Higher Education

Historic Senior Hall

Historic Senior Hall, the oldest building on the Stephens College campus, has served many purposes throughout the years.

It was a home, a library, a hospital ward and a residence hall. What makes it famous, however, is its alleged ghost.

Putting on a new face

It was once a place where high school proms and dances were held. Built in 1938, Lela Raney Wood Hall was named for the wife of James Madison Wood, the president of Stephens College at the time. It also used to serve as a residence hall.

By 1995, the hall was in such a state of detoration that it was forced to close even as students protested.

Faces: Joe Johnston

Joe Johnston is a man divided. As half professor of counseling, half director of MU’s Career Center in the Student Success Center, his “lifetime commitment to making students into service providers” seems to take up much of his time.

The Student Success Center, on Lowry Mall, is dedicated to helping students create and accomplish personal and academic goals. But when given time to himself, the 68-year-old father of four likes to return to more peaceful surroundings — the small, 2½ -acre plot south of town that is his home.

Campus Updates

Two MU faculty members were honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Faculty Research and Creative Activity at the annual Faculty Recognition Awards this month.

Laura King, a professor of psychological sciences, received the behavioral and social sciences award. Her research focuses on the stories people tell about their life experiences; she is working on a project examining how students negotiate identity changes from high school to college.

Thinking smart

Two MU students casually discuss the relative merits of empiricism and rationalism — not in class or a nook of Ellis Library but over a buffet dinner of chicken skewers, egg rolls and meatballs spread across their professor’s dining room table.

In the living room is their host and teacher, Stuart Palonsky, speaking to one of his 15 student guests, comparing raking his wooded yard to the Greek myth of Sisyphus, who is sentenced to push a boulder up a steep hill, only to have it roll back down again for eternity.

McCubbin excited for new job as alumni director

The third week of October was a big one for Todd McCubbin, filled with new opportunities as he became executive director of the MU Alumni Association and associate vice chancellor for alumni relations.

But there was more.


David Clithero, senior executive director of advancement for MU’s Office of Gift Planning and Endowments, is one of the major players in the “For All We Call Mizzou” fund-raising campaign. Clithero’s typical day includes drafting endowment agreements, alumni newsletters and thank-you notes.

“I enjoy working with donors,” he said. “I help them realize their dreams and in doing so help students obtain an excellent, yet affordable, education.”

Now You Know

A rather strange discovery was made in the attic of MU’s Lefevre Hall in the early 1980s — an elephant skeleton.

This is the story of Emperor the elephant, as told by Megan Warner, an academic adviser at MU who researched the popular pachyderm. It begins in the late 1800s.


Aaron Mantle is one of MU’s recognizable faces — students see him every day working in Brady Food Court.

Mantle said he enjoys his job because he likes talking to people and being able to help them.

Now You Know

What’s new: MU researchers are trying to find a way to break the protective coating of a bacterium resistant to antibiotics. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a common bacterium found in soil, water and even restaurant salad bars, doesn’t affect healthy humans, but it can be harmful to those with weakened immune systems. These include burn victims, people with cystic fibrosis and chemotherapy patients.

How it’s being done: Lesa Beamer, MU associate professor of biochemistry, studies the three-dimensional structures of enzymes that create the coating around bacteria and prevent antibiotics from getting in. Beamer determines which portions of the enzyme are important, how they are arranged and what function they serve. Peter Tipton, professor of biochemistry, studies how enzymes work.

How Do I?

Get tickets to events at the Hearnes Center or Paige Sports Arena?

The Paige Sports Arena, Hearnes Center and Hearnes Fieldhouse host a variety of events throughout the year, including MU and high school sporting events, concerts and special events. Tickets can be purchased the following ways:

Campus in brief

The Boone County chapter of the MU Alumni Association recognized Valerie Goodin with a Chapter Service Award. Goodin has served as staff liaison for eight years and worked intermittently with the chapter for several years before that.

Goodin, senior director of the Alumni Association, was given the award at the organization’s Blufftop Splendor event Oct. 28.

Five are appointed curator’s professors

Five MU faculty members were honored last week with the curator’s professorship award at the annual Faculty Recognition Banquet.

n Nelson Cowan was named curator’s professor of psychological sciences. Cowan is researching the ways to measure the capacity of working memory and how it changes with development of childhood.

Science association selects 5 MU fellows

The American Association for the Advancement of Science selected five MU professors, among 308 nationwide, as 2004 fellows for their efforts in advancing science and its applications, according to the MU News Bureau.

The professors chosen were chemistry professor Rainer Glaser and biological sciences professors Sandra Abell, Candace Galen, Emmanuel Liscum and John Charles Walker.

Group helps women adjust to American perspective

Lin Yi-jiun, a second-year MU doctoral student in counseling psychology, was unsatisfied after the first meeting of an international women’s support group she began leading on campus in September.

Why? Because there were too many Chinese speakers.

Extended season

As winter approaches, workers at MU’s Bradford Farm prepare for colder weather.

Preparation includes covering plants, which can allow them to live through several frosts, said MU research associate James Quinn.

Search committee for dean chosen

MU interim Provost Lori Franz appointed a search committee Friday to find a replacement for the retiring dean of MU’s College of Education.

The dean, Richard Andrews, will retire in May. He has led the college since 1993.

MU homestead

Walking to class where University Avenue meets Ninth Street, MU sophomore Joel Wessel did not recognize the building hidden behind the red brick wall across from Middlebush Hall.

“I don’t know,” he said. “Is it sociology?”

Wrong. It is the Chancellor’s Residence, deserted since 1996.

Eric Sandvol

While many people find gemstones beautiful and minerals useful, Eric Sandvol, an assistant professor of geology at MU, has a special appreciation for one in particular.

“Without olivine, I wouldn’t have had a Ph.D. thesis,” Sandvol said.

Brady Fountain

Brady Fountain Situated among Brady Commons, the Arts and Science Building, the School of Law and the General Classroom Building, Brady Fountain is an unavoidable landmark on the MU campus.