Battle of the Brains: Scholars and Donors Team Up For a Cause

Battle of the BrainsMore than 200 powerhouse pugilists went to the mat on April 25 for Philanthropy Week’s prizefight of the year, the second annual Battle of the Brains.

In a night of fun, feasting and fast-thinking, 36 teams of scholarship students and donors stepped into the ring to vie for the mental heavyweight title of Biggest Brainiac, raise money for student organizations and celebrate the scholarship support that provides educational opportunity.

“This past year, Missouri S&T awarded 11,707 scholarships ranging in size from $1,000 to $30,000,” said Chancellor Cheryl B. Schrader during her welcome remarks. “The value of these scholarships total more than $31 million. While these numbers speak volumes, dollar figures alone cannot capture the impact of this financial support.”

Following a buffet dinner, the bell rang on a fight night for the record books, with Dr. Matt O’Keefe, MetE’85, professor of materials science and engineering, serving as emcee and referee for five rounds of trivia. While every contender exhibited bareknuckle bravura, the winning teams were:
Winning Teams

  • History Club, first place ($500) for a trip to the National World War I Museum in Kansas City, Mo.
  • Delta Omicron Lambda, second place ($400) in support of Russell House
  • Alpha Phi Alpha, third place ($200) in support of the March of Dimes Foundation

View more Battle of the Brains event photos here.


Test your own mental mettle by answering these trivia showdown sample questions:

Round 1: Average Joes

  1. From which branch of the U.S. military did the term “cup of joe” originate?
  2. What does the “G.I.” stand for in G.I. Joe?
  3. “Joes” have become a mascot for several universities. Match the Joes to their appropriate schools:

Joe Miner
Cowboy Joe
Joe Vandal
Joe Bruin

University of Wyoming
University of Idaho
University of California, Los Angeles
Missouri S&T

Round 2: Miner Mash Up

  1. How many arches comprise S&T’s Stonehenge?
  2. What is the current use of the first dorm on campus?
  3. A four-leaf clover is considered lucky, but according to the Guinness World Records, what is the largest number of leaves ever found on a clover?

Round 3: Giving Back

  1. What famous actor partnered with S&T alumnus Gary White, CE’85, MS CE’87, to form the philanthropic
  2. In what year was the Order of the Golden Shillelagh founded?
  3. Of the $300 billion donated to the United States in 2012, what percentage came from individuals vs. corporations, foundations and institutions?

Round 4: Silver and Gold

  1. What are the chemical symbols for silver and gold?
  2. What part of the body is sometimes metaphorically described as silver?
  3. In the 007 movie Goldfinger, how does the film’s namesake villain die?

Round 5: Robots
Name these pop culture robots.

photo 1









Photo 2









Photo 3








Answer Key

Round 1: Average Joes

  1. Navy
  2. Government Issue
  3. University of Wyoming – Cowboy Joe, University of Idaho – Joe Vandal, University of California, Los Angeles – Joe Bruin, Missouri S&T – Joe Miner

Round 2: Miner Mash Up

  1. 5
  2. Chancellor’s Residence
  3. 56

Round 3: Giving Back

  1. Matt Damon
  2. 1977
  3. 70%

Round 4: Silver and Gold

  1. Ag and Au
  2. The tongue
  3. Sucked out the window of a plane in flight

Round 5: Robots

  1. HAL 9000
  2. R2-D2
  3. Wall-E

Woman of the Year: Honoring a Scholar, Mentor and Role Model

Shannon Fogg and Chancellor

Missouri S&T Chancellor Cheryl B. Schrader, right, presented Dr. Shannon Fogg with the 2014 Woman of the Year Award.

Congratulations to Dr. Shannon Fogg, associate professor of history and political science, who was named Missouri S&T’s 2014 Woman of the Year on April 23.

The annual award honors a female tenured or tenure-track faculty member for her commitment to strengthening diversity and enriching campus life. It includes a $2,000 stipend funded by Missouri S&T alumna and trustee Cynthia Tang, Econ’85.

“The Woman of the Year Award publicly celebrates the impact of women on our campus,” said Chancellor Cheryl B. Schrader, speaking at the awards luncheon. “Those we have honored over the past 17 years are not only dedicated teachers and scholars, but also extraordinary mentors and peers. The award recognizes these leaders as catalysts for changes, as creators of a bright and bold future, and as voices of influence in our wider world.”

As a scholar, Fogg examines the complexities of physical and psychological rebuilding in post-World War II Europe, with a focus on the Jewish women and their families who survived the Holocaust. As a member of the campus community, her service spans many initiatives affecting women’s lives, from the Child Development Center steering committee to the Chancellor’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion.

A graduate of Texas A&M University, where she earned a bachelor of arts degree in history, and the University of Iowa, where she earned master of arts and Ph.D. degrees in history, Fogg joined the Missouri S&T faculty in 2004 as an assistant professor. She was named associate professor in 2011.  Since arriving on campus, she has introduced seven new courses, in addition to publishing book reviews, journal articles and book chapters.

Fogg received the Missouri Conference on History’s 2009 Book Award for her first book, The Politics of Everyday Life in Vichy France: Foreigners, Undesirables, and Strangers, published by Cambridge University Press. She received Missouri S&T’s Inspirational Woman Award in 2012.

As a colleague wrote in her nomination: “Dr. Fogg perfectly and gracefully models the values that demonstrate why women’s contributions to this campus are so important. Her career characterizes the commitment to academic citizenship and female leadership that the Woman of the Year Award is designed to honor.”



Making OGS a Family Affair

imagePaul and Jillene Hoffman credit their daughter Jennifer with inspiring their decision to support Missouri S&T – she joined OGS as a junior member immediately after graduating with her bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering.

For Jennifer Hoffman Sison, AE’11, giving back is nothing unusual.  As an undergraduate, she served as student chapter president of Engineers Without Borders, traveling to Bolivia five times to work on community development projects.

She also interned with the U.S. Air Force and studied abroad in Spain to strengthen her minor in Spanish. After graduating in 2011, Jennifer went to work for Aero Engine Controls, an Indianapolis-based division of the Rolls-Royce Group.

“Jennifer always wanted to pursue a career in space,” says her father. “When she was 7 or 8, she started going to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama.  It was her dream to be an astronaut.”

When it came time look at universities, Jennifer had a strong interest in the University of Illinois, where her uncle who works for NASA’s Mars Exploration Program earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.  But out-of-state tuition costs were high.

“It came down to the value of Rolla as an in-state institution,” says Paul. “My daughter didn’t have to leave Missouri to get a world-class education.”

Today the Hoffmans share their daughter’s enthusiasm for Engineers Without Borders as donors to the organization. They are also charter members of Miners by Design and contributors to the Gavin Donohue Memorial Scholarship.

“We began contributing to Engineers Without Borders because of our daughter,” says Paul. “The experiences she had as a 19-, 20- and 21-year-old were fantastic. After she graduated and became involved as a donor, we decided to increase our own support to the OGS level.

Jennifer moved back to the St. Louis area last year and married a fellow S&T alumnus, Terrence John Sison, EMgt’07. She works as an engineer for GKN Aerospace, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of metallic, composite and engine products for the aviation industry. Terrence works in the St. Louis office of ABB, an international engineering company specializing in power and automation technology.

The Hoffmans look forward to attending future OGS events with their daughter and son-in-law. Meanwhile, there may be another Miner in the making. Their youngest son attended a Missouri S&T robotics camp two summers ago and just finished his freshman year in high school.

Share your thoughts on OGS

Light BulbNo donors are more important to Missouri S&T than the members of the Order of the Golden Shillelagh. Your financial partnership fuels our progress, your advocacy widens our circle of influence – and your opinion inspires constant improvement.

As a member-led organization, is OGS meeting your expectations? Please take a few minutes to complete the OGS Donor Satisfaction Survey by clicking this link.

If you would prefer to receive a paper survey, please contact Melpo Mankin, senior manager of donor relations at or 573-341-6685.  We hope you will take this opportunity to share your thoughts on how we can make your OGS experience more meaningful.

Save the Date


OGS Weekend
June 12-13, 2015
Kansas City, Mo.
Experience the legend, lore and luxury of Kansas City as OGS Weekend convenes in the City of Fountains. This will be our first OGS weekend held in June – and our first gathering in Kansas City for many years – so join your fellow members for a mini-vacation at the landmark Intercontinental Hotel overlooking the Spanish architecture of the world-famous Country Club Plaza.


Philanthropy Month Special Events
April 13-20, 2015
April 18-23, 2016
Rolla, Mo.

Every April, Missouri S&T celebrates Philanthropy Month with a series of campus activities, many of which take place during one concentrated week of special events, including Miner Alumni Association, Board of Trustees and academy meetings, the Woman of the Year Award ceremony and the Battle of the Brains scholarship banquet and trivia night. Mark your calendar for the weeks listed above.