The 2018 MACURH delegations will all be meeting up for opening ceremonies in Missouri S&T’s own Leach Theatre Friday, Nov. 2nd 7pm-9pm. Leach Theatre is a single-level theater with seating for over 600 people, angled so that everyone has a great view of the stage from all seats. On average, Leach Theater hosts over 100 events per academic-year for the students of Missouri S&T and the citizens of Rolla. Leach has hosted artists such as David Cook, the season 7 American Idol winner, the famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma, as well as yearly traveling Broadway shows (such as “Cats”, “Evita”, and “Mama Mia” just to name a few) and conference talks such as TEDx. Recently, Leach was the host of Missouri S&T’s very own TEDx conference with the theme of “Creating Tomorrow”.
Paul Wesselmann is a full-time public speaker who is best known as “The Ripples Guy”. Paul holds degrees in psychology and higher education and proudly served as both a resident assistant and hall director on his way to become a full-time leadership trainer and keynote speaker.
Paul received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from McKendree College where he developed a love for residence halls through his work as a resident assistant, programming board chair, student government officer, and school mascot. He then went on to get his Masters in College Student Personnel at Bowling Green State whilst also interning at Heidelberg College as the Assistant Director of Residential Life. At Bowling Green, he coordinated the student wellness program to discover an assessment tool for an alcohol and drug treatment program. After Bowling Green, he became the Assistant Director of Residential Life and Assistant Director of Summer Conferences at Beloit College and later moved on to work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as the Residence Life Coordinator.
Paul also did volunteer work at Madison, Wisconsin’s AIDS Network as a source of support to those affected by HIV/AIDS. He was eventually chosen as the Director of Volunteer Services for the AIDS Network. Starting in 1990, he began presenting conference workshops as well as constructing staff training programs for a variety of organizations. From this stemmed his future in keynote speaking which brings him here to our RLC 2018 conference bid.
Currently, Paul creates staff trainings and keynote speeches for 40 clients around North America where participation can range into the thousands. He is followed by over 30,000 current and former residence hall leaders that he has fired up throughout his 20 years of invigorating talks at conferences and campuses around North America. His weekly inspirational emails and social media posts based around “ripples” are shared in residence halls across the nation and he is excited to be returning to the Midwest to help us dig deeper together. Each of his speeches is specifically crafted for the occasion and he is currently writing a one-of-a-kind presentation for our MACURH RLC 2018.
The 2018 MACURH delegates will be closing out the conference at the Havener Center Saturday, Nov. 3rd 7pm-9pm. This building is the center of the community at Missouri S&T. Over 5,000 events take place each year here involving students, faculty, staff and the general public. As the student center for the Missouri S&T campus, the Havener Center offers a place for people to meet, eat, shop, relax, meet friends, celebrate and learn.
Dr. Audra Merfeld-Langston
Dr. Audra Merfeld-Langston is an associate professor of French and chair of the Department of Arts, Languages, and Philosophy at Missouri University of Science and Technology. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Clarke University in Dubuque, IA, with majors in English and French and a minor in Philosophy. She then completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in French Civilization at Penn State University in State College, PA. Dr. Merfeld-Langston began her career at Missouri S&T in 2007. During her first two years here, she served as faculty-in-residence, where she developed a great love for all things Residential Life. She has worked closely over the years with the residential life staff and students in numerous activities: ice cream socials, movie nights, contests, late night breakfasts, and much, much more. She even won a hula hoop contest (the students felt sorry for her) and survived the great sewage flood of 2008.
Dr. Merfeld-Langston champions providing opportunities for students to interact with faculty in informal settings. She believes in creating dynamic, yet relaxed activities in which students can engage. She thinks all students should consider studying abroad (and then actually do it!). She has accompanied students to France and Guatemala and is currently working with Missouri S&T’s associate director of residential life to develop a new study abroad program in Martinique for students in Missouri S&T’s residential learning communities. In her spare time, Dr. Merfeld- Langston enjoys playing piano, finding humor in the everyday, traveling, and learning new things. Finally, she takes great pride in her children’s well-developed sarcasm.