New Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Diya Paul Leads Cottey’s Environmental Studies Program

Dr. Diya Paul, visiting assistant professor of environmental studies, joined the Cottey College faculty in fall of 2018. An expert on political ecology and land use science, Dr. Paul is teaching introductory and advanced courses in environmental studies. She is also program coordinator of the environmental studies program. Her experience goes far beyond the simple label of environmental studies, however, with an interdisciplinary background that encompasses economics, geography, social work, physical sciences and more.

In fact, Dr. Paul’s first career was in social work, focusing on the intersection of people and the environment. After earning a master’s in social work from the Delhi School of Social Work, she spent eight years working in the development and non-governmental organization sector in India.

This work brought Dr. Paul face-to-face with the way that human and wildlife communities interact and overlap and the impact of ecology and the environment on people’s day-to-day l…

Cottey Alumna Fights Wildfires Out West

Meagan Duffee-Yates ’07, a private land conservationist for Barton and Jasper counties with the Missouri Department of Conservation, answered the call when the wildfires began in California and Oregon. Her answer was, “Yes!”

“I got the call to go out to Oregon in mid-July,” said Duffee-Yates. “At the beginning of fire season, which is late May-November, we provide to our employer dates that we are available to be gone for up to 21 days. Since this is through my employer [Department of Conservation] they are very understanding and very supportive.”

What made her say yes to the opportunity to go fight wildfires?

“I knew that I would be gaining experience by going to a different state and being involved with large scale wildfires,” Duffee-Yates explained. “With my job we are asked to help fight local wildfire but our environment is much different than out west. Being able to go fight fires in a different environment, with different weather patterns, different habitat and through a much l…

New Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Amber Morczek, Criminology

Dr. Amber Morczek is one of the newest faculty members to join Cottey College. With her background in criminology and her expertise in gender-based violence, Professor Morczek was the perfect candidate to assist in building Cottey’s expanded offerings in Criminology (available as both a major and minor).

Professor Morczek joined the faculty in fall of 2018. Her first semester at Cottey kept her busy as program coordinator for the new and developing program, planning new courses, writing class descriptions, and more. She also taught three essential introductory courses: The Criminal Justice System, Criminology, and Violence Against Women.

Despite the challenging subject matter, Professor Morczek says that Violence Against Women is one of her favorite classes to teach; she’s now taught it nine times at a few different institutions. “While we discuss and confront difficult topics every day, it’s especially impactful for students,” she says. The class explores topics such as patriarchy, …

Cottey Business Student Shines in Internship at Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis

Landing a top-notch internship is never an easy feat, and for international students, residency restrictions can pose an extra hurdle. But Blessing Gandawa, a business administration and management major at Cottey and an international student, was determined to make it happen. Her persistence finally paid off with a summer internship at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and a horizon-expanding, career-building experience more than worth writing home about.
Gandawa’s quest to find the right internship began in August 2017, her junior year, when she started applying for positions in Nevada and Kansas City. Throughout the fall, she continued to apply at relevant firms — but no one was hiring. “By December, I’d almost given up hope,” she says.
Then, she decided to visit a friend in St. Louis for winter break. The Federal Reserve Bank’s website said it was closed to applications, but Gandawa’s friend suggested she give it a shot anyway — and apply in person. Gandawa made an appointment…

Strengthening the Bonds of Our Humanity

The flags at Cottey College recently flew at half-mast after another senseless shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue, and today we learn of a shooting at a yoga studio in Tallahassee. “Senseless” is a word we often use after one of these events because rational human beings can’t make sense of why calamities like this happen.
In light of recent mass shootings; natural disasters around the world in the form of hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, and tornadoes; hate-filled language bombarding us from all directions via news channels, social media, or as we drive down the street … I reach out to our community to remind us all that we must work to strengthen the bonds of our humanity, our bonds of kinship, and our bonds of mutual support and unity.
When the world seems out of control, we must look for those areas in which we can have an impact. Part of what makes us human is the desire to love and be loved, to respect and be respected, to listen and to be listened to. One of the first and…

Dr. Nancy Kohn Joins Cottey’s Biology Department

Do salamanders have social lives? Do they remember? Do they learn? Do they ever invite the whole extended family over for an old-fashioned salamander shindig?

Cottey’s newest biology professor can answer all those questions — and more. Dr. Nancy Kohn’s expertise lies in animal social behavior and cognition, and how their social interactions impact learning and memory.

Dr. Kohn is especially knowledgeable about the red-backed salamander, since she studied with one of the world’s foremost researchers on salamander behavior: Dr. Robert Jaeger. Together with a few of her colleagues, Dr. Kohn co-authored a book with Dr. Jaeger that summarizes his lab’s fifty years of research.

“I was his last graduate student,” Dr. Kohn says. As his retirement drew near, colleagues urged Dr. Jaeger to write a book. Dr. Kohn volunteered to help make it happen. “And the organization of the book happened on his front porch.”

Published by Oxford University press in 2016, Behavioral Ecology of the Eastern Red-B…

Cottey Friends Lift Each Other Up

by Tracy Hass Cordova ‘04

In early January of 2009, Clare Wade-Callihan ’64 prepared to do what no parent should have to do – say farewell to her child. Clare’s daughter, Tanya, who was diagnosed with endometrial cancer was losing her battle, and Clare’s mother’s cancer was in remission. Clare turned to Cottey to try and reconnect with an alumna during this difficult time. To fully appreciate the random events that were to soon unfold, one must start at the beginning of Clare’s story.

Clare was born in Huntsville, Missouri, a small town of about 700; she attended school all 12 years in the same building. The year she was born, both her mother and grandmother added Clare to the Cottey student list.

“I was from a P.E.O. lineage. It was never a question where I was going to go. We looked at [Cottey] as a second-rate school until I got there. It really was an amazing thing.”

Quickly Clare realized her schooling was not on par with Cottey’s academics. Having never had to study before, she f…