Logan Jackson
Janet Musangali photo

Growing up, Janet Musangali loved not only asking questions, but putting in the effort to uncover the answers. That natural curiosity led her to develop a passion for science.

As Musangali continues her academic journey at the University of Missouri this fall, she plans to continue to follow that passion and major in chemistry.

“Since I was little, I was always very curious,” Musangali said. “I had a wide variety of interests, and I wanted to know more about each one. I soon found out that science was a great way for me to explore those interests, as many of them were science related. The entire scientific method was intriguing to me.”

While her degree program will allow her the opportunity to dive in deeper on a variety of topics, being named a Stamps Scholar will allow Musangali to take her academics even further. Mizzou has partnered with the Stamps Foundation since 2016 on a premier scholarship for incoming Tigers. Scholars receive a full four-year scholarship, covering up to the total estimated cost of attendance, plus an additional $16,000 enrichment fund for them to use throughout their time at MU.

Stamps Scholars must be enrolled in the Honors College for all four years as well, working toward the completion of the Honors certificate. Scholars have a dedicated mentor, contact with campus leadership, alumni networking opportunities and funding for study abroad, too.

Musangali, who is from Lake Saint Louis, Mo., is one of eight Stamps Scholars who will be at Mizzou this fall.

“Being named a Scholar was truly one of the best moments of my life,” Musangali said. “I was driving when I got the call, and I basically had to pull the car over. I was so excited. I honestly didn’t even hear the rest of the conversation after I was told I was going to be a Scholar. It was such a great moment.”

Another perk of being a Stamps Scholar comes in the form of a research placement. Scholars are connected with a faculty member and research project in their interest area immediately upon arrival at MU.

“One of the biggest reasons I wanted to come to Mizzou, regardless of if I was named a Stamps Scholar or not, were the research opportunities,” Musangali said. “I knew I wanted to conduct research as an undergraduate student, and I’m so thankful that I will be able to do so. It’s even more amazing to think I’ll be able to participate as a freshman. I’m really excited to get into the lab for the first time.”

Musangali’s interest in chemistry developed when she was in high school. While the pandemic forced her to take her first chemistry class online, she was eventually able to take an AP chemistry course that showed her how exciting the subject matter could be.

“I had a tough time connecting with chemistry at first because I wasn’t in the classroom learning it,” Musangali said. “Once I was able to get those hands-on experiences, though, I knew it was the perfect fit for me. I love the critical thinking aspect and being able to use the skills I learn in class in real-world situations. I also had an amazing teacher. All of that solidified that this was the path I wanted to take.”

Musangali said that she is eventually interested in finding opportunities in the medical field. She volunteered at BJC HealthCare, a non-profit health care organization in St. Louis, Mo., while in high school and found a strong connection with the work.

“I do want help others, and I’m also fascinated with medicine and the human body in general,” Musangali said. “The human body is such a mystery, and medicine, no matter what type, is very interesting. I think I will be happy with whatever route I do end up deciding on.”

Musangali added that she is excited to begin the next part of her academic adventure at the University of Missouri.

“I learned so much about campus during the Stamps interview weekend, and I’m excited to explore even more,” Musangali said. “The people at MU are phenomenal and incredibly kind. There are so many great resources here and nearly endless opportunities to build communities of peers who have similar interests. My biggest issue is going to be picking just a few things!”