Associate Professor Rabia Gregory

Associate Professor Rabia Gregory recently received a $30,000 grant from the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology & Religion to develop a more reflective approach to teaching about religious diversity on campus and across the state.

Rabia Gregory, an associate professor of religious studies at MU, says certain things come up in the classroom during the first couple weeks of the semester so often as to be predictable. The department teaches about religion from a secular perspective, but Gregory says that is a perspective that few students are exposed to before leaving home for college.

Mizzou North

The University of Missouri Museum of Anthropology will reopen to the public and begin normal operations on Saturday, Sept. 16.  Museum hours will be Tuesday-Friday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., 12 – 4 p.m. on the weekends, and closed Mondays. The public is invited to a small event on Friday, Sept. 15 at 5:30 p.m. to mark the museum’s reopening.

Sarah Ward

Sarah Ward says her latest research tries to ascertain how people arrive at their judgments of situations that seem morally wrong to many people but do not actually involve harm or victims.

People who strongly trust their gut instincts tend to make snap judgments about whether something is morally wrong or not, and they do not change their point of view even after thinking about the issue. That’s the conclusion of a series of studies conducted by Sarah Ward, a doctoral candidate in social/ personality psychology.

2017 award winners

2017 award recipients Jeanne Cairns Sinquefield, Rick Ross, Mark Wilkins, and Paul L. Leath gather for a group photo at the 36th annual Arts and Science Banquet at the Reynolds Alumni Center (not pictured: Distinguished Service Award recipient Yvonne Lou Murray Clark).

The College of Arts and Science has built a proud tradition of honoring alumni and friends through its annual alumni awards program.  The success of the program is largely due to the assistance of friends and alumni who provide us with nominations on behalf of deserving individuals. 

The college is seeking nominations for candidates in each of the following categories: 

Distinguished Alumni Award

Associate Professor of Philosophy Phillip Robbins

Associate Professor of Philosophy Phillip Robbins has been working in the area of experimental philosophy, which employs the tools of empirical social science to investigate how ordinary people, with no special training in philosophy, think about philosophical issues.

Anyone who has seen an episode of Law & Order knows that if the defense attorney can successfully portray his client as a victim, jurors may be less inclined to assign blame to the defendant or may reduce the severity of the defendant’s punishment. Research confirms this is more than just a television trope—casting the perpetrator of a transgression as a victim tends to make them seem less blameworthy.

Disaster and Community Crisis Center

Researchers at the University of Missouri have now identified a framework that can help victims of domestic violence before, during and after disaster events.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Hurricane Harvey is the most recent natural disaster that has caused damage and destruction across many communities. When disasters strike an entire community, they do not affect all community members equally, and victims of domestic violence are often particularly vulnerable. Researchers at the University of Missouri have now identified a framework that can help victims of domestic violence before, during and after disaster events.

Jenna Lee

 “I think this research draws attention to the importance of studying men and women in research, especially in studies of exercise and physiology,” says Jenna Lee, a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the Department of Psychological Sciences.

New research from the Department of Psychological Sciences suggests physical activity can change diet preferences in males, but not females. Jenna Lee, a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the lab of associate professor of psychological sciences Matt Will, says she was curious why we eat for pleasurable purposes instead of nutritional need.

Prof. Mitchell McKinney

Mitchell McKinney and his team found that issue-based tweeting was directly related to greater knowledge acquisition, and social watching actually helps viewers solidify their beliefs around their chosen candidates.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Politics and Twitter now seem inseparable, especially with politicians tweeting increasingly to connect with their supporters. A team of researchers at the University of Missouri’s Political Communication Institute (PCI) have found evidence that social media engagement—or social watching— during last year’s presidential debates produced beneficial effects for those engaged on Twitter while watching the debates on TV.

jesse hall

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Preliminary figures for enrollment at the University of Missouri indicate that Mizzou students are enjoying a successful collegiate career. MU began classes today with an enrollment of more than 30,000 students. This includes a freshman class of more than 4,100 students and the second highest retention rate in MU’s history at 86.6 percent. The retention rate measures how many freshmen from the 2016-17 school year are returning to Mizzou.

Professor Peverill Squire

Prof. Peverill Squire’s latest book, The Rise of the Representative, explores the 157-year history of representative institutions in Colonial America up to Independence.

The first representative assembly in Colonial America was created in Virginia in 1619, by the corporation that created the colony, in order to serve the needs of the corporation. Peverill Squire, an MU political science professor, says the colony was not flourishing, and the corporation, the Virginia Company of London, believed that if the stakeholders—the colonists—had a say in things, colonial life might improve.

Drew Nikonowicz

Drew Nikonowicz has been invited to exhibit his work as part of Mizzou’s total solar eclipse observation. He will present a 20-minute discussion of his photographs as part of a panel discussion from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Aug. 19 in Monsanto Auditorium at the Bond Life Sciences Center.

Photographer Drew Nikonowicz, BFA ’16, says reactions to his work often differ depending upon the age of the viewer. Nikonowicz, 24, says the thesis of his work is founded in his world view.

Jacob Burkhart

Jacob Burkhart and his team suggest that a salamander’s success may depend more on when it breeds than on the landscape obstacles it might face. Scientists believe that knowing the patterns in which salamanders move back and forth could lead to better forest management and conservation strategies.

COLUMBIA, Mo. –With changing environments, pond-breeding salamanders face increasingly hazardous treks as the space between breeding ponds and their non-breeding habitat widens or is degraded. A study from the University of Missouri suggests that a salamander’s success may depend more on when it breeds than on the landscape obstacles it might face.

Heather Carver and Bill Horner

The impact of the 1976 season of SNL on the presidential race between incumbent Gerald Ford and political newcomer Jimmy Carter is the subject of a new book written by the husband-and-wife team of Bill Horner and Heather Carver.

Politicians have been a ripe target for humorists for generations. Mark Twain, for example, quipped that “Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” Will Rogers once said, "There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the entire government working for you." As long as we have had political representatives, we have had people making fun of them. Television, however, took the art of spoofing politicians to a whole new level.

Lael Keiser

Lael Keiser, professor of public policy and administration, has been appointed director of the Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs at MU, effective Sept. 1. On that date, the Truman School will incorporate into the College of Arts and Science.

COLUMBIA, Mo. –Patricia Okker, interim dean of the College of Arts and Science at the University of Missouri, today announced that Lael Keiser, professor of public policy and administration, has been appointed director of the Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs at MU, effective Sept. 1. On that date, the Truman School will incorporate into the College of Arts and Science.

The Fulbright Triptych

The centerpiece of the exhibit is Simon Dinnerstein’s monumental work, The Fulbright Triptych, which New York Times art critic Roberta Smith called a “crackling, obsessive showboat of a painting, dreamed up during a decade when the medium supposedly teetered on the brink of death.”

The picture will tell you what it wants—you just have to listen really hard and channel what that picture is telling you and try to follow it, and that’s what I’m trying to do. - Simon Dinnerstein

Assistant Professor of Geological Sciences John Huntley

On his most recent trip to Italy, Assistant Professor John Huntley discovered a connection between sea-level rise and trematode prevalence on a much shorter time scale than previous findings.

As the warming planet continues to cause sea levels to rise, new research suggests rising seas eventually could prove detrimental to human health. John Huntley, an assistant professor of paleobiology in the department of geological sciences at MU, has just published his first paper stemming from research he conducted as a senior visiting fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Bologna, Italy, last summer.

Kattesh Katti

Kattesh Katti and his team have developed a non-toxic delivery method using gold nanoparticles that may revolutionize Ayurveda. His technique for producing the nanoparticles recently was licensed by Dhanvantari Nano Ayushadi (DNA), a company base in Tamil Nadu, India.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Ayurvedic medicine (also called Ayurveda) is one of the world’s oldest medical systems. Originating in India more than 5,000 years ago, this holistic medicine system uses herbal compounds, special diets and other health care practices to augment conventional preventative and disease treatments.

Associate Professor Catherine Rymph

Catherine Rymph, an associate professor of history at MU, has written a book that examines the modern history of foster care in the United States.

In Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, released in 1838, Oliver is an orphan born in a workhouse and sold as an apprentice to an undertaker. He later escapes and joins a gang of young pickpockets, led by elderly ringleader Fagin. Dickens’ tale exposed the cruel treatment of many orphans in London in the mid-19th century.

Assistant Teaching Professor Katina Bitsicas

Assistant Teaching Professor Katina Bitsicas will help students create digital animation projects to convey their eclipse experiences during the Summers @ Mizzou camp in July.

The fact that Columbia, Missouri, is in the path of totality for the August 21st solar eclipse is going to make this year’s Summers @ Mizzou camp a lot more interesting. Camp participants—mostly high school students—will be “Telling the Stories of the Stars” by learning the science behind the solar eclipse and then creating oral stories and digital-animation projects to convey what they have learned.


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