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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.

Suchi Guha

As computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices become ubiquitous throughout most of the developed world, there are growing concerns about electronic waste. The City of Columbia and the University of Missouri occasionally hold e-waste collection days, allowing people to dispose of their old computers, cell phones, or other electronic gadgets. Some of the materials are recycled, but the rest eventually will end up in a landfill somewhere.

Steve Hackley

Steven Hackley determined that ancient neural circuits responsible for moving the ears, still may be responsive to sounds that attract our attention. Neuroscientists studying auditory function could use these ancient muscles to study positive emotions and infant hearing deficits.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Vestigial organs, such as the wisdom teeth in humans, are those that have become functionless through the course of evolution. Now, a psychologist at the University of Missouri studying vestigial muscles behind the ears in humans has determined that ancient neural circuits responsible for moving the ears, still may be responsive to sounds that attract our attention.

2015 Hall of Fame class photo

(l-r) Mark Wilkins, Robert Fulstone, Maj. Lindsey Decker, Col. Nelson McCouch III, Lt. Col.  Richard Wheeler, Lt. Col. Frederick Selby, Col. Gary Bridgewater, Col. Stephen Green.

The University of Missouri’s Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) honored 10 alumni by inducting them into the ROTC Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Crowder Hall October 3.

Jonathan Bradley

For roughly a decade, the U.S. Census Bureau has been publishing the American Community Survey (ACS), which provides timely information on a number of key demographics. The ACS, which replaced the Census Bureau’s long-form decennial census, is published in one-year, three-year and five-year period estimates. This information is used by city planners, demographers, and researchers for a variety of applications such as understanding how a particular community changes over time.

Page Quinton

Researchers at the University of Missouri hope that gaining an understanding of major changes in the Earth’s climate in the distant past can improve climate modeling to better predict the future direction of climate change. Fourth-year geologic sciences doctoral student Page Quinton, whose area of expertise is paleoclimatology, has been studying carbon and oxygen isotopes in rocks from the Ordovician Period.


The Faculty-Alumni Awards, begun in 1968, recognize the achievements of faculty and alumni. Faculty are considered for their work as teachers, administrators and researchers. Alumni are considered for their professional accomplishments and service to Mizzou.

Bombus sylvicola

Bombus sylvicola is one of two bumblebee species in the central Rocky Mountains that has responded to a decline in flowering in alpine habitats by evolving a shorter tongue, an adaptation that favors generalist feeding. (Image courtesy: N. Miller-Struttmann)

A new study shows that two alpine bumblebee species have responded to a decline in flowering due to warming temperatures by evolving shorter tongues. The results suggest that some bumblebee species may be able to adapt to environmental challenges caused by climate change.

Frances Dickey

When members of the T.S. Eliot Society gather in St. Louis this weekend for the group’s annual meeting, they will be greeted with a new collection of the famous poet’s essays.

Brick Johnstone

Brick Johnstone found individuals’ health is worse when they believe they are ill because they have done something wrong and God is punishing them. Photo by Rob Hill.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Individuals who blame karma for their poor health have more pain and worse physical and mental health, according to a new study from University of Missouri researchers. Targeted interventions to counteract negative spiritual beliefs could help some individuals decrease pain and improve their overall health, the researchers said.

Col. Steve Marks

Col. Steve Marks, BA ’92, has been commanding troops for 22 years, but his latest assignment promises to test his leadership abilities. In late August, Marks was named garrison commander of United States Army Garrison Italy, where he will be responsible for the execution of all base-support operations, enhancing quality of life for over 15,000 soldiers, family members, civilians, and local workers.  Marks says his new position is analogous to being a city manager.

Karen Piper

When Karen Piper was just seven years old, her parents packed up the family car and moved a thousand miles from Seattle, Washington, to China Lake, California. Piper’s father, an aerospace engineer for Boeing, was laid off by the company in the late 1960s and had been unemployed for six months when he received an offer from the Naval Ordnance Test Station at China Lake. Piper says the job was a godsend to her family, but the new living arrangements would present many challenges.

Ilyana Karthas

Ilyana Karthas says her fellow historians and other academics have not considered the important influence of ballet on French culture, national identity, and modern aesthetics. She hopes to correct that oversight with the release of her book, When Ballet Became French: Modern Ballet and the Cultural Politics of France, 1909–1939 from McGill-Queen’s University Press, Montreal.

Steven Watts

The views and opinions expressed in this “for expert comment” release are based on research and/or opinions of the researcher(s) and/or faculty member(s) and do not reflect the University’s official stance.

By Sheena Rice

the columns

Ruthie Angelovici

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

Ruthie Angelovici