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Why Black Lives Matter

The global movement for racial and ethnic justice has reinvigorated deep interest in the critical exploration of inequality, the history of race and racism, student activism, international human rights struggle, law enforcement and the criminal justice system, the arts and cultural resistance, and environmental justice, to name but a few.

Keona Ervin

MU History Professor Keona Ervin's new book, The Labor of Dignity: Black Women, Urban Politics, and the Struggle for Economic Justice in the Gateway City, 1931–1969, is expected to be published in late 2016 or early 2017.

Keona K. Ervin can easily connect the dots from the fight for racial equality and justice on college campuses across the country today to the civil rights struggles of the 1960s, which in turn were an outgrowth of social movement activism of the 1930s and ’40s.

Sarah Ward

People who trust their intuition, or gut instincts, may at times be less likely to commit immoral acts compared to those who tend to discount their gut feelings. That’s one of the conclusions of a study conducted by fourth-year social personality psychology doctoral candidate Sarah Ward.

Haley Horstman

Human beings are storytellers. Few of us would claim to be storytellers in the vein of Mark Twain, but each of us creates stories in our heads to help us make sense of our challenging experiences, our everyday lives, and our identities.

Ben Colagiovanni

University of Missouri composition student Ben Colagiovanni has won this year’s award in the “Young Artist” category of the Missouri state division of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) composition competition.

Colagiovanni, a junior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in music composition at Mizzou, was recognized for “Forest Park Rhapsody.”

biosci workshop flyer

The Division of Biological Sciences, in conjunction with MU’s Computational Neurobiology Center, is offering three training opportunities in computational neuroscience this summer for all levels, from undergraduate to faculty. All three interdisciplinary programs emphasize the use of integrative approaches to understand how the activity of individual neurons within neural circuits give rise to outputs ranging from movement to thought.

Mary Jo Muratore

Professor of French Mary Jo Muratore says her principal objective has always been to focus on innovative scholarship and to share the processes of research and writing with students at all levels.  Muratore’s dedication to her work and her devotion to her students are being recognized by the university—she was recently named the University of Missouri Curators’ Teaching Professor for 2015.

Melissa Range

A recent doctoral graduate of the MU English department’s creative writing program has been named a winner of the National Poetry Series annual Open Competition. Melissa Range’s Scriptorium was among five winning entries selected in this year’s competition and will be published by Beacon Press. Each of the five winning poets will receive $10,000 and publication in 2016 by a trade, university, or small press.

Cory Koedel

Cory Koedel, an associate professor of economics and public policy in the MU College of Arts and Science and the Truman School of Public Affairs, found that people with for-profit college degrees are no more likely to get call-backs from hiring managers than those with two year community college degrees.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – In the past decade, enrollment and graduation numbers have risen in for-profit colleges; however, little is known about how employers perceive potential employees with for-profit college degrees on their resumes. In a new study, researchers at the University of Missouri found that hiring managers show no preference for hiring people with for-profit college credentials compared to those holding comparable credentials from public community colleges.

Dale Cutkosky

Dale Cutkosky, professor of mathematics at the University of Missouri, has been named a fellow of the American Mathematical Society (AMS), one of just 50 mathematical scientists from around the world to receive the honor. The fellows program recognizes members who have made outstanding contributions to the creation, exposition, advancement, communication, and utilization of mathematics.

Elisa Glick

Two faculty members in the College of Arts and Science are among the five professors on the MU campus to receive the William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence this year. Elisa Glick, an associate professor in the Department of English and the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, has been an MU faculty member since 2001.

Curators' Professor Ken Sheldon

Ken Sheldon likes to put a positive spin on things.  As a professor of psychological sciences, Sheldon is active in the positive psychology movement and spends part of his research focusing on whether it is possible for people to become happier. He says being named a Curators’ Professor—one of the university’s highest honors—means the university recognizes the international reputation he has built as a researcher in motivation, positive, and personality psychology.

Amanda Prasuhn

Amanda Prasuhn, B.S. ’12, received her JD degree from Stanford Law in June.

Amanda Prasuhn, B.S. ’12, has always been passionate about animals.

“If you look up my name in my fifth-grade yearbook, you’ll see I planned on trekking out into the bamboo forests of Asia to protect giant pandas from extinction,” she says.

Now, just months after completing her JD degree from Stanford Law, the MU alum has begun her career fighting for endangered and threatened animals.

Michael Marlo

Michael Marlo is going back to Kenya. The assistant professor of English was awarded a four-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant last year to research four underdocumented varieties of Luyia, a group of Bantu languages in Kenya and Uganda. But when Marlo returns to Kenya in January to continue his research, he will do so as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar.

the columns

Whether you are currently a student, faculty member, or an MU graduate, odds are you can quickly name your favorite professor. That person might be someone who helped you understand a difficult subject, or steered your research in a new direction, or helped you evaluate your career choices.

Brick Johnstone

Brick Johnstone and other MU researchers found individuals who were more self-aware had higher levels of empathy.

Empathy, or the ability to identify with others’ feelings, often is considered an important relational skill. Previously, researchers had hypothesized that in order for individuals to be empathetic, they needed to be selfless. However, University of Missouri researchers found just the opposite: individuals who were more self-aware had higher levels of empathy.

Dr. Susan Nagel

Associate Professor Susan Nagel was selected for the Barry Commoner Science in Environmental Service Award by the Missouri Coalition for the Environment. Dr. Nagel received the award for identifying the hazards associated with hydraulic fracking. The award is named for Barry Commoner, a former professor of plant physiology and chair of botany at Washington University in St.

Stephanie Shonekan

Stephanie Shonekan, chair of the College of Arts and Science’s Department of Black Studies, says she wants to initiate a series of conversations about the status of black lives. Shonekan succeeded Wilma King, the Arvarh E. Strickland Distinguished Professor Emerita of History and Black Studies, as chair of the department this semester. The department’s annual fall conference will be held Oct. 22 in the Mark Twain Ballroom in Memorial Union.


Seeking a greater presence in the metro-St. Louis region, the University of Missouri’s College of Arts & Science has opened an office on the Cortex Innovation Community campus in CIC led by former Mizzou football star Howard Richards.

Rick Ross, Kevin Costner, Jon Baird

The creative team behind The Explorers Guild, from left to right: Rick Ross, Kevin Costner, Jon Baird.

Many of us fondly remember reading adventure stories when we were young, such as Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island or Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. We would defy our parents’ admonition to “Go to sleep!” and hide under the covers with our book and a flashlight and race through the pulse-pounding narrative until we could no longer keep our eyes open. The book’s illustrations flooded our dreams, and we awoke in the morning eager to pick up where we left off.


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