Owners of small businesses can learn how to secure government contracts and network with potential contractors at the annual Procurement Conference Thursday, May 28, at the University of Central Missouri’s Elliott Student Union.

The conference is hosted by U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, the Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers and the Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Center at UCM.

Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., followed by a welcome from UCM President Charles Ambrose and Whiteman Air Force Base officials. Following comments by McCaskill at 9 a.m., Janet Wilson, chief financial officer of The Wilson Group, Inc., will speak on successful government contracting. Harry P. Hallock, deputy assistant secretary of the Army, will speak on government procurement at 9:30 a.m.

Deborah Curtis, Ph.D., provost and chief learning officer at the University of Central Missouri, received the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from her alma mater, MacMurray College, Edwardsville, Ill., during spring commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 9.

Curtis was selected for the honor in recognition of her successes in enriching the experiences of countless students and teachers during her nearly 40-year career in education.

The Central Missouri Jennies volleyball team is on an 11-day trip to China . The Jennies are traveling to Beijing where they will play four games against Chinese competition, while also getting to sight-see and learn about the Chinese culture.

Fans can keep up to date on the Jennies' travels by following them on their social media accounts. The Jennies also have a blog that they will update throughout the trip with posts by coaches and players.