Broadcaster Jann Carl, International Animal Genetics Leader Honored by Mizzou Alumni

A&S Faculty Honored at MU Awards Ceremony
Nathan Hurst
News Source: 
MU News Bureau
German and Russian Studies

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Mizzou Alumni Association (MAA) will honor broadcasting legend Jann Carl, internationally recognized geneticist Jerry Taylor, and 13 other outstanding faculty and alumni at its 49th annual Faculty-Alumni Awards Ceremony on Nov. 11 in the Reynolds Alumni Center. The Distinguished Service Award, Distinguished Faculty Award and Faculty-Alumni Awards will be presented to outstanding MU faculty and alumni.

Jann Carl, who earned a bachelor’s degree from the MU School of Journalism in 1982, will receive the 61st annual Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor presented to alumni by the MAA. Established in 1956, the award recognizes outstanding service by an individual whose efforts have added to MU’s excellence.

A champion of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) for 28 years, Carl has served as the national vice president and on MDA’s board of directors. Carl has been supportive of Mizzou since her undergraduate days when she performed as the tiger mascot and served as Mizzou Homecoming Grand Marshal. Carl also served as master of ceremonies for the “Model Citizen” fashion shows benefiting the MU Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders and sat on the national steering committee for the For All We Call Mizzou capital campaign.

In her broadcasting career, including 14 years as an anchor and senior correspondent on Entertainment Tonight (ET), Carl has covered earthquakes, oil spills, the Emmys and the Oscars. At ET, she was nationally respected for her interviewing skills. The major stars and influential newsmakers she has interviewed include: Barack and Michelle Obama, Tom Cruise, Jimmy Carter, Oprah Winfrey, Johnny Depp, Robert Redford, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Steven Spielberg, and Meryl Streep.  Carl also co-hosted ABC’s Oscar Countdown Academy Awards pre-show and the Tournament of Roses parade coverage on CBS and HGTV. Carl worked as a reporter for WLS in Chicago and KABC in Los Angeles. Currently she is the co-owner and co-host of Small Town Big Deal, a nationally syndicated family-friendly show that highlights positive story-telling and uplifting content about the hard-working people of America.

Jeremy F. “Jerry” Taylor, Curators Distinguished Professor of Genetics and Wurdack Endowed Chair in Animal Genomics, will be honored with the 57th annual Distinguished Faculty Award, the highest honor presented to a faculty member by the MAA. Established in 1960, the award recognizes a faculty member whose sustained efforts in teaching, research and service have added to MU’s excellence. The award places special emphasis on the recipient’s relationships with students.

An international leader in genomics, Taylor is a key player in the translation of next-generation genetic sequencing technologies, making DNA testing a reality for preventative medicine, which could lead to treatments for diseases in humans and animals. Taylor and his research team helped design the Illumina GeneChip, which has revolutionized how genetic testing for animals is performed, making it faster, easier and cheaper than ever before. The first chip his team developed is on display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. Taylor’s ground-breaking work on cattle genomics has led to more efficient livestock breeding operations, which has helped improve agricultural economies around the world, creating more food for hungry populations. His work in cattle has been copied and applied to pigs, sheep, horses and chickens—and has not stopped with livestock species. Farmers now use Taylor’s DNA-based genomic improvement to improve plant crops as well. Over the course of his career, Taylor has given more than 450 national and international invited presentations and has received more than $43 million in research funding. He joined the University of Missouri faculty in 2002.

MAA Faculty-Alumni Awards recognize the achievements of faculty and alumni. Assistant, associate and full professors are considered for their work as teachers and researchers and their relationships with students. Alumni are considered for their professional accomplishments and service to their communities and alma mater. This year, 13 awards will be presented:

  • Nicole M. Monnier, teaching professor of Russian (faculty member).

Monnier joined the MU Department of German and Russian in 2000 and has contributed to all aspects of the MU academic mission since. She teaches courses ranging from introductory courses in Russian culture to graduate-level courses in prose and drama. Monnier served as the director for undergraduate studies in Russian since 2002 and is now the department’s associate chair. For her service to MU, Monnier received various awards such as the William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching. In addition, she received two College of Arts and Science Purple Chalk Awards for excellence in teaching, a Blue Chalk Award for undergraduate advising and the MU Ann Covington Award for mentorship. Outside of MU, Monnier served as the vice president of the Central Slavic Conference, as well as board member, committee chair and newsletter editor for the Association of Women in Slavic Studies.

“One of my favorite parts of my jobs is the one-on-one advising and mentorship opportunities,” Monnier said. “It is an unmitigated pleasure to work with intelligent and motivated students. Mentoring has come back to me in ways I had never expected.”

  • Leo Contreras Saguiguit, associate professor of music (faculty member).

When he is not teaching, Saguiguit enjoys performing as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and abroad, including Cuba, France, Italy, Sweden, Greece, China, Taiwan, Thailand and the Philippines. He regularly performs as a member of the Athens Saxophone Quartet, widely considered one of the top professional ensembles in Greece. In addition, he has appeared in more than a dozen CDs, including six with the professional wind ensemble Philharmonia à Vent and others with the Chicago, Chromos and Impuls Saxophone Quartets. For his accomplishments, he has won various awards including the Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts in 1987 and the bronze medal in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in 1997. Under his mentorship, his students have won numerous competitions at the state, regional and national levels. Saguiguit also has created new professional chamber ensembles with his alumni such as Trio Chymera and the Missouri Saxophone Quartet.

“There’s a saying, ‘learn to live and live to learn.’ It is something that has guided my life and teaching philosophy,” Saguiguit said. “I’ve had many great teachers and mentors in college, graduate school and my professional life who have helped me become a good musician. But I continue to learn much more from my students and colleagues. Surrounding myself with great people has inspired me to become a better performer, a better teacher and a better person.”

  • Karen Ann Ehlmann, retired senior manager for The Boeing Company (alumna).
  • Margaret Engel, executive director of the Alicia Patterson Foundation (alumna).
  • Theodore W. Hellman, retired executive of Procter & Gamble (alumnus).
  • John S. Howe, Missouri Bankers Chair and professor in the department of finance (faculty member).
  • William G. Little, president of Quam-Nichols Company, Inc. (alumnus).
  • James S. Noble, professor of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering (faculty member).
  • Earnest L. Perry, associate professor of journalism and associate dean for graduate studies (faculty member and alumnus).
  • Jennifer Lynn Rowe, associate professor of journalism (faculty member and alumna).
  • David R. Russell, commissioner emeritus, Missouri Department of Higher Education (alumnus).
  • Vicki Riback Wilson, retired coordinator of MU service-learning and fellowships (alumna).
  • Marvin E. “Bunky” Wright, retired UM System general counsel (alumnus).

The Mizzou Alumni Association (MAA) strengthens MU by supporting the best interests and traditions of Missouri’s flagship university. MU is the state’s largest and oldest university and the state's major public, land-grant research institution. The Association is the voice for nearly 270,000 alumni worldwide and keeps alumni connected to each other and their alma mater. Since 1853, MAA has influenced generations of students and alumni by preserving their traditions.

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