Higher Education

National soybean center opens at MU

U.S. Sen. Kit Bond greeted a crowd of scientists, professors and community members for the opening of the National Center for Soybean Biotechnology at MU on Thursday.

The center is on the second floor of the new Life Sciences Center. Speakers at the opening said they think research done at the center could lead to larger crop yields, new plant-based medicines and domestically manufactured energy sources.

Faces: Geri Hudson

Places: Laws Observatory

On the fifth floor of the MU Physics Building, a narrow, curved staircase leads to a small room dominated by a large telescope pointed toward the dome ceiling.

This is Laws Observatory, open to the public from 8 to 10 p.m. every Wednesday. Stargazers can browse the exhibit room or look through one of three telescopes on the roof — at least for the near future.

Learning about WMD

As the spread of weapons of mass destruction is pushed to the forefront of American politics, MU students can take advantage of a new opportunity to become more informed on the subject.

Next semester, MU’s Nuclear Science and Engineering Institute will launch “Nuclear Engineering 4401: Nonproliferation Issues.” The course will be taught by nuclear engineering professors Mark Prelas and Tushar Ghosh. It will focus on the resources needed for the creation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. It will also look at the reasons these weapons are created and their dangers.

Journalism library to address user needs

The new MU journalism library, to be located in the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, will be more user-friendly and more technologically advanced than the current library, said Marsha Hoffman, senior associate at Shaughnessy Fickel and Scott Architects, the Kansas City firm designing the institute.

The institute, slated to open in the fall of 2007, is being funded by a $31 million gift from the Reynolds Foundation, given to the Missouri School of Journalism in February. It is the largest donation in MU history.

India Nite festivities are a growing affair

In its 13-year tradition, India Nite has grown tremendously in popularity and in terms of its performances. Saturday evening, the Columbia public will have an opportunity to experience the diverse dancing, music and other festivities that the event has to offer.

House calls for horses

Students of the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery have the opportunity to get hands-on experience with an elective class, Ambulatory Care. The class lasts three weeks and is typical of most veterinary schools. Students, along with their instructors, make house calls in the Columbia area, providing veterinary services to horse trainers and owners.

Reading to feature professor’s work

MU Greek History professor Ian Worthington will present a short reading of his book "Alexander the Great: Man and God" at Barnes & Noble, November 9 at 7 p.m. A consultant for the National Geographic documentary on Alexander the Great, he has also written many books on Greek history

MU Latino studies center opened

Waiting for the opening of MU’s Latino studies center has been “similar to waiting for the birth of a new baby,” Handy Williamson, vice provost for international programs and faculty development, said at a Tuesday ribbon-cutting for the Cambio Center.

Forces behind the center’s creation, including Williamson, planned, prepared, budgeted and even spruced up a spare room during the past three years as they waited for the Cambio Center to come to fruition.

Haunted tour mixes knowledge with fun

MU’s Museum of Art and Archaeology will intertwine art education and holiday celebration in the museum’s first Halloween-inspired event. The Haunted Museum Tour will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at MU’s Pickard Hall, at Ninth Street and University Avenue.

“This is an opportunity for people of all ages to come into the museum if they have been here before or if they are first-time visitors,” said Angela Lawler, the museum’s associate educator.

Panel’s focus is impact of Brown case

Fifty years later, the ruling seems fixed in American ideology: separate is not equal.

But panelists at a forum discussing the landmark 1954 decision Brown v. Board of Education said achieving the Supreme Court’s vision will require focus — not on segregated education or integrated education, but education itself.

The last word

By any contemporary definition of politics, MU seniors Jonathon Coulson and Danny French are adversaries.

Coulson, a member of the College Democrats majoring in advertising, proudly displays “Vote Kerry” pins on his black school bag.

Journalism institute director named

MU alumna and Pulitzer Prize winner Pam Johnson will become the first executive director of the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute in mid-November.

“The first thing I will work on is outreach to the newspaper and broadcast industry,” Johnson said. “We need to explain the institute to the industry across the country.”


Jill Hermsen wears two hats at MU. Not only is she coordinator of International Students and Scholars Services, but she is also working on her doctorate in education leadership and policy analysis. The double workload requires serious amounts of balancing, Hermsen said.

Being a student again showed her a perspective that she finds helpful to her job. Working with 1,400 international students, Hermsen’s primary role is to help teach them the rules, regulations and customs of America and MU. She also advises internationals on their options while at school and after graduation.

Charmed by jewelry

Every week for 15 to 20 hours, Shira Wasserman sits in her office — a desk tucked in the corner of her bedroom — and makes jewelry for the company she has been nurturing since she was 16.

Now, 21 years old, the Stephens College senior has single-handedly made Shira Melody Jewelry into a notable company, selling her creations in stores in Columbia, Kansas City and Lawrence, Kan.

How do I?

If you are an MU faculty member, please visit the University Registrar office website and download a new course proposal form.

Campus Updates

Starting Monday, MU’s George Caleb Bingham Gallery will host “Farm Story: A Place of Belonging,” a thesis exhibition by master’s student Joleen Goff.

Goff’s work was influenced by her experiences on her grandparents’ farm in southeastern Kansas, according to information about her from the gallery. It includes a series of silk-screened and painted canvas squares hung on a clothesline that show day-to-day life on the farm.

Unlikely teamwork in saving ‘war’ rivalry

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Foes by tradition, some students at MU and the University of Kansas are joining forces to oppose their schools’ decision to drop the name “Border War” from a sponsored athletic rivalry.

The schools issued a joint announcement Oct. 4 saying the 2-year-old trophy contest, decided by Jayhawk-Tiger competition in common sports during an academic year, would be renamed the “Border Showdown.”

Talk is tops

It seems fitting that the MU debate team’s primary method of recruiting new members is by word-of-mouth. The debaters obviously are good speakers, as the team, only in its second year, is ranked No. 1 in the nation.

The team has made huge strides since its inception a year ago. In last year’s first competition, the team sent five members to compete. This year, MU sent 16 debaters to the same competition — and walked away with first-place honors.

Career fair gives grads chance to dream big

Tables with bright banners and towering posters circled the walls and the center of the Dulany Hall Banquet Room. More than 100 students lapped the track formed by 20 employers and graduate schools. The students came in search of careers and educations at Columbia College’s annual career and graduate fair Wednesday evening.

Cindy Collet made her way determinedly around the room. Collet, 40, is a full-time senior studying psychology and sociology. She also is the divorced mother of an 8- and a 10-year-old.