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Sister Celebration Series: Sisters in Arts

November 7, 2018

 

For our next round of the Sister Celebration Series, we are so excited to highlight our sisters involved in the arts. These women are leaders in journalism, digital storytelling, photography, art history, Marching Mizzou and a cappella groups on campus. Their experiences, activities and internships are all very different, but they all share a love for creativity and Theta. Read more about each of our sisters in the arts below!

 

 

Name: Katherine Herrick

Major: Journalism - Magazine Editing

Hometown: Liberty, MO

 

Tell us about any involvement in the arts!

This year, I get to be the team captain for Comedy Wars! This means I'm in charge of planning our practices each week, and I handle any sort of scheduling or planning for extra shows or activities we do. This year is a really fun year to be captain because I get to plan our 20th Anniversary Alumni show, which will be in April. We'll have a bunch of people who used to be on the team come back and perform with us for a night. Many of them still do improv, or they've switched to doing standup comedy, but quite a few of them perform in big cities now. I've had several positive responses so far, so I'm really looking forward to that in the spring!

I also work as a freelance writer for Feast magazine. I was an intern there over the summer, and they let me stay on to cover restaurant news in Columbia for the print and digital publications. I was working in the office in St. Louis when I started, but I was covering mostly Columbia and Kansas City news because I know those areas better. I'm really enjoying doing freelance work because I get more freedom with choosing the stories I write, and it's nice to be in Columbia while I write because I can visit more places in person instead of just talking over the phone or through email. 

 

What has been your favorite experience?

Comedy Wars is by far my favorite activity I've done in college, and I'm so glad my big introduced me to it and encouraged me to audition. It's always the most fun part of my week, and it's a great way to relieve stress from school and work deadlines. 

 

How have your Theta sisters encouraged you in your artistic endeavors?

My big, Allee Sherman, took me to my first Comedy Wars show for our Kite Pal date. I didn't think I would do improv in college (I had already been doing it for a couple of years in high school), but the team was asking for people to sign up for auditions that night, and she told me I should try it. It was one of the best decisions I've made since I've been at Mizzou, and I'm so glad I joined Theta so I could be exposed to opportunities like this. 

 

 

 

 

Name: Kadie Clark

Major: Geography

Hometown: Lee’s Summit, MO

 

Tell us about any involvement in the arts!

I am currently a sophomore involved in Marching Mizzou, the largest ensemble in the School of Music and the largest student organization on campus! Through Marching Mizzou, I have the opportunity to perform the traditional songs of the University of Missouri at football games—on Faurot Field in Memorial Stadium and across the country! This is my second year as a member of The Big M of the Midwest, and last year, I was also a member of Mini Mizzou, a smaller audition-only ensemble that plays at volleyball games, away football games, and basketball games. Through Marching Mizzou and Mini Mizzou, I have had the opportunity to support the athletic teams of the University of Missouri in ways many students do not, via traveling around the country to support Mizzou on the road for tournaments and other games. 

 

What has been your favorite experience?

My favorite experience that I have had through being a member in the athletic bands here at the University is the times when I get to meet either alumni or others who still have a strong love for Mizzou. Marching Mizzou is one of my favorite traditions that the university has, and getting to be a part of such a rich history has made me feel not only much more connected to the current state of Mizzou, but much more proud and embedded in its rich history. Whether it be in Nashville, Houston, or St. Louis, I have seen so many people come together to the sounds of “Every True Son,” “Fight Tiger,” and “Old Missouri.” My favorite part about music is its ability to connect people, and my favorite part about Marching Mizzou is its ability to connect me with people who share a love for Mizzou.

 

How have your Theta sisters encouraged you in your artistic endeavors?

I went Theta because I felt I was surrounded by women who made be believe in the value of who I am as a leading woman and who loved each other fiercely—this fierce, intentional love is something I strive in inject into every aspect of my life, including my academics, my relationships, and my music. It is not always easy to strike a balance in every facet of life, while still managing to genuinely love all you do, but having the support from my Theta sisters to pursue the things that I love, including music and more specifically Marching Mizzou, is the epitome of what this “Theta love” is really all about. Each member of our chapter is passionate about a variety of pursuits, each different from the rest, but we all find identity in our support and love for our chapter, each other, and this University, which inspires me to continue my involvement and dedication to those things that set my heart on fire. 

 

 

 

 

Name: Camille Baker

Major: Journalism/Strategic Communications

Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri

 

Tell us about any involvement in the arts!

I think my passion for journalism proliferated the most during my involvement with my high school publication, The Kirkwood Call. I began as a features writer, then grew into features editor, and senior year, I was lucky enough to have the insane experience of being one of three editors-in-chief of an 88-person, student-run publication. This past summer, I interned at a marketing agency in St. Louis called Bigwidesky, where I was able to find my footing as a newbie again, and looked up to so many inspiring writers, podcast-makers, and strategic thinkers. I learned so much just being encompassed by so many creative people who were so willing to share their interests and knowledge with me, whether it was behind-the-scenes editing, or giving me leeway to help with blog posts for a client.

 

What has been your favorite experience?

By far, the scariest, yet most rewarding decision I’ve made in the realm of journalism was applying for editor-in-chief of my high school newsmagazine. I knew going into it that I had huge shoes to fill, because I regarded my editors so highly, but The Call stretched my capacity to empathize, help others and better my journalistic skills in astronomical ways. I learned so much from my peers each and every day -- probably even more than they learned from any of my guidance -- whether or not they knew it. One of the most exhilarating opportunities I had during my time on Call was testifying at the state capital in favor of the New Voices Act, standing up for student journalists’ rights all across the state of Missouri. Though the bill has yet to be passed, each year we continue the fight, we continue to raise awareness for our First Amendment rights, and being a part of that process with my adviser and peers supporting me throughout it was inexplicably exciting.

 

How have your Theta sisters encouraged you in your artistic endeavors?

My Theta sisters are often silent inspirations. I am encouraged by them merely through the actions they take in their involvement at Mizzou, by the kind words they pass on to one another without an expectation of those words being reciprocated, and by the core values we share. Even if it doesn’t take the form of a one-on-one conversation, I know that no matter what choices I make regarding my future goals and career, my sisters will have my back, and will be there to catch me when I stumble. Theta sisters are sisters who are willing to fail together because it means learning from our mistakes and growing from them.

 

 

 

 

Name: Maleigha Michael

Major: Art History

Hometown: Kansas City

 

Tell us about any involvement in the arts!

Over the summer, I interned at UMKC’s Women’s Center to do research work on women in the arts around Kansas City. This included researching statistics on women representation in museums (exhibitions, director/curator jobs, permanent collections, displayed art) and art institutes around Kansas City, and being a staff member of the Women’s Center 16 hours a week. The museums I conducted my research in were the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, the Spencer Museum of Art, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. For example, I would go into these museums and tally how many women versus male artists were represented in the displays, or I would email museum educators to find how many works of art by women verses men they had in their permanent collections. This helped with my understanding of how women have been represented in the arts over time, and in which areas that they are still underrepresented and why.

I updated research work that the Women’s Center Assistant Director, Arzie Umali, had done 10 years ago that she presents to students. Through this internship, I was able to get three credit hours that count towards my Art History degree.

 

What has been your favorite experience?

My favorite part of the internship was being exposed to the art world, finding out the ways women are unequally represented in museums, and digging deeper into feminism while working in the Women’s Center. I was able to do research within my interest field that also incorporated feminism, which is a rare and eye-opening experience. It made me even more interested in my major because I was learning about how museums function, and also how I can improve gender representation within those museums.

 

How have your Theta sisters encouraged you in your artistic endeavors?

I am inspired by the women in Theta through their accomplishments and their ability to strive for greater opportunities. I had not even thought of the possibility of doing an internship so early into college, but seeing my sisters already exploring and achieving so much within their own fields encouraged me to push myself to do the same.

 

 

 

 

Name: Caroline Dade

Major: Radio-TV Reporting and Anchoring

Hometown: Rogersville, Missouri

 

Tell us about any involvement in the arts!

During my first two years at Mizzou, I worked as a research assistant with Dr. Brett Johnson through the Honors College’s Discovery Fellows program. The research Dr. Johnson and I did my freshman year looked at how broadcast newsrooms across the country are developing and implementing ethics guides for using user-generated content in newscasts. This past summer, our research was published in the journal Media Practice and Education. During my sophomore year, our research focused on how the discourse in journalism surrounding the use of anonymous sources has evolved since 2004 - basically how journalists talk about journalism! I was able to present this research to alumni donors in April and at an academic conference in August. We’re in the process of getting this work ready for publication now. Working with Dr. Johnson on journalism research was such a cool experience because I was given substantial, meaningful work early on, and I had to opportunity to interact with a side of journalism that’s different than the hands-on work we do in J-School classes. 

 

What has been your favorite experience?

My favorite experience was presenting at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s annual conference this past August in Washington, D.C. Dr. Johnson and I presented our latest research, I got to attend numerous other sessions, and I was able to network with so many Mizzou alumni. This was such a unique experience because I was the only undergraduate student at the conference, and I wasn’t just attending but presenting! I learned so much from the other professionals whose presentations I attended, and I was able to tell a lot of people about the great work we’re doing at Mizzou. Plus I got to explore D.C. and its museums, which was incredible! 

 

How have your Theta sisters encouraged you in your artistic endeavors?

My Theta sisters have been a constant source of encouragement and support throughout my research. They have helped me push through when I think I can’t read another journal article, they’ve listened to me practice a poster presentation countless times, and they were understanding when I had to miss part of Spirit Week to attend the AEJMC conference. When I was a new member back in the fall of 2016, I remember being awed by the incredible things older Thetas were doing in the field of journalism, and they really were the ones who inspired me to pour into my research. That’s one of the best things about Theta. You are constantly surrounded by women who are doing astonishing work in their field, and their success helps you believe in yourself and pushes you to do your own fantastic work. 

 

 

 

Name: Alex Kickert

Major: Health Science

Hometown: Orland Park, IL

 

Tell us about any involvement in the arts! 

In the past I have been involved in Theta skit for my four years in college, including both Homecoming and Greek Week skit. It has been my favorite part about being a Theta, getting to know girls that love to act and perform just like me. I also have been involved in the co-ed a cappella group here on campus for 3 years now and have loved every minute of it! Singing is a passion of mine, and being able to carrying it out in my college years has been a dream come true for me!

 

What has been your favorite experience?

I think my favorite experience thus far has been getting to be a part of skit for the past 4 years with Theta. I love to act, and finding girls in the house that had the same passion as me meant so much. Getting to mess around and create something that Thetas and other chapters could enjoy was so cool to be a part of. I have been blessed to have been on skit for my 4 years participating in homecoming, and it has given me the chance to meet new younger girls that love the same things. Overall, skit has been a great outlet, and I am sad to see my acting days numbered down as graduation nears. 

 

How have your Theta sisters encouraged you in your artistic endeavors?

Freshman year I was super discouraged and didn't think I would have enough time to fit an a cappella group into my schedule. When I told my roommate in Theta I was thinking about auditioning my sophomore year, she supported me every step of the way. When I felt discouraged about not being good enough or not having enough time to devote to the group, she kept reminding me that singing is one of my passions and that I shouldn't give up on it. Luckily for me, I made Mizzou Forte that year and I have throughly enjoyed my past 3 years being a part of this organization. It has renewed my love for music and I couldn't imagine not having this experience! 

 

 

 

 

Name: Hannah Hoffmeister

Major: Journalism major, English writing and Spanish minors

Hometown: St. Louis, MO

 

Tell us about any involvement in the arts!

I have been a writer my whole life, but when I was in eighth grade, a publishing company accepted my first book series for publication. I signed a contract and began a rigorous editing process that took about nine months per book. I still had time for other high school activities — track, softball, journalism, etc. — but the Dream Ring Series was my main passion. I learned a lot about sales and communication by setting up book signings and presentations at schools.

Aside from the book series, I have been involved in journalism since high school. This semester I am an education reporter for the Columbia Missourian, Columbia’s city newspaper. I write breaking news articles and features for the K-12 schools in Columbia.

This past summer, I was a teaching assistant for the Center for Talent Development, which is a gifted kid’s summer program run through Northwestern University in Chicago. I was a TA for two English-based courses, one focusing on public speaking and one focusing on teaching legal concepts through fairytales. Both were amazing experiences, and I loved working with my students!

 

What has been your favorite experience?

My favorite experience has definitely been my school presentations about writing and my book series. Presenting to schools about my experience as an author was something my publisher wanted me to do, and originally, I was terrified. I quickly got more comfortable telling stories and interacting with the students, and the presentations became easily my favorite part. I talk with elementary and middle schoolers about the writing process, strategies I use in writing, and my book series. This has influenced my career goals — I want to work in book publishing and hopefully find a way to intersect that with working in education somehow!

 

How have your Theta sisters encouraged you in your artistic endeavors?

I am usually pretty hesitant to talk much about my book series or my writing in general — I don’t view myself as special for having published books; to me, this series is just the result of working hard, which is something anyone can do. But when I mentioned my writing to my Theta sisters, they were incredibly encouraging and curious, which made me feel so welcome! When it comes to journalism, my friends in Theta will listen to my stories about reporting — and then read the stories. My Theta sisters have really helped make Mizzou feel more like a home.

 

 

 

 

Name: Hal Robison

Major: double major - Digital Storytelling and Mass Media Communication

Hometown: St. Louis, MO

 

Tell us about any involvement in the arts!

Since coming to Mizzou, I've been lucky to be involved in a range of different experiences within the arts! I’ve always enjoyed being a part of artistic organizations, so when I came to Mizzou, one of the first things I did was audition for a cappella. I’ve been a member of our all-female a cappella group, The Naturelles, for three years now. It’s so nice to have a stress-free place where I can go with all these other women who just love music and can all share this passion with each other.

Outside of school, I’ve pursued artistic internships and opportunities as well. My freshman year I was a photography intern at the Blue Note, a concert venue in downtown Columbia. I was also a photography and media intern at the Muny Theater in St. Louis during the summer after my freshman year. Then, this past summer, I was able to study abroad and, through Mizzou’s IT Program, create and direct two short films in Ireland.

I think being able to create things is a really unique part of the human experience. I know not everyone feels this way, but there’s something about making art that makes me feel like I’m doing what I’m meant to do. Hopefully I’ll be able to work in arts-related fields for the rest of my life! :)

 

What has been your favorite experience?

My favorite experience has definitely been being able to study and work on my skills abroad. I never thought when I started college that I would be able to say I had created a short film in the streets of Galway, Ireland!

 

How have your Theta sisters encouraged you in your artistic endeavors?

Theta has always inspired me to push myself and work as hard as I can to achieve what I want. Regardless of whether or not they’re pursuing the arts like I am, I’m surrounded by girls who are so driven and so passionate about what they’re doing. That kind of attitude and motivation about their work makes me even more excited about what I’m doing. I know that I can always go to anyone in Theta and they’ll be excited for me and willing to encourage me toward what I want to do. 

 

 

 

 

Name: Lucy Shanker

Major: Journalism

Hometown: Chicago

 

Tell us about any involvement in the arts!

For two years, I interned with the Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival. During my time there, I worked my way up to a blog manager and eventually led a team of interns to create content/promote the festival. 

 

What has been your favorite experience?

At this past year’s festival, four of my Theta sisters came to the festival to support me. I saw them at the end of the night Saturday, the most draining day, and it gave me the final push I needed to finish out the day. It put the biggest smile on my face. 

 

How have your Theta sisters encouraged you in your artistic endeavors?

I was sitting in the Theta kitchen when an older Theta asked me what I was passionate about; I told her music. She was the one who introduced me to Roots N Blues and encouraged me to apply for the internship that completely altered my college experience. If it weren’t for her help, I might not have had the courage to apply.

 

 

 

 

Name: Ashley Rolf

Major: Information Technology with a minor in music, and thinking about pursuing a minor in digital storytelling

Hometown: Severna Park, Maryland

 

Tell us about any involvement in the arts!

On the whim I had the opportunity to work with a couple local bands designing logos for them earlier in the spring and summer. From there, I kickstarted a graphic design in its *VERY* baby beginnings called Ashthetiks. I’m hoping to expand it even more widespread across Columbia and hopefully even more so from there. It’s such an amazing feeling being able to take someone’s vision and somehow translate those words to art. Seeing their reaction of pure excitement when they see the final product is why I love doing what I do.

I’m also involved with the Women’s and Mixed Ensemble on Mizzou campus, and I absolutely love making music with them. They are the craziest, most beautiful, and inspirational family of musicians I’ve ever met. I am currently designing the logo for our t-shirt as well featuring Truman the Tiger!

 

How have your Theta sisters encouraged you in your artistic endeavors?

My Theta sisters have been amazing with the creation of my tiny organization. When I offered to do these free draw overs of friends over the summer, it was my Theta sisters who would reach out and offer words of encouragement and enthusiasm as they’d ask me to do ones for them! (I promise, I haven’t forgotten about the ones still left over) But without their love and encouragement, I wouldn’t be where I am today going on to hopefully getting an IT Degree with undertones of animation and design/editing elements. No one does creativity or drive like Theta does!

 

 

 

 

Name: Audrey Montgomery 

Major: Journalism- Strategic Communications 

Hometown: Springfield, MO

 

Tell us about any involvement in the arts!

I have been involved in many creative activities my entire life. I really found a passion for journalism, designing, and photography in high school. I decided to keep designing just as a hobby and started to teach myself about it more and more each day. My summer after freshman year, I decided to take and internship with Bass Pro’s Wonders of Wildlife design/marketing department. It was a great experience, and I learned so so much doing it. I have also done a lot of freelance design work. I am currently also a brand ambassador for Packed Party and an independent jewelry brand. I love getting to create content for brands by promoting their brand through my Instagram. That is another thing I love believe it or not! I have a passion for photography, so I am all about the Instagram aesthetic trend. I also love being on the Theta social media committee with my best friend. Getting to help our online media director is such a fun opportunity, and we love posting content every day of our sisters. One last thing I genuinely cherished during my time at Mizzou so far was getting to be Julia Wopata’s (MSA President/Theta Sister) Communications Director for her campaign. I loved every second of helping her. I love getting to share my creativity through graphics, photography, clothing, Instagram and just in my every day life. I am so excited for what the future holds and where my creativity takes me! 

 

What has been your favorite experience?

My favorite experience was getting to work with Bass Pro. I think it was a great experience and I definitely learned a lot through it! 

 

How have your Theta sisters encouraged you in your artistic endeavors?

My theta sisters have encouraged me in many aspects of my life. Working on Julia’s campaign with her was so inspiring. She and my other friends definitely encouraged me to do it and I’m so glad I did. It brought me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to be on a team that pushed me to use my talents. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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