News

2018

jesse hall

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has selected MU and 32 other colleges and universities to join 24 schools selected in 2017 in its Inclusive Excellence initiative, which aims to catalyze schools’ efforts to engage all students in science ­­­─ regardless of background. Those students could include underrepresented ethnic minorities, first-generation college students, or working adults with families.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has selected the University of Missouri to receive a $1 million, five-year grant in support of the Inclusive Excellence initiative. As one of 33 colleges selected in 2018, Mizzou will contribute to the initiative by improving efforts to engage all students in science—regardless of their backgrounds.

Aaron Mencher, Douglas Osmun, Dustin Dunn, Gemma New

Student composers Aaron Mencher, Douglas Osmun, and Dustin Dunn pose with SLSO conductor Gemma New at Powell Hall in St. Louis. The symphony orchestra performed compositions by each student during a public concert in April.

Three student composers in the MU School of Music recently had an opportunity to have their compositions performed by an ensemble of world-class musicians. The performance at Powell Hall in St. Louis marked the culmination of a year-long collaboration between the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (SLSO) and the Mizzou New Music Initiative (MNMI), funded by Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation.

Asst. Professor Laura Scherer

Laura Scherer and her team determined that patients may want cancer screenings even if the potential harms outweigh the benefits. Researchers believe that clinicians and oncologists could develop better communications tools and provide reassurance to their patients in better ways.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – A large proportion of the American public opts to receive cancer screenings with the hope that testing will reduce their chance of cancer death. Now, a team led by University of Missouri psychological science researchers has determined that patients may want cancer screenings even if the potential harms outweigh the benefits.

Elaine Lawless and Win Horner

Professor Emerita Elaine Lawless with her friend and mentor Win Horner. Lawless says Horner had a major impact at the University of Missouri and at Texas Christian University.

Professor Emerita Elaine Lawless is indefatigable. Having retired from the University of Missouri Department of English in 2015 with six books to her credit, Lawless has recently published two more books and has another scheduled to be released in 2019 by IU Press—a collection of her already published scholarly articles.

Prof. Giovanna Guidoboni

Prof. Giovanna Guidoboni says theoretical predictions made with the mathematical models her group has been developing in the context of glaucoma have recently been confirmed by an independent population-based study including nearly 10,000 subjects.

A mathematical model developed by a new faculty member at Mizzou could become a tool for early detection of vascular abnormalities of the eye. Professor Giovanna Guidoboni, who holds a joint appointment in electrical engineering, computer science, and mathematics, says her research began in 2010 while she was a professor of mathematical sciences at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).

singh illustration

Honeycomb Structure

The left shows the atomic force micrograph, exhibiting honeycomb structure pattern behind a magnetic device. Inset shows the schematic of current flow direction. On the right: electrical data reveals diode-type behavior of current flowing in one direction. Inset shows that the dissipative power is of the order of nano-watt in the current flowing direction, which is at least three orders of magnitude smaller than the semiconductor diode. Credit: Deepak Singh

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Among the chief complaints for smartphone, laptop and other battery-operated electronics users is that the battery life is too short and—in some cases—that the devices generate heat. Now, a group of physicists led by Deepak K.

brain imaging

Dysfunction in a subcortical brain region, the striatum, which is associated with psychosis risk. Credit: John Kerns

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Psychotic disorders often are severe and involve extreme symptoms such as delusions or hallucinations in which people lose their sense of reality. Researchers at the University of Missouri recently found evidence that boosting how well people at risk for psychosis learn from positive and negative feedback could potentially keep psychosis at bay.

Maggie Noble

Maggie Noble credits the digital storytelling program in the College of Arts and Science for helping her find her voice as a filmmaker and as an animator.

Maggie Noble says she can be a bit of a pest when she sets her sights on a goal, but her persistence landed her a job as a production assistant on a feature film that recently won the Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival in Austin, Texas. That film, Thunder Road, written and directed by Jim Cummings, is having its international premier at the Cannes Film Festival in France this month.

Bob Priddy

Former Missourinet news Director Bob Priddy stands on the floor of the Missouri Senate, where he spent decades covering legislative debate for affiliated radio stations across Missouri. Priddy retired from the Missourinet in 2014 and now serves as president of the board of trustees of the State Historical Society of Missouri.

For 40 years, Missourians from St. Joseph to Joplin, from Kirksville to Cape Girardeau, could tune into to their local radio stations and hear the authoritative voice of Bob Priddy deliver the news of the day, with a focus on the workings of our state government in Jefferson City.

tiger walk

University of Missouri students participate in Tiger Prowl on May 4. Tiger Prowl occurs each May and is the reverse of Tiger Walk. During the prowl, graduating seniors stand on the south side of Francis Quadrangle and walk through the Columns toward the city of Columbia to symbolize their upcoming graduation from the university. More than 5,500 students are expected to receive degrees from Mizzou during the weekend of May 11-13.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – During the weekend of May 11-13, approximately 5,510 students will receive degrees during spring commencement ceremonies at the University of Missouri. University officials also will honor Ann Covington, a Mizzou alumna and the first woman to serve as chief justice of the Supreme Court of Missouri; and MU alumnus Richard Orin, an expert in tax law dedicated to professional responsibility and ethics.

Curator’s Teaching Professor of Physics Meera Chandrasekhar

A 1.1 million-dollar grant from Wipro will allow Curator’s Teaching Professor of Physics Meera Chandrasekhar and her team to expand science training to K–12 science teachers in central Missouri counties.

MU Curator’s Teaching Professor of Physics Meera Chandrasekhar and her colleagues, Teaching Professor Dorina Kosztin and Assistant Teaching Professor Karen King, spent six years training ninth-grade science teachers in Missouri to become intellectual leaders of their schools under the National Science Foundation–funded program, A TIME for Freshman Physics in Missouri, commonly called Physics First.

Nelson Perez, Jr.

Nelson Perez Jr. poses in front of a display of his artwork. When he attends the College of Arts and Science Commencement May 12 at Mizzou Arena, it will be his first visit to the Columbia campus.

Nelson Perez Jr. is a bit of a non-traditional college student. Although he has spent the past five years working toward a degree in general studies, Perez has never talked to any of his professors in person and says he probably has contacted an instructor with a question 10 times over that period. In fact, when Perez walks across the stage at Mizzou Arena May 12, it will be his first visit to the Columbia campus.

2018 Psychology Honors Capstone Group

The 2018 Psychology Honors Capstone Group poses for a group photo in Chicago the weekend of April 14.

Thirty-six seniors majoring in psychological sciences recently returned from a field trip to Chicago, where they each presented the results of a year-long research project. The students developed research posters based on their honors theses and presented them at the Midwestern Psychological Association (MPA) Conference in Chicago the weekend of April 14.

Aaron Mencher

Aaron Mencher is a junior and Sinquefield Scholar at Mizzou, studying composition with Carolina Heredia. He submitted “Bluish Orange,” a work written for flute, clarinet, and saxophone, to the Sinquefield Composition Prize competition and was selected for the prize by a panel of independent judges.

Aaron Mencher started writing music for fun while attending middle school in John’s Creek, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. He already had developed a love for music, playing the clarinet in his school’s band program since the fourth grade. Later, while a high school student, he saw an ad in his county newspaper about a small theater and asked if they needed pit musicians for musicals.

Asst. Prof. Jim Schiffbauer

Asst. Prof. Jim Schiffbauer discusses the capabilities of the Sigma 500 VP scanning electron microscope in his lab in the Geology building.

Jim Schiffbauer acts like a kid in a candy store when demonstrating the capabilities of the new equipment his lab has acquired at the Department of Geological Sciences. “We’re doing really cool work here,” he says, while showing observers the lab’s new X-ray microscope (also known as microcomputed X-ray tomography, or micro-CT) and a customized scanning electron microscope (SEM).

cd party

Alice Dade and Julie Rosenfeld performing at the CD release party last week at Hitt Street Records in downtown Columbia.

Producing recordings is a regular part of the creative achievement music professors work on but to have three professional recordings being released by three different music labels in one semester is a significant recognition for the School of Music.  Last week, three MU School of Music professors held a CD release party at Hitt Street Records in downtown Columbia to promote the success and official release of these recordings.  Much like a book is to a professor of the humanities,

Tarkow, Fischer, Schiffbauer, Whittington, Choi

(l-r) Associate Dean Ted Tarkow, Associate Vice President for Human Resources Marsha Fischer, Associate Professor Jim Schiffbauer, Geology Department Chair Alan Whittington, and University of Missouri President Mun Choi congratulate Schiffbauer on winning the President’s Award for Early Career Excellence. The group surprised Schiffbauer during a lecture in Keller Auditorium April 16.

Monday, April 16, University of Missouri System President Mun Choi awarded UM System President’s Awards to James Schiffbauer, an assistant professor of geological sciences at MU; and William Wiebold, a professor of plant sciences at MU.

University of Missouri System President Mun Choi announced a new initiative, the Presidential Engagement Fellows, that is designed to fulfill the university’s land-grant mission by sharing research discoveries with Missouri citizens in every county.  Marshall Stewart, vice chancellor for Extension and Engagement at MU, will lead this initiative.

Prof. David Crespy

Prof. David Crespy hopes the play The Rimers of Eldritch and the affiliated conference will reintroduce Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Lanford Wilson to Missourians.

The sights and sounds of a rural Ozark community will fill the stage at the Rhynsburger Theatre later this month when the MU Department of Theatre performs The Rimers of Eldritch by Pulitzer Prize-winning Missouri playwright Lanford Wilson. But Professor David Crespy, who directs the play, says audience members should not expect to see a version of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town.

Curators Distinguished Teaching Professor Suzanne Burgoyne

Curators Distinguished Teaching Professor Suzanne Burgoyne is a co-author of a study that found science communication training prepares STEM students for employment.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Many employers of science, technology, engineering and mathematics professionals are requiring new hires to communicate their research to the general public. However, most schools and graduate programs do not provide communication training to STEM students.

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