Grad finale moves to the Grotto

Whether it was called the Cavern, Brewster’s, the Mine Shaft or Hiram and Mortimer’s, the Grotto has been a favorite hangout for generations of Miners. Last semester it was the home of the Grad Finale celebration.

On Dec. 6, the Miner Alumni Association hosted 54 graduating seniors at the Grotto for darts, air hockey, pool and pizza — and learning about the benefits that come with new membership in the alumni association.

Better than Harvard

Missouri S&T grads command higher starting salaries on average than Harvard grads.

In September, ABC News asked PayScale for a list of colleges and universities whose graduates earn higher salaries than Harvard graduates right out of college. There were 12 of them.

That data, based on 2010 earnings, showed that Missouri S&T grads earn an average starting salary of $58,600, while Harvard grads earn an average of $54,100 in their first jobs. That’s a pretty good return on investment considering annual tuition is $40,866 at Harvard and only $9,350 ($32,666 for out-of-state students) at S&T.

Benton mural comes alive

Muralist Thomas Hart Benton told the story of Missouri’s history in tempera paint on the walls of the House Lounge in the Missouri state capitol building.

Missouri S&T’s Jim Bogan brought the mural, and its creator, to life in his video Tom Benton’s Missouri. This past fall, the film was re-mastered in high definition and re-released to mark its 20th anniversary.

The film is available in a downloadable HD format with an educator’s guide that includes lesson plans for fourth grade through college, background information on the mural, and music from the film.

“We hope that seeing the film in high definition will be like looking through the eyes of a sensitive and knowledgeable spectator,” says Bogan, Curators’ Teaching Professor emeritus of art history and film.

Part of the restoration process involved refining the colors to make them truer to the original tempera of the mural. The film’s soundtrack was also enhanced. It features narration by Benton himself and historian Bob Priddy, as well as historical ballads written and sung by Bob Dyer.

Luce Myers, a Missouri S&T art lecturer, worked with Kathleen Unrath, associate professor of art education at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and Abby Trescott, a Rock Bridge High School teacher from Columbia, Mo., to produce the Educator’s Guide.

Collaborators on the film restoration include Michael Hicks, film and video producer with the UM Extension Cooperative Media Group; Frank Fillo, co-director of the original film; Gerald “Jack” Brown, a senior in civil engineering at Missouri S&T; and Jessica Hicks, an art education student at MU.

Both the film and guide are available online at extension.missouri.edu/tombenton.

The way we were, year by year

Roger Weaver manages the digital collections at Curtis Laws Wilson Library, which now houses a digital version of every Rollamo yearbook from 1907 to today.

A slice of Missouri S&T history is now available online, thanks to the efforts of S&T’s Curtis Laws Wilson Library staff.

The library staff created a digital version of every issue of Missouri S&T’s yearbook, the Rollamo. The Rollamo yearbooks from 1907 to today are now archived together online at yearbooks.mst.edu. The year-long project required scanning and uploading roughly 7,000 pages from the 105 books.

The digital archives allows users to search through all editions, bookmark, share and download individual pages, says Roger Weaver, the institutional repository and digital collections librarian at S&T.

“One of the primary purposes of an academic library is to collect, preserve and provide access to materials of cultural significance to the campus,” Weaver says. “I can think of no better example of culturally significant material than the Rollamo, our campus yearbook.”

Weaver says they plan to remove physical access to many of the decaying, older yearbooks so they can take steps to preserve them. That’s something they would like to do for other older artifacts, such as the Missouri Miner, the S&T
student newspaper.

In print

Ben Bayse, professor emeritus of mechanical engineering, published an autobiography titled Lightening Ben: I Flew with Eagles.

Trent Watts, an associate professor of English and technical communication, wrote an essay titled “What Makes a ‘Newcomb Girl’?: Student Culture in the Progressive Era,” that was published in a book titled Newcomb College, 1886-2006: Higher Education for Women in New Orleans.

S.N. Balakrishnan, Curators’ Professor of aerospace engineering, co-edited a textbook titled Advances in Missile Guidance, Control and Estimation.

New approach to detect prostate cancer

Senior chemistry student Casey Burton is helping find an easier method of testing for prostate cancer without using high-tech machinery. Instead, he uses an enzyme to make a simple chemical fluresce.

Using a simple chemical reaction that makes metabolites in the urine samples of prostate cancer patients glow, senior chemistry student Casey Burton is helping find an easier method of testing for the disease than the conventional prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. Burton’s method is also less costly and more accurate.

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S&T wins ‘gold’ in mine rescue

A group of Missouri S&T mining engineering students won the annual underground mine rescue competition held at Missouri S&T’s Experimental Mine in October. It is the first win for S&T since 1988.

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Diane Strong: Breaking the mold

Stats: While a majority of the S&T student population tends to focus on engineering, ever-bubbly junior Diane Strong is pursuing a degree in psychology with a minor in technical communication. “Psychology is a science, so it makes sense to go to a science and technology school.”

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Margaret Olcott and Family: building a legacy

During the final weeks of his life, Eugene L. Olcott, MetE’40, decided he wanted to give something back to the school that had prepared him for a successful career. “He wanted to give something tangible that would carry his name and be of use to the students,” says his widow, Margaret Olcott.

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Meet John Eash

John F. Eash, AE’79, MS EMgt’90, director of F/A-18 production operations for the Boeing Co. in St. Louis, began his two-year term as president of the Miner Alumni Association in October. Missouri S&T Magazine staff sat down with him to ask a few questions.

What is your vision for the association?
The Miner Alumni Association will continue to be a growing, thriving organization that is positioned well to support alumni, students, faculty and staff, and the Rolla community.

What do you hope to accomplish during your presidency?
It’s really all about what our association will accomplish. We aligned our committee structure to support our strategic priorities, with great committee leaders and members assigned to each. Over the next two years, they will accomplish great things — increasing our financial giving, strengthening our alumni sections, and improving communications with campus organizations and other constituents. I also look forward to increasing the number of active Miner Alumni Association members and the completion of the Hasselmann Alumni House.

What do you feel is the most important part of the alumni-university relationship?
The most important aspect of our alumni-university relationship is the shared responsibility of helping our students succeed during their college careers and beyond through financial assistance, career counseling, recruiting, mentorship and academic tutoring, just to name a few. When our students succeed in college and in business, it strengthens our reputation as a premier technological research university we can all be proud of.

Why should young alumni get involved with the association?
The ability to stay connected with old friends and make new ones, build professional networks with fellow alumni, and feel the pride that comes with giving back financially or through volunteering time to an organization that has helped many students — some that otherwise may not have graduated from S&T.