A record number of presenters participated in Missouri State University-West Plains’ (MSU-WP) 14th annual Ozarks Studies Symposium Sept. 23-25 at the West Plains Civic Center.
“We learned from a variety of scholars about many facets of the Ozarks, heard students discuss their research, took a tour of the Ozarks Heritage Resource Center, and listened as Ozark cultural preservationist Kaitlyn McConnell detailed her work with Ozarks Alive,” said Dr. Jason McCollom, associate professor of history at MSU-WP and coordinator of the symposium.
McConnell, who gave the symposium’s keynote presentation, has written more than 400 stories about people, traditions, history and unique sites through Ozarks Alive, a website dedicated to the documentation of local culture and history.
Through the site, she works to preserve and share pieces of the region’s fabric so that it creates awareness for today and a footprint to learn from in the future.
Among the student presenters at the symposium was Jordyn Smith, Thayer, who detailed the experiences of several area Ozarkers during the World War II era.
McCollom estimated attendance hovered between 25-40 over the three-day event.