College as his team played host to the Cougars vs. Cancer Tip-Off Classic on Nov. 3-4. The Cougars scored 84 points a game in wins over Mount Mercy University and Culver-Stockton College.

He’s 2-0 in his collegiate head coaching career. But the players still get to pick the pre-game music.

“Even if I don’t like it, I will suffer for the team,” Possail said, with a laugh.

Read below for quick preview information on the Columbia College men’s and women’s basketball teams.

Men’s Basketball

Preseason Ranking — No. 7

Head Coach — Bob Burchard (30th season)

2016-17 Record: 27-6, 19-3 AMC; NAIA Tournament 2nd Round

2017-18 Schedule

2017-18 Roster

Team Photo

Women’s Basketball

Preseason Ranking — No. 16

Head Coach — Taylor Possail (first season)

2016-17 Record: 26-7, 19-5 AMC; NAIA Tournament 1st Round

2017-18 Schedule

2017-18 Roster

Team Photo

Music students shine at Roots N Blues festival

Posted by on Oct 27, 2017 in Featured Story, Students | 0 comments

Music students shine at Roots N Blues festival

Laura Rowe and Logan Moore have been singing together for nearly a decade, starting from when their junior high choir programs merged, through their time at Hickman High School and into their senior year Columbia College.

Columbia College music students (from left) Logan Moore, Laura Rowe and Carter Moore perform at the Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival on Oct. 1.
(Photo by Madison Rowe)

They have performed in a number of prestigious settings — New York City’s Carnegie Hall comes to mind — but have never gotten a showcase for their range as musicians quite like the one they experienced in their hometown on Oct. 1, at the Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival in Columbia’s Stephens Lake Park.

Roots N Blues, an annual event, brings rock, blues, soul, country and roots music acts from all over the country to Columbia for three days of performances. This year, one of the 33 groups to perform was “Broadway Blues,” a collection of 10 artists affiliated through the Broadway Christian Church in Columbia.

Moore has performed with Broadway Blues at the festival for the past three years. For Rowe and Moore’s younger brother, Carter — a Columbia College sophomore — this year was their debut.

They took the Great Southern Bank Stage for a 45-minute set at 11:30 a.m. on a Sunday, with a couple hundred people watching.

“It’s a music festival, so no one’s interested in coming up super close to the stage. Everyone kind of found a shady spot,” Rowe said. “A lot of our family and close friends came down into the pit area, and they got to be right in front of us. They also have a video projection, so they’re filming it and it’s up on the big screen next to the stage, too.”

Rowe said events such as Roots N Blues show the openness that Nollie Moore — Logan and Carter’s father — encourages as head of the Columbia College Music program, as well as the versatility of his students. Other music schools tend to silo vocalists into their specialties, whether it be theater, opera, classical or other genres.

Moore doesn’t mind if his students stray from their disciplines to other ventures, such as garage rock bands or, in this case, music festival performances.

“My parents always joke, ‘Oh, you sang something we recognize!’ That’s a fun experience, to do something a little bit different,” Rowe said. “It just shows what a great place it would be to come to Columbia College if you have multiple interests. It just says a lot about our program and the willingness our program has to see students succeed.”

The Roots N Blues set mixed in folk, soft rock, bluegrass and some contemporary Christian. In Rowe’s words, “feel-good, uptempo stuff.” There were two instrumental pieces in which the guitars, mandolin violin and piano got to strut their stuff, along with a five-piece vocal harmony on Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” a song for all the female singers and a duet between Logan and Carter.

Rowe even had her own solo piece: the Audrey Assad ballad “Restless,” with Carter providing background vocals.

“We’re always playing around, joking, never serious with each other. Then you get on stage, it’s like we can’t even look at each other without laughing, just because that’s our relationship,” Rowe said. “So to get on stage and both understand how much that song meant to us and how important that moment was, to be able to look at each other and not laugh, just to feel that energy and how cool that was between us, that was definitely the highlight.”

Rowe took an unorthodox path to the Columbia College Music program. She started at nearby William Woods University as a golfer and science major before deciding she needed a change. She came back home to study science at Columbia College and, in her first semester, Moore talked her into taking voice lessons. A couple of weeks later, she sang theater at a competition and placed second.

She’s set to earn her music degree, with a vocal performance concentration, in December. From there, she plans on continuing to run her photography business, but music will always play a significant part in her life.

A passion she rediscovered at her hometown college.

“When people are looking for colleges, they think you have to go so far away to find something cool,” Rowe said. “You really don’t, if people would just invest in looking at what’s around them.”

Check out below for a photo gallery from Rowe and the Moore brothers’ performance at Roots N Blues.


Columbia College names Constitution Day essay winners

Posted by on Oct 18, 2017 in Students | 0 comments

Columbia College names Constitution Day essay winners

Columbia College held an essay competition as part of its festivities to celebrate national Constitution Day on September 17.

Columbia College Constitution Day essay contest winners (from left) Connor Woodward, Bailey Parks and Seth Schenck.
(Photo by Kaci Smart)

The federal holiday commemorates the ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1787, and Columbia College offered a contest for students to write about which of the 27 amendments to the Constitution is most important to current American society.

Connor Woodward earned first place for his essay on the 19th Amendment, which allowed women the right to vote. Seth Schenck earned second place with his essay on the 14th Amendment, which provides for equal protection under law to all American citizens, and Bailey Parks earned third place for her essay on the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery.

The essays, which were no longer than 1,000 words and included at least three citations from recent works to bolster the students’ arguments, were graded on a rubric by Dr. Terry Smith, professor of political science, Dr. Barry Langford, associate professor of criminal justice administration, and Dr. David Roebuck, dean of the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.

The first-place essay earned a prize of $250, second place earned $150 and third place earned $100.

Congratulations to all the winners! You can read their essays by clicking on the links below.

First place — Connor Woodward, “The Social Contract and the 19th Amendment: An Exploration of Governmental Legitimacy”

Second place — Seth Schenck, “Equal Protection and Citizenship Today: The 14th Amendment’s Significance in Current American Society”

Third place — Bailey Parks, “Without the 13th Amendment”