Higher Education

Free gifts, direct-mail campaign help alumni association grow

Everybody loves free stuff, and the MU Alumni Association knows that.

Along with other tactics, the association sends small gifts to entice people to join the club. Membership peaked in June at more than 35,000.

Breaking down language barriers

When Washington University students realized that some immigrant workers on the St. Louis campus were struggling to communicate, they put a unique twist on community service.

Rather than step off campus to find a place to be of help, they began a volunteer program at the university. Immigrant university staffers who want to improve their English can meet one-on-one with about 45 student volunteers, who offer help in reading, writing and conversation skills.

Professors evaluate tsunami’s aftermath

Disasters, like the killer tsunami on Dec. 26, have a negative long-term effect on the world, an associate professor of economics said in a forum Thursday.

“One of the things I think you see in the newspapers is a statement that natural disasters can make us better off, and in the long run can be a good thing. I want to convince you that that’s absurd,” said MU’s Kenneth R. Troske.

Chubby pets need special diet, vets say

People aren’t the only ones who can be fat; their pets can, too.

And it’s up to the owners to do something about it, says a pet-weight expert at MU.

Author in Exile

Donato Ndongo is a leading writer of his country, but he can’t even live there. Twice exiled from his native Equatorial Guinea, the former journalist left the country to live in Spain. Now, as a visiting professor at MU’s Department of Romance Languages, Ndongo will call mid-Missouri his home.

MU students seek greater diversity

Diversity — in the classroom, in discussion and as a value of MU — was the central issue raised by the panel at the “Straight Talk about the Black Student Experience” on Tuesday afternoon in Brady Commons.

Clarence B. Wine Sr., coordinator of diversity programs, and Andre Thorn, assistant director of academic retention services, led the brown-bag lunch discussion as part of Black History Month. The questions and comments from the audience proved the event to be a success, Wine said.

Missouri transfer students will benefit

Presidents of Missouri two- and four-year institutions signed an agreement on Feb. 10 committing to ensure the success of transfer students.

The agreement came during a meeting of the Coordinating Board for Higher Education Presidential Advisory Committee in conjunction with the Coordination Board for Higher Education in Jefferson City.

Clones have lower immune systems

What was learned: A team of MU researchers has discovered that immune systems of cloned animals are compromised in comparison to their naturally born counterparts.

How they did it: Bart Carter, a former MU researcher, Jeff Carroll, animal physiologist of the USDA’s Agriculture Research Service; Scott Korte, veterinary pathobiology research fellow; and Randall Prather, professor in reproductive biology; examined the innate immune responses of cloned versus naturally born miniature swine by injecting identical doses of lipopolysaccharide into each specimen.


Usually, when one applies for a job, one doesn’t expect to get more than an entry-level position. This was not the case for Breck Gamel, an MU graduate student in elementary education who applied for a job in the CHEERS Project and ended up as its statewide coordinator.

Although she has worked for CHEERS since August, she is still surprised by her important position in the 16-year-old program. Based at MU in the Wellness Center in Brady Commons, its goal is to encourage designated drivers by rewarding them with sodas and CHEERS merchandise at bars and restaurants.

Assembling an Archive

The Health Communication Research Center at MU plans to create a digital archive of black newspapers from across the nation.

In a joint effort with Saint Louis University, the research center will use a grant from the National Cancer Institute to fund the project. It is meant to help researchers, scholars and residents further understand how black newspapers provide health information to black communities.

Feminists take look at future

New and veteran voices of the feminist movement say it needs a reassessment for changing times and aging women.

Suzanne Levine, a writer and former editor at Ms. Magazine; Amy Richards, co-founder of the Third Wave Foundation; and multimedia journalist Farai Chideya were in Columbia last week to commend their colleague Gloria Steinem.


Stephanie Faler never participated in theater in high school, but that didn’t stop her from helping found the Elysium Players Drama Club at Columbia College.

Faler graduated in May 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. She said there was never a drama club at her high school in Van Buren, so when another student came to her with the idea of founding one at Columbia College, she was interested.

UM manages funds more centrally

While other institutions delegate investment management to nonprofit organizations or corporations, the University of Missouri System centrally manages the investment of endowment funds under the approval of the UM Board of Curators.

This management involves setting targets for how much money from the endowments will be invested in different sectors, such as equity, real estate and hedge funds; hiring investment managers for the different sectors; and making decisions concerning the distribution of funds each year to university programs.

MU gets new signs around campus

Setting a new look for the next 50 years, MU campus facilities installed new metal signs identifying residence halls, buildings and parking garages on campus.

Not only will these signs identify recently constructed buildings, but they will also replace 50-year-old wooden signs designed like ones found on park grounds, said Phil Shocklee, associate director of campus facilities.

Commending Character

In 1839, a group of Boone County families worked tirelessly to win a bid to establish MU. These founding families’ spirit of service and commitment to the community are reflected on campus today among a group of MU students, faculty and staff.

On Feb. 7, 39 MU seniors and 37 faculty and staff were recognized with the inaugural Mizzou ’39 Award, sponsored by the MU Alumni Association Student Board. On Tuesday, the group was again recognized at the Founder’s Day Celebration, an event commemorating MU’s 166th birthday.

Changes in name could lift stature

Achievement is all in the name for a few Missouri state schools.

The Senate Education Panel recently approved name changes for four institutes of higher education. If the legislation is passed in the General Assembly, Missouri Western State College and Harris-Stowe State College will change the word “college” to “university” in their names. Missouri Southern State University-Joplin would drop the city from its name.

Now You Know

Seed purity

What was found: Minimal changes in seed purity demands can have a high impact on production costs for U.S. seed companies.


Annie Jones

Her fellow dancers call her Little Buddy, but there is nothing small about Annie Jones’ lifelong ambition to be a professional dancer. Jones, a freshman dance major at Stephens College, has been working toward that goal since childhood.


It divided a nation and was one of only two wars fought on American soil, and in 1862, the Civil War came to MU. On Jan. 2, 1862, a division of Union cavalry, Merrill’s Horse, came to MU and garrisoned the school. For the following years until the end of the war in 1865, Union troops would be a standard sight on the campus in downtown Columbia.

Tim Hausman, a development officer in the MU School of Health Professions, said the decision to garrison the school was motivated by the war.

RFK Jr. to speak at Columbia College

Next month, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will speak as part of this year’s Schiffman lecture series at Columbia College.

Kennedy, a senior attorney for the Natural Resources Council and president of the Waterkeeper Alliance, will speak on “Our Environmental Ethical Destiny” at 7:30 p.m. March 9 in Launer Auditorium. The event is free and open to all.