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The Ivory Tower: Library Opens New Faculty Research Space

The Jung-Kellogg Library has opened a new space on the second floor for Missouri Baptist University faculty members to conduct research and work on scholarly projects away from their everyday offices.


Sometimes you just need a place to get away … and conduct serious research.

The Ivory Tower, the moniker attached to the new Faculty Research Space at MBU’s Jung-Kellogg Library, is a place where faculty members who recognize the university’s increasing focus on scholarly endeavors can escape to get work done toward that end.

With large tables, electricity, good lighting, USB ports, comfortable chairs, Wi-Fi, book shelves and access to library resources, the space is perfect for faculty members who find themselves limited on time for this type of work in their own offices.

“We love our students and we know that the most important work we do at MBU is the time we spend with our students. This is a teaching college first and foremost, and spending time with students is what makes us special,” said Dr. C. Allin Means, associate professor of journalism and communications in the Fine Arts Division. “But we also know that in order to continue to realize MBU’s increasing emphasis on research, we need to find time and space to get work done that requires absolutely no interruptions. The Ivory Tower is perfect for that.”

Means serves on the university’s Scholarship and Research Committee, which initiated the idea for the new Faculty Research Space along with leadership from Nitsa Hindeleh, director of library services and instructor in library science.

Dr. Jonathan Blackmon, associate professor of music and director of worship arts in the Fine Arts Division, spearheaded the idea more than a year ago and is delighted with how the space turned out.

“I can’t wait to get in there and start using that space for what it is designed to do,” Blackmon said. “We love our open-door policy and we love to see our students come in, but sometimes we just need to get away and have complete quiet in order to focus on our research. This space is just what our faculty needs.”

The committee also includes: Dr. Timothy Delicath, associate professor of educational research in the Education Division; Dr. John Han, professor of English and creative writing and chair of the Humanities Division; Dr. Erica Bumpers, director of field experiences and associate professor of education in the Education Division; David Collum, assistant professor of natural sciences and data analyst in the Natural Sciences Division; Dr. Keith Beutler, associate professor of history in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Division; Dr. Mark Engelhardt, professor of education, statistics and research methods in the Education Division, and education site coordinator for the Troy/Wentzville Regional Learning Center, and Dr. Shayani Pieris, assistant professor of plant sciences in the Natural Sciences Division.

Faculty members can use the space to research ongoing projects as time permits and store materials on the book shelves in the Ivory Tower, so they can return later and prepare articles for journals and conference presentations.

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