This section is provided for alumni who wish to keep others informed of what is happening in their lives and as a means to keep in touch with each other. Email addresses are listed with permission. Please email Lori any news you would like included on our Alumni page.
Dr. Pamela Wells (2014)
Wells (2014) Presenting Going Beyond
Traditional Member Checks in
Grounded Theory-Deepening Credibility at the March
11, 2015 Eagle Qualitative
Research Community workshop. The workshop discussed
creative ways of doing member checks for ground theory
and learning more about grounded theory as an
interdisciplinary qualitative research method.
Holly Wagner (Ph.D., 2014)
a whirlwind since I moved to Saint Louis and I have
hit the ground running. I really can't imagine a
better place to be than right where I am. As sad and
disappointing as the Ferguson tragedy has been, my
hope is that it also provides us an avenue to take
the important steps necessary to come together
and work to raise critical awareness and promote
change within this community. UMSL is about 2 miles
from where Michael Brown was killed. The wound is
huge right now. In many ways, it's been there for a
long time. And now that it's wide open again maybe
we can somehow move toward healing, first in this
community and then a broader, systemic scale. I've
been honored to work with the students and the
community who will be part of that change. I'm also
very aware that it's one step, one person at a time.
And, it is so worth it." Thanks
From the St. Louis Post Dispatch
October 11, 2014
CLAYTON • A rain-soaked crowd of several hundred people marched in downtown Clayton on Friday afternoon, kicking off this weekend’s Ferguson October rallies and protests.
Hours later, a similar crowd took to the
streets of Ferguson for a candlelight march and protest
across from the police department, beating drums and
chanting into the night as well as blocking West
Florissant Avenue. Several protesters used bullhorns to
direct the crowd, some asked protesters to move to south
St. Louis where a police officer killed a teenager
earlier this week after the teen opened fire on him.
The Clayton march began outside St. Louis
County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch’s office.
Activists have demanded that McCulloch step aside in the
Michael Brown case.
Clayton police had barricaded Carondelet
Avenue between Central and Bemiston avenues in
anticipation of the event.
Officers on bicycles at the front and back
of the crowd escorted the protesters as the march began.
However, minutes into the event, the protesters stopped
in the middle of the intersection of Bemiston and
Bonhomme avenues, blocking traffic. They chanted, “Hey,
hey, ho, ho, these killer cops have got to go!”
Others shouted, “Who are we? Mike Brown!”
The crowd grew to about 400 people and
eventually blocked the intersection of Central and
Carondelet avenues in front of the county government
The few police in sight did not interfere;
several officers stood outside the Buzz Westfall Justice
Center and observed the crowd. Brooklyn College student
Ashely Agbasoga, 22, of New York, drove through the
night to get to Clayton for the weekend protests with a
professor, his partner and another student.
"This is the epicenter of the movement
against policy brutality," Agbasoga said, adding that
he planned to be active in Ferguson October events
through the weekend.
"This is the epicenter of the movement against policy brutality," Agbasoga said, adding that he planned to be active in Ferguson October events through the weekend.
Brian Crawley, 26, of Wellston, was among
those gathered in the street. He said he hoped that
county leaders recognized that marchers were serious in
their demands, including their call to end racial
“I have two daughters,” Crawley said. “I
don’t want them growing up in a society like this.”
Many in the crowd carried umbrellas, some
marked with slogans such as “Ferguson is Forever.”
The marchers drew curious Clayton workers,
who huddled outside office buildings to watch.
Before the protest began in Clayton, some
marchers clustered beneath tents set up on a
county-owned parking lot north of the Buzz Westfall
A table under one tent was staffed by Holly
Wagner, a member of the counseling department at the
University of Missouri-St. Louis. Wagner had brought
storage bins containing sand and plastic animals.
In another of the incongruous, if not
bizarre, incidents that have sometimes marked the
protests, Wagner handed out the toy animals to adult
protesters seated at a table. They manipulated the
figures under the guidance of Wagner and other graduate
students inside plastic bins full of sand.
“We wanted to create a space where people
can show with these small toys what they are
experiencing,” Wagner explained. “It’s a creative
After about two hours of circling blocks
and occasionally stopping at intersections, most of the
marchers dispersed. At one point after the march ended,
at least three men shouted different messages from
bullhorns. One ordered the crowd to go to the Shaw
neighborhood of St. Louis, where the teenager was
fatally shot earlier in the week. Another man warned
that protesters would likely be facing off at some point
this weekend with Darren Wilson supporters.
Nearly two dozen people donned bright
yellow vests and kept mostly to the edges of the march,
keeping watchful eyes on the direction of protesters,
traffic and the tone of the crowd. They were part of a
group called Jobs with Justice, but acting as
“marshals,” at the protest, said Michael McPhearson who
led the group.
They had met several times for training
sessions earlier in the week to discuss ways to
de-escalate situations and keep the peace, he said.
“We know that tensions can rise, and we
want to keep everyone safe in the tradition of Dr.
King,” McPhearson said.
The same message urging peace among
demonstrators was the theme of a press conference St.
Louis County Councilman Steve Stenger, D-Affton,
organized Friday before the march in Clayton. About a
dozen pastors, along with black and white police
officers, gathered with him outside the County Council
Chambers to pray that the weekend's events would be
Among them was the state Rep. Tommie
Pierson, of north St. Louis County. "You have the right
to protest, but you don't have the right to burn my
house down or the businesses in our community," Pierson
Former Missouri state Rep. Betty Thompson
recalled her days marching in the South with the Rev.
Dr. Martin Luther King. “The only way for justice and
peace to prevail is through nonviolence,” she said.
Stenger, who is running against Republican
Rick Stream in the Nov. 4 election for county executive,
also called for calm. “The only way to move forward is
through peace and open discussion,” he said.
Police have said they expect that Ferguson
October events could lead to possibly hostile protests
this weekend, especially in the wake of Wednesday’s
death of Vonderrit Myers Jr., 18, who was shot by a St.
Louis police officer in the Shaw neighborhood.
Late in the afternoon, the family of Brown,
the black teen shot to death on Aug. 9 by a white police
officer in Ferguson, issued a statement encouraging
“While we respect every citizen’s right to
free expression, it is our hope that those coming to
Ferguson to protest the shooting of our son this weekend
do so peacefully and lawfully.”
“We understand first-hand the powerless
frustration felt by people of all walks of life
regarding their interactions with law enforcement. And
for that reason, as Michael Brown’s parents, we ask that
those coming to show support for our son do so within
the law,” the statement continued.
Around 9 p.m., a group of 100 or so people
marched about two miles from West Florissant Avenue to
the police department. Some carried candles and others a
mirrored casket. Organizers said the “Day of the Dead”
march was meant to honor victims of police violence.
By 11 p.m. the crowd had doubled, and used
bullhorns and drums to chant before a line of St. Louis
County and Ferguson police officers, who formed a line
across the entrance to the police department.
Protesters urged each other to abide by
police commands to “step back,” as they echoed across a
loudspeaker so they could all be available for marches
planned for Saturday.
There were no reports of violence or
arrests at either march.
Later in the night, some protesters
relocated to the Shaw neighborhood, where Myers was
killed. They gathered in the street but moved to the
sidewalk when asked by police and then marched through
the neighborhood. Police said there were no arrests, and
no injuries or damage were reported.
Christine Byers, Leah Thorsen and Lisa Brown of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.Christine Byers is a crime reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Follow her on Twitter.
Last Modified: 09/15/15