Professor Cheryl Black

Cheryl Black, professor of acting, theater history, and dramaturgy has always loved theater. She enjoys studying the history and theory of theater just as much as she relishes any opportunity to actively participate in a play. Her role as a leader in the field was recently affirmed when she was named a fellow of the Mid-America Theatre Conference (MATC).  

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Considerable attention has been paid to how boys’ educational achievements in science and math compare to girls’ accomplishments in those areas, often leading to the assumption that boys outperform girls in these areas.

Larry Dale Clark, dean emeritus of the College of Arts and Science and professor emeritus of theatre

Larry Dale Clark, dean emeritus of the College of Arts and Science and professor emeritus of theatre, passed away in December at age 82 in Columbia, Missouri.

Lacy Johnson

For her harrowing memoir, "The Other Side," Houston writer Lacy Johnson has been named a finalist for two prestigious national awards: a National Book Critics Circle Award for the best autobiography of 2014; and an

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The evaluation of public school teachers is a topic addressed regularly by voters and policymakers around the country. Researchers at the University of Missouri have identified a plan to evaluate teachers fairly using a “proportional” system.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Gold nanoparticles have been proven useful in a number of medical applications.  Scientists are developing nanoparticles to produce pharmaceuticals used in the imaging and diagnosis of diseases such as cancer, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease and eye degeneration. However, problems occur in the development of these nanoparticles as toxic chemicals are sometimes released during the manufacturing process.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – When seeking clues about the future effects of possible climate change, sometimes scientists look to the past. Now, a paleobiologist from the University of Missouri has found indications of a greater risk of parasitic infection due to climate change in ancient mollusk fossils.


Christmas came early this year for the Museum of Anthropology.  An anonymous donor gave 700 stone tools from Africa and Europe to the museum.

James Birchler, Curators’ Professor of Biological Sciences

James Birchler, Curators’ Professor of Biological Sciences, was recently selected as a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) for his distinguished contributions to the field of cytogenetics, a branch of science that examines the structure and function of cells, especially chromosomes.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – A new study from University of Missouri and Virginia Tech researchers is challenging accepted ideas about how ancient soft-bodied organisms become part of the fossil record. Findings suggest that bacteria involved in the decay of those organisms play an active role in how fossils are formed—often in a matter of just a few tens to hundreds of years.

Pyritized Conotubus specimens  Photo credit: Yaoping Cai, Northwest University, Xi'an China

The mountains of the Ningqiang area, in the southern Shaanxi province of south China, are a paleontological gold mine. James Schiffbauer, assistant professor of geology, collected a variety of samples from a specific locality in this region, known as the Gaojiashan Lagerstätte, to aid in his ongoing paleobiology and taphonomy research.

Jerry Atwood, Curators’ Professor of Chemistry

Jerry Atwood, Hank Foley, and Silvia Jurisson have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Election as an AAAS fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. This year, 401 members were awarded the honor by AAAS as a result of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Cytogenetics is a branch of science that studies the structure and function of cells with a focus on the chromosomes found within the cell. Often, plant cell researchers can be limited in their experiments due to the lack of methods available to study these complex structures.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Nanomedicine is the medical application of nanotechnology, or the use of microscopic structures to diagnose, image, treat and prevent disease. Current problems in nanomedicine include understanding and anticipating the potentially toxic impact these nanostructures have on the body and the environment once they’re released.

The Price of Thirst

During the school year, Professor Karen Piper teaches classes on climate change fiction and postcolonial literature. During the summer, she travels the globe conducting research. For the past seven years, she has been gathering information for her latest book, The Price of Thirst.

The Empire Rolls

Roller derby has become increasingly popular in North America in recent years. Trudy Lewis, professor of English, enjoys watching her friends on the CoMo Derby Dames team—she is inspired by women’s spaces. As she learned more about the culture of roller derby in the Midwest, she knew she had found the setting for her next novel.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Chemistry is a branch of physical science studying composition, structure and properties of matter.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Nuclear medicine is the branch of medicine that uses radioactive materials to provide diagnostics and treatments for cancer. Often, standard protocols involve using radioactive isotopes developed to image as well as weaken cancer cells in the body.

Melvin Platt, chair of the Department of Art and professor of music

After retirement, some people choose to travel or begin a new hobby. Melvin Platt, chair of the Department of Art, will be taking on a new responsibility; he was recently selected to be the District Governor for Rotary District 6080, which encompasses most of central and southern Missouri, from 2017 to 2018. A longtime member of the Rotary Club of Columbia, Platt served as club president from 2012 to 2013. Platt is also a longtime leader at MU.

Billboard in Copenhagen during the UN Climate Change Conference.  Photo by Michael Urban, chair and associate professor of the department of geography.

Climate change policy is a hot topic in the news lately. After the United Nations Climate Conference earlier this year, the U.S. and China finally recently reached an agreement. Outside observers often wonder: how do these negotiations work? MU students gained some new insight into all the complexities of climate change policy in Geography 1600. This class on climate change, science, and public policy is taught by Michael Urban, chair and associate professor of the department of geography.


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