Page 1

Spectrum U n i v e r s i t y o f M i s s o u r i S y s t e m : S e e Ou r R e a c h

Revitalizing Our Communities One Job At A Time Bringing World Class Health Care To Rural Missouri Research Leads To Life-Changing Breakthroughs

Deep Roots In Missouri Agriculture

Bruce Burdick, superintendent at Hundley Whaley Research Center, at the precision agriculture cover crop study in Albany

See Our Reach

The mission of the University of Missouri System, as a land-grant university and Missouri’s only public research and doctoral-level institution, is to discover, disseminate, preserve and apply knowledge. The university promotes learning by its students and lifelong learning by Missouri’s citizens, fosters innovation to support economic development, and advances the health, cultural and social interests of the people of Missouri, the nation and the world.

UM System Campuses

School Districts Served by eMINTS Investing in Innovation (i3) Project

MOREnet Sites

Research Parks/ Business Incubators

Small Business & Technology Development Centers

Missouri Telehealth Network Sites

Agricultural Research Stations

Health Centers & Affiliates

Counties Served by Extension Centers

From health to education — from the arts to agriculture — and everything in between, the University of Missouri System has a unique and important role in advancing the economic health and well-being of the people of Missouri. Explore the difference the UM System makes in every county, every day by visiting

❚❙❘ f rom t h e p r e si d en t

An Investment In Missouri As president of the University of Missouri System, I am proud to present you with this issue of Spectrum, which is an appropriate name when you consider the many ways that we play a role in all 114 Missouri counties, every day. The reach of our four campuses – the University of MissouriColumbia, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla and the University of Missouri-St. Louis – is felt by Missourians across our state continually, and we are a driving force in our state’s economic health and well-being. Our influence is truly felt across the entire spectrum of Missouri. For example, the UM System educates the state’s workforce and is addressing the state’s critical need for more professionals in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. With more than 75,000 students, we educate nearly half of all undergraduates at public four-year institutions in the state as well as the majority of graduate and professional school students. We are your doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, engineers, scientists, teachers and medical researchers. In addition to our pharmacy and dental schools, more Missouri doctors receive their medical degree from one of our campuses than any other university, and our nursing school alumni are in every Missouri county. We deliver experts in nearly every subject. With experts working throughout all 114 Missouri counties, every year more than two million Missourians turn to University of Missouri Extension to gain knowledge, from earning a high school diploma online to law enforcement training. 2014 is the 100th anniversary of University of Missouri Extension, and we couldn’t be more proud. We enhance and protect the state’s food supply through our 19 agricultural experiment stations. We are your animal care providers, offering the only doctor of veterinary medicine in the state. We also connect your schools, delivering technology to rural Missouri through the Missouri Research and Education Network, or MOREnet. These are just a few examples, and I invite you to explore this publication to find a variety of stories that illustrate our influence in even greater detail. I know you will find that, when you add it all up, the effect that the University of Missouri System has on communities in every corner of our state, and not just through the 75,000 students that attend one of our four campuses, is massive. The UM System proves every day that an investment in higher education is an investment in Missouri’s future. Sincerely,

Tim Wolfe President, University of Missouri System university of missouri system ❘ ❙❚ 3






The Doctor Will See You Now

Life On The Cutting Edge

Bringing World Class Health Care To Rural MO

Research Leads To Life-Changing Breakthroughs

Happy 100th Birthday, MU Extension!

Proud To Support Missouri Ag

Celebrating 100 Years Of Bringing Practical Education To The State

Deep Roots In Missouri Agriculture

4 ❚❙ ❘ Spectrum


Converting Plants To Power


Rural Outsourcing


Missouri Is Where The Heart Is

Renewable Plans Fuel The University of Missouri-Columbia Campus

Revitalizing Missouri’s Small Communities One Job At A Time

Getting To Know UM System President Tim Wolfe


A Top Return On Investment


Ensuring Missouri’s Future Economic Vitality

Strategic Planning For A New Era Of Accountability

Powering Through Science, Technology, Engineering And Math

46 48

The Missouri 100

Enthusiastic Supporters Advise University Leadership

Show Me Value

Showcasing The Value Of Higher Education To Missouri’s Youth


Where Stars Are Born


When Seconds Count


Online Learning

UM System Grads Make Headlines In The Business World

University Of Missouri’s Dr. James Kessel Improves Outcomes For Rural Trauma Patients

Putting College Education Within Reach For Every Missourian

UM System Communications Staff

John Fougere

Chief Communications Officer

Justin Roberts

Manager of Digital Communications

Kelly Peery

Senior Marketing & Communications Coordinator SPECTRUM magazine is produced by University of Missouri System Office of University Relations, 309 University Hall, Columbia, MO 65211, 573-882-2726, ©2014. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of any editorial or graphic content without the express written permission of the university is prohibited. Published by ICM Custom Publishing Solutions, Columbia, Mo. Cover photo by Kyle Spradley, MU College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources

university of missouri system ❘ ❙❚ 5

h e a lt h c a r e

As the state's leading educator of physicians practicing in Missouri, the University of Missouri System is in a key position to improve the supply and distribution of physicians in rural Missouri.

6 ❚❙ ❘ Spectrum

The Doctor Will See You Now Bringing World Class Health Care To Rural MO No other organization in the state — public or private — advances the health of Missouri citizens in as many ways as the University of Missouri System. This is particularly true when addressing the health care needs of rural Missouri. At the university, innovative outreach programs introduce medical students to rural practice; collaboration among universities expand degree offerings for health care students; technology connects patients with health care specialists with the click of a mouse; and mobile health care vehicles take the doctor to the patient’s front door.

B y Kate Hrdina & J ustin R oberts

university of missouri system ❘ ❙❚ 7

h e a lt h c a r e

in the Summer Community Program — a clinical experience in a community setting. “There is such a shortage and a need for rural physicians. This program gives students a chance to do rural medicine, and then return to rural medicine. It’s great that MU has this partnership with area hospitals,” says Sarah Kapala, a third-year medical student from Concordia. Kapala spent part of her last summer in Lexington working with Dr. Jeffrey Sattler, an internal medicine doctor, as part of the Summer Community Program.

Introducing Future Physicians To Rural Practice


or many rural families, it’s no secret that a visit to the doctor’s office may mean looking beyond your own backyard and instead driving to the nearest city to find a practicing physician. That’s because many health care systems across rural America lack both quality and quantity when it comes to medical resources. In fact, fewer than 9 percent of physicians practice in rural areas nationwide. Specialists are few and far between, which increases travel expenses for the patient and sometimes even causes him or her to avoid treatment. This physician shortage propelled the development of the Rural Track Pipeline Program at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine

8 ❚❙ ❘ Spectrum

in 1995. The program guides students to rural settings for training during medical school and, ultimately, seeks to place them in rural practices. The program uses a four-part sequence to expose medical students to work in rural communities. The first sequence, the Bryant Scholars Pre-Admission Program, offers college sophomores from rural Missouri pre-admission into the School of Medicine following acceptable completion of their undergraduate work and of program criteria such as logging hours of health-related experiences. Students can apply if they are enrolled full-time at one of 13 participating universities or colleges in the state. Once admitted into the program, second-year medical students participate

“There is such a shortage and a need for rural physicians. This program gives students a chance to do rural medicine, and then return to rural medicine.” — Thirdyear medical student Sarah Kapala “I’m from Concordia, and I’m definitely interested in rural medicine. It was nice to work this summer at the hospital in Lexington and its associated clinics,” Kapala says. Dr. Kathleen Quinn, director of the MU Area Health Education Center, agrees. “Students with rural backgrounds are more likely to practice in these underserved areas when compared to their classmates from urban areas,” she says. “We hope the experiences we offer will inform the students about the joys and benefits of rural practice.” Following the summer program, students then participate in the final two sequences — Rural Track Clerkship Program and the Rural Track Elective

Filling The State’s Prescription For More Pharmacists

M In addition its pharmacy program, the University of Missouri-Kansas City is home to the only public dental school in the state.

Program — during their third and fourth years in medical school, respectively. Each step in the pipeline exposes students to hands-on work in rural communities, and the program culminates in many students choosing to practice in a rural area upon graduation. By the end of their time at school, pipeline participants can make wellinformed decisions about where they want to practice because of the repeated exposure built into the program. If a student knows fully what life in their practice location will be like, Quinn says that student is less likely to decide to move back to an urban area a few years down the road. “The program does not have any financial incentives for students,” Quinn says. “If you dangle $100,000 in front of someone who doesn’t have ties to a rural area and they have to go to a health profession shortage area, statistics show they’ll go back to an urban area.” According to a January 2014 data chart from the School of Medicine, 62.2 percent of pre-admitted Rural Scholars from the 1997-2013 graduating classes practice in rural Missouri. Overall, 77.8 percent of graduates from the same classes and programs are practicing in Missouri.

any medical schools in the U.S. have implemented programs similar to the Rural Track Pipeline Program, but Dr. Russell Melchert, dean of the School of Pharmacy at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, says the UMKC pharmacy school has attempted to plug the drain in a different way. Melchert grew up in the small town of Liberal in western Kansas. He went to pharmacy school at the University of Oklahoma, but never returned to his hometown to practice his profession. Melchert is not the exception in this case of rural brain drain; he is the unwritten rule that permeates throughout small communities in the state of Missouri. “There hasn’t been a strong enough incentive for pharmacy school graduates to move into rural areas because more competitive jobs are available in the metro areas,” Melchert says. Just less than a decade ago, UMKC built an extension of the pharmacy school at the University of Missouri-Columbia to help address the problem. The extension expanded the school’s reputation — No. 37 on U.S.News & World Report’s 2012 rankings — to the center of the state in order to reach more rural communities. “The approach we have taken is, ‘If you build it they will come and they will stay,’” Melcher says. Asking a graduate to uproot and move to a smaller community can be a difficult point of persuasion. But, offering a graduate a job near the town in which he or she studied is more appealing. In a perfect world, building a pharmacy school at every university in Missouri might seem the easiest solution. But, economic feasibility is a reality. Instead of establishing a new pharmacy school in Columbia and hiring 40 to 50 more faculty, UMKC currently

UMKC and MSU partnered to provide a 60,000-square-foot facility in “Brick City” in downtown Springfield to house the School of Pharmacy.

employs seven faculty through the program and is recruiting for an eighth at this location. Melcher says this helps cut down administrative costs and overhead. In an effort to utilize the UMKC School of Pharmacy’s more than 125 years of experience, Columbia students learn about 90 percent of their lecture material through distance education. Professors on the UMKC campus teach two classes at once using technology — one course face-to-face in Kansas City and one via video in Columbia. If the first step in providing health care to the state’s population is providing quality education for students, then the next step is sharing that education with more university locations to reach other geographical areas. As such, in addition to the expansion in Columbia, the UMKC School of Pharmacy will begin partnering with Missouri State University this fall to expand the pharmacy program to Springfield. The MSU program will be very similar to its Columbia counterpart. Melchert says one faculty member for the new location has already been hired and he hopes there will be at least eight faculty total. “I think we’re making a positive impact on the demand in rural areas,” Melchert says.

university of missouri system ❘ ❙❚ 9

h e a lt h c a r e

Missouri Telehealth Network Connects Patients With Health Care Specialists


t’s nearly a 90-mile drive for Clarence and Tracy Ray from their home in Dixon to the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Columbia. The long drive disrupts the routine of the Ray’s son, CJ, who is diagnosed with autism and doesn’t do well in the car for a long period of time. To make it easier for the Ray family to access health services, the Thompson Center turned to the Missouri Telehealth

Network for assistance. Rachel Mutrux is the director of the network, which started at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1994, as one of the first telehealth networks in the nation. “Telehealth helps to provide live, interactive audio and video health care using high broadband video conferencing technology,” Mutrux says. Now, the Ray family drives to nearby Richland where CJ can receive services

with pediatricians specializing in autism, using video conferencing. “The Ray family is one of the families that I take care of,” says Dr. Kristin Sohl, medical director for the Thompson Center. “With telehealth, I can see my patients as if they are in the same room with me.” Tracy Ray says that by using telehealth, CJ’s interaction is different; Dr. Sohl can get a true read of what he’s like in his everyday life because he is not as nervous as he would be in person. “Sometimes autism feels a little hopeless,” she says. “The Thompson Center gave us some hope.” Telehealth includes technologies such as those used at the satellite pharmacy school as well as a more specific niche known as telemedicine. Not considered a specific medical practice, the term “telemedicine” refers to clinical diagnosis and treatment being administered via similar types of telecommunications. There are more than 200 telehealth sites throughout the state, many of which are located in rural areas that lack an adequate number of physicians. “This is not a new service,” Mutrux says. “It’s a new way to deliver service to people who truly cannot get it.” Patients cannot always afford to take a day off work to drive to Columbia, Kansas City or St. Louis for medical appointments. If they can drive to a telemedicine site in their own hometown, though, they are much more likely to get With the use of videoconferencing equipment, a patient can have live, real-time interaction with a specialist. The physician is able to facilitate examinations of patients by using electronic diagnostic equipment and other peripheral cameras. For example, in teledermatology a high resolution camera is used for the dermatologist to see a close-up view of the patient’s skin condition. Photos courtesy of the Missouri Telehealth Network

10 ❚❙ ❘ Spectrum

the care needed. Additionally, Mutrux says telemedicine helps the economic development of the patient’s town. “If you’re from Sikeston and have to drive all the way to Columbia for treatment — the labwork, your prescription, that’s all in Columbia,” she says. “If you use telemedicine, you do all those medical activities in Sikeston, and all that money stays in Sikeston.” In the same vein, Missouri Telehealth Network focuses much of its efforts on developing the technology for the state. Interstate telemedicine is still rather rare, because a physician must be licensed in the state where his patient lives. “We don’t necessarily look to expand outside Missouri,” Mutrux says. “Our mission is to take care of patients in Missouri.” Telemedicine does not yet provide a way for physicians to connect with patients directly in their homes. One issue is that many physicians wouldn’t get reimbursed for this kind of work. Mutrux says another issue is that a patient presenter (a nurse or other health care professional) is still important to the visit. A nurse can check the patient’s vitals, ensure that no other medical problems have arisen and work the telemedicine equipment.

Most health centers use a rolling cart complete with a television and a video conferencing unit. The presenter might also use an extra device such as a specialized camera for a close look at a patient’s skin, and some telemedicine networks in other states use a specialized camera to examine the ear, nose and throat.

There are more than 200 telehealth sites throughout the state, many of which are located in rural areas that lack an adequate number of physicians. Although strict rules don’t necessarily exist for telemedicine sites, the Missouri Telehealth Network does have guidelines and regulations for its member sites. The presenters, for example, must use secure videoconferencing software since medical information is private. Many free videoconferencing programs don’t offer high enough quality and security for telemedicine, so the Missouri network currently uses a software called Vidyo that fits what’s needed.

Mutrux says during her 12 years in telemedicine she has only had one patient dislike the technology. Even older patients that interact less with technology on a daily basis don’t mind seeing their doctors on a screen, especially if that means saving a trip to a nearby city. “Overwhelmingly, patients love it,” she says. “The hard sell is specialty care doctors and clinic staff, because they are already so busy. It’s a new technology to learn and it’s not in their current work flow.” The Missouri Telehealth Network staff provides a two-day training session twice a year for new member sites. There, they highlight the various aspects of telemedicine: technical, clinical, operations, legal and regulatory. One of the biggest challenges hindering the expansion of telemedicine throughout the state is the necessary financial commitment. A town must have broadband for the technology to work, and the equipment can cost up to $10,000. In Missouri, the psychiatry field is the largest user of telemedicine, followed by dermatology and child health subspecialties such as autism and pediatric endocrinology. Mutrux says each state’s focus depends on who is running the program at the time and what they consider priorities.

Mobile Eye Center Delivers Eye Care On The Move For Missourians


hroughout the state of Missouri, there are different areas of need for eye care. For this reason, the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Optometry established a Mobile Eye Center in 2004 to serve the metropolitan St. Louis area. Purchased and started by a Housing and Urban Development grant, it’s essentially an optometry office on wheels. The specially designed recreational vehicle, stocked with examination equipment and optometry students, drives to underserved areas in the metro St. Louis area throughout the week. The Mobile Eye Center travels to schools, senior centers and job fairs. The goal of the program is to reach people who might have financial or transportation situations that prevent them from getting care.

“We do not want to be a substitute for community eye care providers,” Larry Davis, dean of the College of Optometry, says. “Instead, we need to supplement their efforts to reach those who may not have access to eye care.” Elementary schools are one of the most popular destinations for the Mobile Eye Center. Davis says the Mobile Eye Center is a convenient way for children to get eye care who might not otherwise have access to it. Often, a teacher might suspect a student has a vision problem. The nurse can give the child a screening at school, and the optometry faculty and students with the Mobile Eye Center will come to the school to perform a full exam and help the student pick out glasses if needed.

An UMSL optometry student examines a child’s eyes during a Mobile Eye Center visit to a St. Louis-area school. Photo by August Jennewein

university of missouri system ❘ ❙❚ 11

r e se a rc h

Life On The Cutting Edge University of Missouri System Research Leads To Life-Changing Breakthroughs Research is more than a petri dish and a telescope. There are researchers at the University of Missouri System campuses who are hard at work solving complex mysteries, and whose findings represent breakthroughs in science, technology and medicine. As a land-grant university, the UM System uses public research from the different campuses to positively impact the development of the state. These aren’t ho-hum projects. They’re cutting edge, and they’re changing lives throughout the state, the nation and the world right now. Soon enough, you might be using one of them yourself. Here, we highlight different aspects of university research that are busting out of the confines of labs and demanding attention in the public arena. — Kate Hrdina

◗ Potential Diabetes Cure


ype 1 diabetes is an attacker, and a vicious one at that. The disease causes the immune system to attack cells in the pancreas called beta cells. Under normal circumstances, these cells produce insulin for the body. Insulin, a hormone, is important to the body, because it regulates glucose, or sugar. Dr. Habib Zaghouani is a professor in the MU School of Medicine’s Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Department of Child Health, and Department of Neurology. He has discovered a process for fixing what Type 1 diabetes destroys. Previous research had focused on halting the immune system from damaging the beta cells. What Zaghouani found, however, was that the disease also left collateral damage. Type 1 diabetes also affects the blood vessels around the cells. These blood vessels are the channels that deliver and take important materials to and from the cells. If the channels are broken, help can’t make it to the cells. “If glucose cannot be taken to the cells by insulin, the cells are hungry — especially brain cells,” Zaghouani says. “Then people can risk falling into a coma. Other complications can occur, like cardiac disease and kidney disease,

12 ❚❙ ❘ Spectrum

if the cells cannot do their normal functions.” Zaghouani’s method steps beyond other research by looking outside the cell. It aims first to halt the immune system from attacking by using a protein called IgGAD2. Then an injection of adult stem cells from bone marrow helps repair the destroyed blood vessels. The blood vessels can, in turn, help the seeds of the beta cells that have not been destroyed to grow and produce insulin. Lab tests on mice have proven successful, with most Type 1 diabetes mice living the rest of their lifespan after treatment without the disease. Originally, Zaghouani injected adult stem cells from bone marrow into the body to help beta cells proliferate. What the stem cells did, instead, was create new blood vessels. Because the “roads” to the cells were fixed, they enabled the reproduction of new beta cells. The diabetes research is something Zaghouani has been working on for just over a decade in Missouri. The process for translating the diabetes therapy from mice to humans will probably take about five years, Zaghouani says. The drug is specific to mice right now, and Zaghouani will have to create a human version of IgGAD2 before his treatment can be used on humans.

Dr. Habib Zaghouani Photo by Rob Hill “Depending on how we produce the human version, the protein might be given to patients orally,” he says. “Then the stem cells have to be injected.” Although not characteristic of the beginning part of the disease, Type 2 diabetes can also morph into something similar to Type 1 diabetes later on. For this reason, Zaghouani’s research and potential cure for Type 1 diabetes has positive implications for diabetes treatment as a whole. Zaghouani put in patent requests in 2003 for therapies to prevent, suppress and reverse Type 1 diabetes. He received these patents in December. Zaghouani is still looking for pharmaceutical sponsors and waiting to get approval to begin clinical trials.

◗ DermaFuse: A New Method Of Healing Wounds


lass probably sounds like the least appealing material to put into an open wound, but Steve Jung uses it all the time when he gets a cut. As a doctoral candidate at Missouri University of Science and Technology, Jung worked with Professor Delbert Day to develop glass fibers that would speed the healing of wounds such as diabetic ulcers. The tightly spun fibers — although glass — are the texture and consistency of cotton candy when touched. The borate glass material is known as DermaFuse.

The process for applying DermaFuse is no different than applying a normal wound dressing. “A normal blood clot would have very small fibers,” Jung says. “The idea was we would take this beneficial glass and make it into the same microstructure that the body would produce if it were injured.” In 2011, the university licensed the product to Mo-Sci, a Rolla-based glass technology company founded by Day in 1985. Jung is now the chief technology officer there. The process for applying DermaFuse is no different than applying a normal wound dressing. First, a nurse or wound specialist would clean the wound as thoroughly as possible, then add the glass fiber and cover it with a secondary cotton or cloth bandage. “You have to change it out every three or four days typically,” Jung says. “A patient usually sees a wound care specialist about twice a week, so the glass fiber dressing fits in well with what a normal schedule would be.” When the body starts to heal, Jung says, proteins separate the liquid part of the blood from the solid part, allowing the blood to clot and creating a scab.

Missouri S&T professor Dr. Delbert Day (right) and Dr. Steve Jung work with glass nanofibers that may lead to a new method to heal open wounds. Photo by B.A. Rupert DermaFuse begins to dissolve when it gets wet or is applied to a moist wound, expediting the same process. Jung says the researchers think multiple properties such as the composition and the shape of the fibers is what helps the wound heal faster than a traditional bandage. DermaFuse has been used on more than 50 patients in clinical trials at the Phelps County Regional Medical Center and has passed all basic wound care product tests. Jung says the only step left on the path to commercial use is satisfying the FDA checklist.

Wound dressings can range from a few dollars to a few thousand dollars, depending on the medical properties. “We expect DermaFuse to be a low cost item,” Jung says. As of now, the target market for DermaFuse is wound care clinics both in and out of hospitals. The material has the potential to quickly stop bleeding in traumatic situations such as a battlefield. Jung says Mo-Sci has thought about eventually using the material in lieu of the cotton pads found on over-thecounter bandages like Band-Aids. university of missouri system ❘ ❙❚ 13

r e se a rc h

◗ Beyond Meat Reinvents Chicken


or more than two decades University of MissouriColumbia Biological Engineering professor FuHung Hsieh has been working on transforming vegetable protein into a food that looks, tastes and feels like chicken breast meat. In 2010, the university licensed the technology to a company called Beyond Meat, which set up a production plant in Columbia shortly thereafter. Now, stores in every major city in the United States sell the soy chicken. Hsieh’s interest in working with textured vegetable protein began while he was a graduate student at the University of Minnesota in the early 1970s. There, he used a machine called an extruder to make products such as imitation cheese and mashed potatoes. An extruder is a large device originally used in the chemical industry to make plastics. Now it’s commonly found in the food industry and is responsible for the likes of Cheerios and Lucky Charms. Hsieh came to MU in 1987, still carrying with him a fascination for the

potential of vegetable protein. By that time, transforming the protein into edibles that resembled hamburger patties or sausage was old news. Hsieh wanted to use vegetable protein to develop a meat product that would mimic a whole muscle like a steak or chicken breast. So, he turned yet again to an extruder.

In 2010, the university licensed the technology to a company called Beyond Meat, which set up a production plant in Columbia shortly thereafter. He worked with Harold Huff, then a senior research specialist at the Food Engineering Laboratory, in a trial-anderror manner. During the ensuing years, they discovered the perfect soy chicken recipe. The process goes like this: Blend together powdered soy protein, a small amount of vegetable oil, water, carrot fiber and vegetarian flavoring.

Pour the mixture into the extruder and continuously inject water for about a minute and collect soy chicken at the other end of the machine. One of Hsieh’s original problems with the extruder was that, under normal circumstances, the product comes out and then expands as it cools. That’s fine for a porous cereal that starts out tiny, but oversized, airy chicken wasn’t what Hsieh was looking for. So he developed a specialized long cooling die for the extruder that controls the temperature and makes the soy chicken come out much more condensed and consumerfriendly. Hsieh’s research isn’t a push for people to become vegetarian or abide by other dietary guidelines. He realizes that preferences are a reality, but he says the similarity of the soy chicken to real chicken might make it easier for some people to reconsider other meal choices. “It’s worthwhile to look at alternatives,” he says. “Not everyone will become vegetarian, but you can become ‘flexitarian,’ enjoying both soy chicken and real chicken.”

Left: Fu-Hung Hsieh (left) and Harold Huff, a senior research specialist, watch as the “chicken” emerges from the extruder. Photo by MU News Bureau Right: Prepared "chicken"

14 ❚❙ ❘ Spectrum

◗ EyeVerify: A Password For Your Eyes Only


asswords have long been the gatekeepers for anything remotely confidential. But how many people do you know who use the same, predictable password for nearly everything — and still manage to forget it? This dilemma — as well as the ability for hackers to get around passwords — is something Dr. Reza Derakhshani, University of Missouri-Kansas City associate professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, latched onto when he was searching for a practical application for his research on eye biometrics. Derakhshani wanted to develop eye biometrics beyond iris readings, which only work if the user is looking directly at the camera. He developed a way for a camera to read the whites of the eyes, where no other biometrics technology was looking. The university licensed the technology in 2012 to a company started by Toby Rush called EyeVerify. EyeVerify’s authentication system uses a tablet or smart phone’s camera to read the veins in a person’s eyes. Just like a fingerprint, an “eyeprint” is unique to each individual, so it allows a user to login to an app in a more secure way than a password. SplashData, a password management company, publishes an annual list of the most commonly used passwords on the Internet. The list toppers for 2012 were “password” and “123456,” respectively. These two switched places in 2013. “That’s bad,” Rush says. “With EyeVerify, you essentially take a quick selfie, and you’re done. You get strong security and great convenience. You do the same thing every single time, and the whole process takes about two seconds.” When EyeVerify hits the commercial market, organizations such as the University of Missouri System will have the option to buy the authenticator and install it as a login option on their apps that’s free for their users. It won’t permanently trump a traditional password login, so users can still elect to continue typing in “123456” if they want. You know, in case you forget your eyeballs at home.

Top: EyeVerify’s CEO Toby Rush demonstrates the technology. EyeVerify recently won the global finals of the “Get in the Ring: The Investment Battle” competition. Bottom: The biometric technology developed by Reza Derakhshani (left) along with Arun Ross at West Virginia University is currently being commercialized by EyeVerify, a Kansas City-based start-up founded by local entrepreneur and EyeVerify’s CEO Toby Rush, through an exclusive licensing agreement with UMKC. Photo by UMKC Strategic Marketing and Communications university of missouri system ❘ ❙❚ 15

r e se a rc h

Converting Plants To Power Renewable Plants Fuel The University of Missouri-Columbia Campus


Francisco X. Aguilar, associate professor of forestry, and Hank Stelzer, associate teaching professor and forestry department chair, at MU’s power plant on campus. As part of their research, the power plant has converted a biomass boiler to use grass and wood chips. Photo by Kyle Spradley 16 ❚❙❘ Spectrum

hen the University of Missouri-Columbia signed on to the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2008 to expand its sustainability efforts, it went to work with a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2016. The main target: Build a 100-percent biomass boiler at MU’s Combined Cooling Heat and Power Plant, which supplies electricity, heating and cooling for more than 15 million gross square feet of buildings, including three hospitals, a research reactor, laboratories, academic buildings, residence halls and athletic facilities. The result: After four years of analysis and design, two years of construction, more than 150 contractor employees and $75 million of investment, a 100-percent biomass-fueled boiler at MU’s power plant went on line in November 2013. What does it take to run an aroundthe-clock biomass boiler? For starters, 100,000 tons of biomass material a year. Power plant managers were no strangers to sourcing biomass materials since they had been blending fuels such as corn cobs and wood in the existing coal boilers since 2006. Sourcing 100,000 tons of sustainable biomass materials each year, however, required help. In order to significantly expand the use of biomass, the plant turned to the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) for assistance. To sustain the supply of biomass resources needed, CAFNR researchers, during the initial analysis phase of the project, began identifying and developing potential energy crops from otherwise nonproducing areas such as river bottoms and other land unsuitable for conventional row crops.

Hank Stelzer, looks through the porthole of the new biomass boiler on the MU campus. The key element of the boiler looks like a bubbling, fluidized sand bed. At 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit, the sand becomes like a fluid, and it consumes fuels with variable high moisture and Btu content. Heat, generated from the combustion of biomass is turned into steam to generate electricity and thermal energy. Photo by Kyle Spradley “A professional forester has to be involved, not only in the development of the biomass plan, but also in the harvesting,” says Hank Stelzer, associate professor of forestry. “Following that through and showing it can be done in a sustainable way, that’s going to set a standard for other biomass projects in the state.” Stelzer and other forestry faculty wanted to utilize the state’s 14 million acres of forest like any other renewable crop. He and forestry experts established research plots to test various species of trees as energy crops to identify optimum fuels. Francisco Aguilar, associate professor of forestry, surveyed other cofired utilities to determine best practices as part of the research. Ultimately, the team developed guidelines to protect the sustainability and health of the forests and recommended stable biomass sources for the new boiler. Now fully operational, the biomass boiler utilizes mostly wood biomass, but supports the use of a wide variety of regional biomass sources such as corn stover, switchgrass and miscanthus. The boiler will eventually increase biomass usage to 120,000 tons annually, representing approximately 40 percent of the power plant’s total fuel sources. Gregg Coffin, superintendent of the power plant, hopes that operating

a biomass boiler will help strengthen the biomass fuel market and create new income streams for Missouri farmers producing biomass crops and for companies, such as furniture makers and home builders, to expand their businesses by selling wood residue to biomass users like the power plant.

The biomass boiler project may be the biggest onsite sustainable energy undertaking on any major university in the country. As the newest addition to the power plant, which has been operating since 1923, the biomass boiler project may be the biggest on-site sustainable energy undertaking on any major university in the country. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency has recognized MU as being the 16th top university in using green power and the No. 1 campus for on-site generation green power. The new biomass boiler also supports the university’s research mission. “I think it’s a tremendous asset,” says Cerry Klein, professor of engineering. “Our plant scientists will be able to do test burns in this boiler and see exactly

what particulates come out based on different plants and how they genetically modify them, and also what burns better and what gives us a better return on Btu for our money. That is an advantage to us because in most places you can’t do that.” Shibu Jose, professor of agroforestry who studies biomass production, agrees that the new boiler is an academic asset. He says there are all sorts of questions surrounding the logics of producing biomass including production, harvesting, storage, transportation and processing. “These are all topics we can research to make sure it’s the most cost-effective way of procuring biomass for the boiler — and perhaps an economically viable opportunity for the landowners involved,” Jose says. The boiler’s $75 million price tag was financed primarily through bonds that are being repaid from power plant revenue. Because the biomass boiler produces more steam and electricity than the coal boiler it replaced, the new boiler is able to take some work away from the remaining four coal boilers. Coffin expects the plant’s coal usage will decline by more than 25 percent. And by using sustainably sourced biomass, the new boiler will reduce the power plant’s emissions and shrink the university’s carbon footprint. — Justin Roberts university of missouri system ❘ ❙❚ 17

commu n i t y

Rural Outsourcing Revitalizing Missouri’s Small Communities One Job At A Time


very year, American companies outsource billions of dollars of information services work overseas to save in labor costs. What if, instead, American companies started outsourcing that work to rural areas in the U.S. — where a low cost of living also translates to significant labor savings? Wouldn’t that be a great idea? After researching several companies giving this rural outsourcing model a try, two University of Missouri-St. Louis professors, Mary Lacity and Joseph Rottman, report it’s a great idea indeed. “We see many benefits,” says Lacity, a Curators’ Professor of Information Systems at UMSL. “Urban-based clients love the price and quality of service, and rural communities welcome the economic revitalization.” Lacity and Rottman, director of the International Business Institute at UMSL, have studied the global outsourcing market for more than 20 years and decided to explore rural outsourcing because it offers a unique set of benefits to clients. “The value proposition of rural outsourcing is that clients pay lower prices for business services compared to services based in urban areas, and clients receive a better service experience compared to offshore outsourcing,” Lacity says. Based in “Or, rural outsourcers cost Macon, Onshore less than the East and West Outsourcing has Coasts but are easier to deal with than India.” more than 200 One Missouri employees. entrepreneur who has built a successful business based on this value proposition is Shane Mayes, founder of the information technology services firm Onshore Outsourcing. Based in Macon, Onshore Outsourcing has more than 200 employees — rural residents who before Onshore worked as cashiers, fast food workers and in other jobs offering little chance at a better future. Bringing these rural Missourians new opportunities is what motivated Mayes, an Air Force veteran, to start Onshore. “That is why this company exists,” he says, “to uplift people out of their poverty, to help them see beyond their current situations to a better way of life, to restore the hope and dignity that come from having an honorable profession. In so doing, we will be an instrument of revitalization for rural America.” Making that work, of course, requires attracting clients, and Onshore Outsourcing has done that through rates that are as much as 40 percent lower than rates from urban providers and

18 ❚❙ ❘ Spectrum

Left: Mary Lacity, Curators’ Professor of Information Systems at UMSL, was inducted into the Outsourcing Hall of Fame by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals in February 2014. Photo by August Jennewein Right: Shane Mayes, CEO of Onshore Technology Services, launched an IT outsourcing business in Macon. Photo courtesy of Onshore Technology service that beats offshore offerings in stability, convenience and level of output. While Lacity and Rottman expected those benefits to give rural outsourcers a chance, they wondered at the start of their research whether this model was scalable, that is, whether rural outsourcers could attract, train and retain enough talent in rural areas. It’s a definite challenge, Lacity and Rottman found. “Many of the clients we interviewed said they wished their rural outsourcing providers could add more qualified people more quickly,” Lacity says. On the other hand, government support and alliances with rural-based universities have helped rural outsourcers grow at over 100 percent per year, and with about 60 million Americans living in rural areas, its seems reasonable to conclude the workforce is there. But expanding the niche will take time, Lacity and Rottman conclude. “Rural outsourcing will continue to be an important, but very small, niche in the global outsourcing landscape for the foreseeable future,” Rottman says. “The growth rates are impressive and the passion of both the providers and clients will help to increase the visibility and effectiveness of this new sourcing option.” Lacity and Rottman published their rural outsourcing research in the book Emerging ITO and BPO Markets: Rural Sourcing and Impact Sourcing. — Anita Neal Harrison

M U E x t ensi o n

Happy 100th Anniversary, MU Extension! University Of Missouri Extension Celebrates 100 Years Of Bringing Practical Education To Missourians Throughout The State By Anita Neal Harrison


rom helping Missourians set up the first rural electric cooperatives, to helping Joplin recover from the devastating 2011 tornado, University of Missouri Extension has been helping Missourians better their situations for 100 years. “Put simply, the mission of University of Missouri Extension is to serve Missouri residents as they strive to improve and transform their lives,” says Dennis Gagnon, director of MU Extension’s communications and marketing. For a lot of Missourians, the name MU Extension brings up images of agricultural programs — and for good reason. From the start, working with farmers has been an important part of the extension mission. But it’s always just been a part. Although MU Extension will continue to support agricultural production, Gagnon and other extension staff would like to take the opportunity presented by the 100th anniversary to let Missourians know extension’s purpose is to bring practical education to all. “Extension was created to provide knowledge to the public so they could make informed decisions about their lives and activities, be it work, diet or exercise,” Gagnon says. “We’re in the information dissemination business.”

20 ❚❙ ❘ Spectrum

There are many ways MU Extension takes the university’s research-based knowledge to the people of Missouri. To start, extension has a presence in every one of Missouri’s 114 counties through local extension offices where community representatives serve on local MU Extension councils to help direct the local programming. Extension also gets information out through its websites, publications, media releases and partnerships with other organizations. In many cases, Missourians go to offices not owned, or even staffed, by MU Extension for education and services that extension has helped put together. As a result, consumers of extension’s programming often don’t realize it’s coming from MU Extension. Take 4-H, for example. “A lot of people don’t realize that Missouri 4-H is a University of Missouri program,” Gagnon says. “They think it’s a separate national program, but each state’s 4-H program is administered through that state’s extension program.” The same lack of awareness surrounds several other MU Extension programs. Here are just a few of the programs connecting Missourians to practical, transformative education:

Training Missouri’s First Responders


ost Missourians never think about how their local firefighters receive training, but firefighters can’t just sign up and learn the skills they need on the job. Responding to a fire, accident, hazardous material incident or some other emergency requires serious training, and for thousands of Missouri firefighters, that training comes through MU Extension’s Fire and Rescue Training Institute. “For the last many, many years, we have been able to reach students in all 114 counties of the state, and we’re very proud of that,” says David Hedrick, director of MU Extension’s Fire and Rescue Training Institute. The institute falls under extension’s continuing education programming. Of the 23,000 firefighters serving in close to 900 Missouri fire departments, 80 percent are volunteers. Because most of these firefighters also have regular jobs, finding time for training can be difficult. “So we take the training to the student,” Hedrick says. “The majority of our training is delivered out in the state at the local level at a host fire department, and a lot of it is delivered at night and on weekends when those volunteers are available to take the training.” The training includes classroom instruction and practice with equipment, and sometimes involves fire simulation. Course topics include: creating and inspiring exceptional fire department leaders, reading smoke, escaping violent encounters, hazardous materials, advanced life support for the EMT and basic to advanced firefighting techniques. Firefighters with all levels of experience — from new recruits to firefighters whose careers stretch over decades — take training through the Fire and Rescue Training Institute. “It speaks well for our institute that our program provides cutting-edge information and technology to let them keep up-to-date,” Hedrick says. In 2013, more than 13,000 fire and emergency service first responders received

training from the institute, which has a cadre of more than 160 adjunct instructors. Kenneth Hoover, president of the Fire Fighters Association of Missouri, says the association has “become very dependent and appreciative of ” the institute.

Of the 23,000 firefighters serving in close to 900 Missouri fire departments, 80 percent are volunteers.

In 1933, mid-Missouri fire departments joined with MU Extension to address the need for more advanced training. Today, MU Extension’s Fire and Rescue Training Institute serves every Missouri county and boasts more than 13,800 students annually.

“The institute has consistently offered to assist the FFAM with all of our activities and programs that we provide to our 8,000 members,” Hoover says. Other extension continuing education programs include: continuing medical education, continuing veterinary medical education, engineering; labor education, nursing outreach, the Law Enforcement Training Institute, the Missouri Training Institute and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. university of missouri system ❘ ❙❚ 21

mu e x t ensi o n

Our Business Is Supporting Your Business

With help from MO SBTDC, Brandon Kelley opened B.K. Bakery in Jefferson City. Kelley worked with local business development specialist Chris Thompson to tackle several issues related to starting his business: financing, location selection, business planning, marketing and breakeven analysis. Photo by Cooperative Media Group

22 ❚❙ ❘ Spectrum


ll across the state, Missouri entrepreneurs have access to business specialists who can help them succeed, from start-up to succession. These specialists are found at Small Business & Technology Development Centers (SBTDC). There are more than two dozen centers statewide. These centers receive MU Extension funding and administrative support and serve pre-venture, start-up and existing companies with a variety of services designed to help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. “Our field faculty has expertise in management, marketing, financing, international trade, market research and financial analysis,” says Mary Paulsell, director of communications for the MU Extension Business Development Program. “We also have a staff dedicated to helping high-technology companies access research and development funding from state and federal agencies, turn innovations into marketable products and commercialize those products.” Help is offered through a variety of educational programming delivered throughout

the state and through individual, confidential counseling sessions. “Our job is to provide the educational resources and consulting for each client’s situation and to serve as advisers and coaches,” Paulsell says. Success stories include all kinds of businesses, from RK Stratman of Wentzville, a producer and international distributor of Harley-Davidson t-shirts and other apparel, to Innova Prep LLC, of Drexel, which develops technology for detection systems used in biodefense, medical diagnostics and the food and beverage industries. In Cape Girardeau, Scott Pietreface worked with business development specialist Richard Proffer to develop a viable business plan for opening Fumatore di Sigaro Premier Lounge and Cigar Shoppe in 2011. “Over the past year or two, people would ask, ‘How’s it going?’ and ‘How’d you get started?’ ” Pietreface says. “I say everyone should work through the SBTDC. They’ll teach you how to create a viable business model.” While the SBTDC program is the largest business program that MU Extension supports, it’s not the only one. Other initiatives include: the Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, the Mid-America Trade Adjustment Assistance Center, the Career Options Project and the Environmental Assistance Center. All of these programs, Paulsell says, benefit from extension’s statewide presence in their promotion and public relations efforts. “With extension’s presence in every Missouri county, we are able to reach a larger audience,” she says. “Extension has been a tremendous host for these programs, all of which fit perfectly in the land-grant mission of taking university-based expertise to the people of the state.” The impact MU Extension has through its business programs is staggering. Just between the Small Business & Technology Development Centers and the Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, which focuses on helping businesses obtain government contracts, MU Extension helped generate $1.9 billion for Missouri from 2011 to 2013. That figures out to $102 of economic impact for every $1 invested. The benefit also included 22,477 new jobs and 7,906 jobs retained.

Getting Healthy Foods From The Farm To The Table


elping Missourians achieve lifelong health and fitness is an important commitment of MU Extension, and one program involved in this mission is the Family Nutrition Program. “This program is designed to improve dietary choices, improve food resource management skills and increase physical activity among Missouri’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance population,” says Jo Britt-Rankin, associate dean for Human Environmental Sciences Extension. The education in the Family Nutrition Program gets delivered to Missourians in several ways. There are classroom-based nutrition education programs, which average six lessons per participant and serve more than 350,000 Missourians annually. There are also programs that deliver educational materials to Missourians benefiting from food pantries. An example of a program tied to food pantries is the Friday Backpack Program, which provides Missouri students with a backpack of ready-to-eat food to help them through the weekend. In addition to food, once a month students in this program receive a seasonal fruit and vegetable activity sheet, a kid-friendly recipe card, a “Did You Know?” fun fruit and vegetable fact card, and a reinforcement item, such as a ball or water bottle. This program nearly doubled from 2012 to 2013, growing from 9,800 kids to 19,200 kids. These kids represent 92 counties throughout the state. Another Family Nutrition Program is Eating from the Garden, which uses school and community gardens to encourage children to eat their fruits and vegetables. Education also gets to Missourians through social media sites, including a strong presence on Pinterest at Client testimonials reveal the wide range of impact: An adult couple reports they now read food labels to make sure sugar is not a top ingredient; a previously obese middle school student describes how the education helped her get fit; and an elementary student tells how she shared a lesson on food safety with her family that led to food preparation changes in the home. There are also financial benefits. Research shows that programs such as the Family

Nutrition Program return up to $8.74 savings in future health care costs for every dollar invested. “Our goal is to improve participants’ dietary intake, physical activity and lifelong health,” Britt-Rankin says. “In addition, if we can assist participants to be less reliant on food assistance and emergency food systems, we will see our program as successful.”

Research shows that programs such as the Family Nutrition Program return up to $8.74 savings in future health care costs for every dollar invested.

Fourth graders at an Eating from the Garden partner school in northeast Kansas City show off oversized sweet potatoes from the garden. The program uses an innovative curriculum to teach kids about healthy eating through a hands-on and practical approach. Photo by MU Extension

The Family Nutrition Program falls under the MU Extension focus area of Human Environmental Sciences. Other outreach in this part of extension includes: the educational program Building Strong Families, counseling and seminars on personal financial planning and the informational website university of missouri system ❘ ❙❚ 23

mu e x t ensi o n

Connecting Resources To Strengthen Communities

Seth Ritter, a 17-yearold high school student, works on a “found art” project at his studio in a rehabbed store building in Lexington. Ritter serves on an advisory committee overseeing the MU Extension Community Arts Pilot Project to stimulate economic development through the arts. Photo by Jessica Salmond

24 ❚❙ ❘ Spectrum


ll communities have strengths and weaknesses. When a Missouri community needs help capitalizing on a strength or overcoming a weakness, MU Extension is there to coach them toward success. “Communities need access to good processes and to good data when making decisions,” says Mary Simon Leuci, Community Development Program director and assistant dean in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. “One of the services we offer in community development is helping communities develop plans and linking them to resources.” An example of MU Extension helping a community meet a need is a new grocery store in Pilot Grove. This rural town of 723 people lost its sole grocery store in 2009. With the closest full-service grocery store 15 miles away in Boonville, Pilot Grove was

considered a “food desert,” a designation given to communities facing restricted access to healthy foods. In March 2010, members of the Pilot Grove Community Betterment group invited MU Extension community development specialist Connie Mefford to a meeting to explore the possibility of opening a new grocery store. About 120 people showed up. Mefford was able to help these community members figure out what they needed to do to bring a grocery store back to town. To start, she helped the project leaders conduct a community survey to measure interest, and that survey revealed that 73 percent of respondents were willing to support the project financially to some degree. In the end, a group of 23 investors — including several farmers — came up with $320,000 and formed a limited liability corporation to build the store. Cody and Paula Tyler, a couple who operates stores in Knob Noster and Waverly, agreed to run the store, named Tyler’s Market. It opened in November 2013. “It’s amazing to see the commitment of the people of Pilot Grove,” Cody Tyler says. “Without their persistence, we would not be here.” Other community development programs in Missouri look very different. For example, in Lexington, MU Extension is helping residents use the arts as an economic development tool, while in southern Missouri, extension is supporting the Ozark Heritage Region’s Youth Biz program to teach more than 800 high school and college students about entrepreneurship. “But the process that underpins the work is very similar in all of these cases,” Leuci says. “Our job is to help people figure out how to get it done themselves.” Another focus of community development is emergency preparedness. The MU Extension Community Development Program partners with MU Extension’s Fire and Rescue Training Institute to bring Missouri towns the Community Emergency Management Program. This program provides education and technical assistance to individuals and families, local governments, businesses, schools and organizations in preparing for and responding to natural and man-made disasters.

We Are Missouri’s 4-H


-H activities are much more varied than they were a couple of generations ago. While Missouri 4-H is still proud to offer its popular agricultural programs, 4-H also offers students opportunities to study maps, apps, robotics, aeronautics, filmmaking, e-commerce and various other fields. “4-H offers young people the opportunity to find, explore and expand their interests in about 150 different areas called projects,” says Ina Linville, program director of MU Extension 4-H Center for Youth Development. “Kids come to us with interests, and we provide them with opportunities to explore those interests and to learn where those interests could take them in the career realm. The kids master knowledge and skills to become very adept in their particular content areas.” One of the fastest growing project areas right now in Missouri 4-H is robotics. There are robotics projects for a wide variety of interests and available resources, from “Junk Drawer Robotics,” which teaches robotic concepts with low-cost materials to “Robotics Platforms,” which requires access to a robotics kit. Brittany Bolz, a junior at Camdenton High School, has been in robotics three years. She plans to study biological or nuclear engineering. “4-H has brought me out of my shell,” she says. “It has made me aware that I can do so much more than I thought I could.” Also popular now are entrepreneurship projects, which can help students start their own businesses, from cake decorating to selling 4-H craft projects online. Filmmaking is another hot opportunity. Missouri 4-H hosts the National 4-H Film Fest, which “affords young people an opportunity to express themselves in a contemporary manner and to connect with leaders in the industry,” Linville says. No matter what project a 4-H student chooses, an important part of their 4-H club experience will be learning to serve. “There are leadership and citizenship opportunities that challenge the young people to value contributing back to their communities,” Linville says. What ties the various programs together and makes 4-H special is that all of the activities and instruction are rooted in research and discovery

principles. That means 4-H participants are learning how academic research is done, which gives them a head start in college. What’s more, special events let 4-H participants make direct connections to the university long before they are ready for college.

4-H participants are learning how academic research is done, which gives them a head start in college.

4-H Robotics LASER 3284 team members Michael Warner and Reagan Hubbard put together game tables for the upcoming Mid-Missouri FIRST Robotics Lego League competition in Camdenton. Photo by Linda Geist

“We typically connect 8,500 young people to campus and faculty annually,” Linville says. “These young people may come to the university several times in their 4-H career, to the point where being on a college campus is familiar to them, and it reduces the barrier to college. They can project themselves in a higher education setting.” The result: 4-H participants are twice as likely to go on to college as demographically similar peers. “Individuals with higher levels of education are less likely to need government-funded social programs and more likely to volunteer, vote and raise educated children,” Linville says. “4-H is a great return on investment now and for the future.” university of missouri system ❘ ❙❚ 25

mu e x t ensi o n

How Does Extension Fit? While the practical focus of land-grant universities made higher education relevant to more people, the education was still reserved for university students. To make practical education truly available to all, Congress passed the 1914 Smith-Lever Act, which provided land-grant institutions federal support to offer educational programs to enhance the application of useful and practical information beyond their campuses. These “cooperative extension” efforts were to be partnerships among federal, state and local governments. One hundred years later, extension is in every state and territory, representing a nationwide, noncredit educational network. “The thing that I think is most amazing is that back at a time when formal elementary schooling was not the norm, there were discussions about how education was going to transform society,” says Dennis Gagnon, director of MU Extension’s communications and marketing. “And when you take a look at the areas of the world that have made a huge leap in the past 150 years, what is the cornerstone of all that? Public education.”

26 ❚❙ ❘ Spectrum

What Is A “Land-Grant” University?


he extension mission of practical education for all is a concept that traces back to the mid-1800s and a U.S. Senator named Justin Morrill. Morrill insisted that for America’s democratic society to thrive, there had to be education for the masses. His campaign resulted in the 1862 Morrill Act, which created the “land-grant” college and university, so named because Congress granted every state federal land to sell, to secure funds to endow and support at least one college. “Land-grant” colleges departed from the classical, liberal arts model of higher education to provide practical education to people in the working class. The goal was to help people make better use of their resources, contribute to the economy and improve their quality of life. At the University of Missouri — which was founded 23 years before the 1862 Morrill Act — land-grant funds applied in 1870 expanded offerings from literature, medicine, religion and law to include studies in a new College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts on the Columbia campus and a new School of Mines and Metallurgy in Rolla. The federal Hatch Act of 1887 established the Agricultural Experiment Station, which first operated on Sanborn Field in Columbia in 1888. Sanborn is the oldest continuous experimental field west of the Mississippi River. Today, the university manages 19 experiment stations across the state. Photo courtesy of University of Missouri Archives

Get Connected Ready to get connected to MU Extension’s resources? The easiest way is through your local MU Extension office. Visit, and beneath “MU Extension near you,” select your county from the dropdown menu. It will bring up the address, phone number and website link for your local extension office.

p r e si d en t i a l p ro f i l e

Tim Wolfe was announced as the 23rd president of the University of Missouri System on Dec.12, 2011. Photo by L.G. Patterson

During his days at Columbia’s Rock Bridge High School, Wolfe was a quarterback who led his team to the 1975 Class 3A state championship his senior year.

Missouri Is Where The Heart Is Getting To Know UM System President Tim Wolfe B y anita neal harrison


or University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe, one of the greatest perks of his job is talking with students on the university’s four campuses. “You just need to meet with some of the students and see their brilliance, creativity and passion for what they are learning and for what they want to be to know that making higher education affordable and accessible is a noble cause,” he says. Wolfe was announced as the UM System president in December of 2011. The job represented a homecoming for Wolfe, who grew up in Columbia. His father Joe was a member of the MU Department of Communication faculty for 30 years, and his mother Judith earned four degrees, including a law degree, from MU. Wolfe also earned a degree from MU, a bachelor’s from the College of Business in 1980. That was followed by an impressive career in the business world spanning more than 30 years and included leadership positions at global information technology firms. But then, the lure of home brought the Missouri native back to his roots. “Tim Wolfe comes back to us as a successful graduate with a 30-year career in business,” said former

University of Missouri Board of Curators Chair Warren Erdman, announcing Wolfe’s appointment as president. “He comes back to us now with national and international experience, but also with a heart that always stayed in Missouri.” That element of homecoming was attractive to Wolfe as he considered the leadership offer. “I felt my career success was built on the great college education that I had from MU, so it was compelling to have the chance to give back where I had received so much. And also, I liked the idea of getting back to Columbia where I grew up and to work with friends that I’ve made over the years,” he says. But coming home wasn’t the most significant reason he saw for accepting the offer. Instead, it was the chance to lead an institution where the results wouldn’t be measured in stock price or profit margins, but in how he would influence students, communities and the state. He felt honored to influence the lives of more than 75,000 students, creating opportunities for them to pursue education and research that could launch successful careers. To help those students, Wolfe has had to use all of his skills as a businessman. He’s leading at a university of missouri system ❘ ❙❚ 29

p r e si d en t i a l p ro f i l e

Today, Wolfe is an outdoorsman who loves duck hunting, fishing and canoeing. He’s also a runner, golfer, avid reader and a lover of music. He learned guitar in grade school and was in a cover band early on at IBM. His lack of musical talent led him to a career in business. Wolfe and wife, Molly, have two children who are now in college, twins Madison (Maddie) and Tyler.

time when state support is down and costs of doing business are up. To combat those trends, his tenure as president has included aggressively working to increase overall awareness of the role the UM System’s four campuses play in promoting the education, economy, health, innovation, arts, culture and overall quality of life for Missourians across the state. And he counts on the help of his fellow Missourians in leading an awareness campaign to show them it’s in their best interest to keep the University of Missouri System strong and competitive globally. “First, we improve awareness of the University of Missouri System and all it does for the state, and then once awareness is improved, we have to increase the interest, or the support, for education,” he says.

Wolfe wants Missourians to be aware of the many ways the university has a presence across the state. This presence includes local extension offices and a network of 19 agricultural experiment stations across the state, which promote best farming practices to ensure the safety and bounty of the state’s food supply. The university focuses on meeting the health care needs of the state through University Hospitals and Clinics, as well as the more than 200 telehealth sites throughout the state. The university drives innovation through its 10 research parks and incubators; as well as the economy through its 39 Small Business and Technology Development Centers. In addition to the university’s physical presence, the UM System provides Internet service and support to 83 percent of Missouri’s public schools, as well as to public libraries in many rural towns, through MOREnet. “We also have a profound influence on the state’s workforce through educating the majority of the state’s doctors, dentists, engineers, lawyers and other professionals,” Wolfe says. “And, our cutting-edge research is solving serious problems, including health, business and social problems, every day.” With all of the ways the UM System is benefitting Missouri, Wolfe has found it’s incredibly easy to connect with the people he meets, no matter where he is in the state. “When I travel the state of Missouri, I don’t have to use the Kevin Bacon ‘six degrees of separation’ to find something in common with people I meet,” Wolfe says. “Everywhere I go, it’s usually one degree or two degrees to find either somebody I know in common with the person I’m meeting or something the University of Missouri System has done to touch that person’s life. That’s been a remarkable, eye-opening experience.”

Follow UM System President Tim Wolfe on Twitter @UMPrez, or visit his website at 30 ❚❙ ❘ Spectrum

Businessman Wolfe

Top: Wolfe visits with guests following his announcement as president Dec. 12, 2011. Photo by L.G. Patterson; President Wolfe visits with media following the announcement of R. Bowen Loftin as the MU chancellor on Dec. 5, 2013. Photo by Gene Royer

Wolfe came to the UM System from a business career strong in innovation and leadership. Following his MU graduation, he joined IBM as a sales representative in Jefferson City. He stayed with IBM for 20 years, rising to the position of vice president and general manager of the global distribution sector. In 1995, he graduated from Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program. From IBM, he spent three years as executive vice president of Covansys, a global consulting and technology services company, before joining the Massachusetts software firm Novell in 2003. As Novell’s president of the Americas, he negotiated the 2011 sale of Novell to Attachmate. It was shortly after leaving Novell that the UM System contacted him about its open presidency.

university of missouri system ❘ ❙❚ 31

s t r at eg y

A Top Return On Investment Strategic Planning For A New Era Of Accountability


niversity of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe isn’t a big fan of “because-we’ve-alwaysdone-it-this-way” logic. Case in point: Just three months after taking office, Wolfe initiated a systemwide strategic planning process in June 2012. Emerging trends in higher education including fiscal uncertainty, the need to differentiate in order to maintain competitiveness, disruptive innovations in education driven by technological advances, and the need for accountability and transparency led Wolfe to begin the process. “In order to continue to serve the state of Missouri, we must chart a course that ensures our vitality well into the future,” Wolfe says. “We do this by developing clear, compelling and achievable strategic priorities with a supporting financial plan.” He found that other university leaders agreed. Their readiness to innovate became apparent when Wolfe suggested an overhaul to how the UM System distributes funds across its four campuses in order to fund these strategic priorities. Prior to Wolfe, funding distributions were based on percentages set decades ago, and not on any current factors. “When I talked to the chancellors and asked them if this was still appropriate, in unison they said ‘No. That’s not how we do things on our campus when we allocate dollars.’ So, I said, ‘Let’s change it,’ and they agreed,” Wolfe says. University of Missouri-Kansas City Chancellor Leo E. Morton, with a long career history as an engineer and privatesector manager, applauded the move to a performance-based system that rewards innovation. “Today’s world changes so fast that flexibility is a real key to success,”

32 ❚❙ ❘ Spectrum

UMKC Chancellor Leo Morton visits with students at a Trustee’s Scholars reception. Photo by Janet Rogers/UMKC Strategic Marketing & Communications Morton says. “Organizations that stay mired in arbitrary, fixed arrangements will be left behind by more nimble, faster-responding competitors.”

“Organizations that stay mired in arbitrary, fixed arrangements will be left behind by more nimble, faster-responding competitors.” — UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton What has resulted is a profound change in how university administrators base funding distribution, which is now on the strength of each campus’s strategic plan. As opposed to each campus just automatically receiving a set percentage of funds — which was the practice since the UM System was established in 1963 — each campus now submits an application outlining how it will use the

requested funds to advance its strategic plan. By requiring each campus to, in effect, compete for a higher percentage of the funds based on the strength of its strategic plan, the process also serves as a clear example of how the system’s four campuses are excellent stewards of public resources. “Higher education is at a crossroads,” Missouri University of Science and Technology Chancellor Cheryl B. Schrader says. “This is the opportune time to create an environment that fosters innovation — in research, in the classroom and in the way we do business — so that we continually progress toward the bold goals of our strategic plan in a focused and effective manner. At Missouri S&T, it is all about building relationships with our key customers and ensuring that we provide the best return on their investment.” Wolfe had charged the campuses with developing strategic plans in 2012. “We recognized that to continue to meet the expectations in our mission

UM System Strategy Statement The UM System will collaborate with the campuses in achieving, by 2018, mutually agreed upon, best-in-class performance by leveraging our unique campus strengths and resources through applying leading practices and advocating for higher education and the university.

MU Strategy Statement UMSL Chancellor Tom George (center) joins Renee Montagne, West Coast host of NPR’s “Morning Edition,” and Tim Eby, general manager, St. Louis Public Radio, in cutting the ribbon for the opening of UMSL at Grand Center. Photo by August Jennewein statement, we had to have a plan to achieve measurable objectives within a certain time frame,” Wolfe says. “Strategic planning has allowed us to invest based on our priorities.” Requiring the campuses to go through an application process requires a lot more work for administrators than the old model, which, Wolfe points out, required “no thought at all.” But it’s worth the effort, Wolfe believes, because the new model ensures funds are used to meet prioritized goals. “It used to be the budget influenced the priorities; now our priorities influence the budget,” Wolfe says. “That’s a significant paradigm shift.” He explains that in the past, leaders would wait to see whether factors such as state support or tuition dollars had increased or decreased the budget and would then make spending choices based on available funds and previous commitments. The problem with this approach, Wolfe says, is it rarely left money for long-term strategic investments. As a result, campuses were seeing buildings fall into disrepair, faculty salaries were falling behind those at peer universities, labs were out-of-date, and so on. With strategic planning, university leaders are now making choices about what to fund before seeing the budget. While that requires cutting from some efforts — a decision that’s never easy to make — those strategic cuts are allowing the university to advance where its leaders have agreed it must advance.

“Aligning state and internally reallocated funds to achieve the top priorities of this plan better ensures we remain focused,” University of Missouri-St. Louis Chancellor Tom George says, “and increases the likelihood of success.” “Now, we start the process with, ‘Let’s pay for these goals and priorities because we have all agreed to them,’ and then at the end of the process, look at the budget,” Wolfe says. This process encourages administration and faculty to relate every potential action back to their strategic plans, and that’s bringing everyone together to talk about the right things, Wolfe adds. “It’s a great way to evaluate ideas,” he says. “‘Does it fit in our strategic plan, and if not, then why are we talking about it? We don’t need to spend any time on it.’” Another benefit is the new level of accountability. Every plan is on the UM System website for all Missourians to see, and not only the plans, but also measures of the campuses’ performances. “Our new strategic planning lets as many people as possible appreciate and understand where we’re heading, why we’re heading in that direction and how we are going to measure our progress and be accountable for progress against agreed-to goals,” Wolfe says. “That clarity and transparency ensure the University of Missouri System is a great steward of the precious resources that we receive from our students and families, from our donors and from the state.” — Anita Neal Harrison

Building on its unique interdisciplinary research and teaching strengths, exemplified by Mizzou Advantage, MU will, by 2018, enhance its academic stature as measured by publicly available metrics, including those of the Association of American Universities.

UMKC Strategy Statement By 2020, we will grow enrollment to 20,000 and increase graduation rates 10 percent by ensuring student success through a small-college experience as Kansas City’s community engaged urban research university, while leveraging our strengths in the visual and performing arts, life and health sciences, and entrepreneurship.

MisSouri s&t Strategy Statement Missouri S&T will provide, by 2020, a top return on investment among public research universities to students, employers, research partners and donors through extraordinary access to renowned expertise, services and experiential learning opportunities.

UMSL Strategy Statement By 2018, UMSL will increase the annual number of degrees conferred by 20 percent through an enriched UMSL experience with enhanced relationships and more research and community engagement integrated into student learning to fulfill our metropolitan land-grant mission.

university of missouri system ❘ ❙❚ 33

s t em

Ensuring Missouri’s Future Economic Vitality Powering Missouri Through Science, Technology, Engineering and Math juncture in which we can benefit from this growth or lose out to other states and countries. The key to meeting the increased demand for STEM-skilled employees is education. Of the 100-plus occupations classified as STEM in the state of Missouri, 70 percent require a bachelor’s degree or more. The bottom line is that we can either invest in building the workforce that’s needed to attract and retain the Boeings of the world, or we can watch the STEM groundswell and its direct impact on our state’s economy pass us by. Missouri S&T Chancellor Cheryl B. Schrader


ationwide, there has been an increased focus on the need for a workforce skilled in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Chancellor Cheryl B. Schrader of Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) explains why STEM education has become a hot topic among business, education and government leaders and what the University of Missouri System is doing to position Missouri for global competitiveness.

Why is boosting the number of graduates in the STEM fields critical to our state’s future economy?

There is no sector of our economy poised for more growth than the STEM fields, and Missouri is at a critical

34 ❚❙ ❘ Spectrum

What negative experiences seem to be limiting student interest in STEM fields?

It is important to note that in Missouri, and nationally overall, interest in the STEM fields is on the rise, but there are challenges. One is that students often lack mentors in the STEM fields. Although children grow up being generally aware of professions such as nursing, law or education, far fewer have an opportunity to meet people who design the bridges to tomorrow, invent the next social media platform or refine prescription drugs. We find that girls and underrepresented minorities, in particular, lack exposure to professionals in the STEM fields and the belief in themselves that they, too, can change the world and improve the quality of life for so many.

You’ve previously addressed the challenge rural students sometimes face in not having advanced STEM courses to take in high school. What

is your message to these students?

We know that if students don’t have a strong foundation in math and science, it becomes more difficult to pursue an educational path in areas like engineering or physics. Research also shows, however, that high school students who take math all four years — regardless of the level of those classes — have a strong chance to succeed in engineering and science. That is, as long as students are persistent, they can be successful even if they are not at an advanced math level entering college. The message: If your school does not offer pre-calculus, take statistics instead, or investigate online or community college offerings!

What are some ways the University of Missouri System is improving education in STEM? Every summer, Missouri S&T hosts events such as explosives and aerospace camps to introduce elementary, middle and high school students to the STEM fields and show how they can make a difference in this world and, most importantly, to give them role models. Through our participation in the national Project Lead the Way program, we also welcome over 200 middle and high school teachers to campus each year to show them how they can reach more students — male and female — through hands-on engineering and biomedical science exploration. If S&T can ensure that more Missourians graduating from high school have basic math and science competency, a large battle will have been won because these students will have choices about their next steps and their future.

Left top: Teachers conduct experiments during a Project Lead the Way summer program to learn skills necessary for teaching science and engineering to middle and high school students. Left below: Miriah Anderson, the first female team leader for the Missouri S&T Robotics Team, shows off the JΩTron robot. Photo by B.A. Rupert

Overall the UM System is working hard to keep up with the state’s demand for STEM employees post college graduation. By requesting state funds to match raised funds, the system and campuses plan to make improvements to buildings needed to facilitate STEM courses. Also, as President Wolfe, chancellors and other university leaders travel the state, they have conversations with business leaders to see what their workforce needs are in the coming years and how the UM System can make sure their graduates are ready to fulfill those roles.

What are some misconceptions that often need to be addressed to help students see STEM as a career for them?

In addition to our strong secondary education degrees, Missouri S&T will offer a STEM-focused elementary education program beginning in the fall of 2014. This program was developed in response to a request from Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and involves a unique partnership with Rolla Public Schools to embed S&T students in the classroom during their junior and senior years.

The UM System often evaluates courses as needed to ensure that we fulfill the role of the state’s public land-grant institution and educate students in the areas necessary for the government and industry. An example of this is the newly approved explosives engineering Ph.D. program approved at Missouri S&T. This program, once offered only at the undergraduate level, is now available for a post-graduate certificate, a master’s degree and now a Ph.D.

This is an issue that I am passionate about, both as a woman leading a technological research university and as a mom. I think those of us in STEM education need to do a better job of communicating all the ways STEM professionals have made the world a better place. Because of advances in STEM, we are able to bring clean drinking water to developing countries. We have advanced computers and online social networks to connect to one another. We have safer bridges that last longer and leave a smaller carbon footprint. We have better prescription drugs and safer food. The list goes on and on. The fact is that the STEM fields play an integral role in the quality of life we enjoy, and the solutions to many of the world’s greatest challenges in communication, water, health, environment, energy and happiness. — Anita Neal Harrison

university of missouri system ❘ ❙❚ 35

s t em

Left: Camp Invention allows first through sixth graders the chance to become inventors at Missouri S&T. Right: High school students get a hands-on look at engineering at the Minority Intro to Technology and Engineering program at Missouri S&T.

◗ Lots of Students Love STEM … They Just Don’t Know It


ne way the University of Missouri System is improving STEM education is through Missouri S&T serving as the state’s leading affiliate university for Project Lead the Way, a program aimed at increasing the interest that elementary, middle school and high school students have in the STEM fields. Project Lead the Way classrooms become portals into the worlds of medicine, aeronautics, digital electronics and other applied math and science career fields. Students who thought math and science weren’t their thing discover their own curiosity could lead them to STEM, says Ralph Flori, chair of Missouri S&T’s geological sciences and engineering department. He tells a story about visiting a junior high classroom to illustrate. Excited to speak with the students about engineering, Flori opened his talk with, “Raise your hand if you love math!”

36 ❚❙ ❘ Spectrum

Just three hands went up. So he took another approach. “How many of you like to look at a machine or gadget and wonder, how was this designed, why was it put together this way?” he asked. This question drew about a dozen hands. The interest was there all along, Flori says, but the students needed help recognizing it. Unfortunately, the trend has been that only those first few students take the right classes in high school to pursue a STEM degree in college. “If you look at the statistics — it’s creeping up a little bit — but statewide, the number of students who want to do engineering and do well enough on their ACT to be able to go to an engineering school, it’s around five percent of Missouri graduates,” Flori says. “I think the appeal of a curriculum like Project Lead the Way is to help kids realize sooner: ‘Wow, this is pretty cool! I can do this! I want to do this!’”

Here are some other questions that can reveal an untapped curiosity for STEM: 1. What makes those layers of rock in a roadcut? 2. How did we end up with poodles, hounds and pit bulls? 3. How does flipping this switch make a light come on? 4. Why do some bridges have supports above the bridge and some don’t? 5. What makes a rocket go so high?

ag r i c u lt u r e

Proud To Support Missouri Ag The University Of Missouri System Has Deep Roots In Agriculture B y anita neal harrison


issouri takes great pride in being an agriculture state. From the statue of the Roman agricultural goddess, Ceres, atop the Capitol dome to the choice of the Missouri mule for the state’s official animal, agriculture has long had a leading role in the state’s culture. It also has a leading role in the state’s economy, and the University of Missouri System is a proud champion of the state’s agricultural industry. “Agriculture is the largest industry in the state, and as the state’s land-grant institution, the University of Missouri has an obligation to provide educational resources and outreach support for that industry,” says Marc Linit, associate dean for research and extension for the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR). Much of the UM System’s efforts are concentrated on the MU campus, which is home to both CAFNR and the College of Veterinary Medicine. Between these two colleges, MU is advancing best farming practices, ensuring the safety and bounty of Missouri’s food supply, providing care to thousands of animals statewide and leading the world in the convergence of human and animal medicine — just to name a few accomplishments.

38 ❚❙ ❘ Spectrum

Bruce Burdick, superintendent at Hundley Whaley Research Center, shows off the precision agriculture cover crop study in Albany. Burdick’s study is looking at how broadcast versus precision seeding of cover crops affect corn and soybean yields. Photo by Kyle Spradley

university of missouri system ❘ ❙❚ 39

ag r i c u lt u r e

◗ Ag Researchers Collaborate To Support Missouri Farms


stablished in 1870, the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) has helped Missouri progress from the era of horse-pulled plows to one of GPSdirected tractors. And more advances are coming. “Agriculture is not a static industry; it is a very dynamic industry,” Linit says. “We need to continuously move forward in agriculture in order to guard what many of us take for granted: the safest, most affordable food system on the planet.” CAFNR is moving Missouri agriculture forward through the college’s trifold mission of teaching, research and extension.


Agriculture is Missouri’s leading employer, and CAFNR trains the next generation of the agricultural workforce. “We partner with employers to ensure that our curricula and learning experiences are preparing students well for their chosen career paths,” says Bryan Garton, associate dean and director of academic programs at CAFNR. Those paths are diverse. Undergraduate students in CAFNR choose from 15 degree programs, with careers ranging from hotel and restaurant management, to agricultural production and food processing, to laboratory science and medical careers. In all areas of CAFNR, students engage in experiential learning. CAFNR students practice their skills in realworld laboratory settings that include a student-run bed and breakfast, flower shop, meat market, culinary cafe and ice cream shop. There are also several scholars programs that provide students with experience in agribusinesses, research and entrepreneurship, and there

40 ❚❙ ❘ Spectrum

are specialized study abroad programs that take students around the world to learn about everything from food security to wildlife management. The college also encourages students to take outside internships, and the CAFNR Career Services team helps students land those opportunities, as well as their first jobs, with impressive success: Following graduation, 93 percent of CAFNR students are employed in a field directly related to their degree programs. “It’s experience,” Garton says, explaining what sets these CAFNR graduates apart. “When people hire our graduates, they want individuals who have real experience, not just a diploma that says, ‘I’ve earned a degree.’ Having that experience is what’s critical.” And Missouri is benefiting from the success of these students. “From the most recent MU Destination Survey, we know that 82 percent of our graduates stayed in Missouri,” Garton says, adding a review of first job destination also reveals, anecdotally, that many CAFNR graduates are returning to rural areas and small towns.


While some people might think farmers know how to grow food and all they have to do now is continue to do what they’ve done, in reality, agriculture must continuously adapt to enormous changes — from a changing climate to a changing global economy. Research at CAFNR gives Missouri farmers the information they need to meet the latest challenges. Discoveries at CAFNR increase agricultural productivity and profit, improve food safety, promote a sustainable environment, advance genetic research, develop better animal production systems and enhance the health of humans.

While much of the research begins in a laboratory on campus, University of Missouri researchers also benefit from access to 19 outstate research centers. These centers fall under the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station, which is part of a national agricultural research network. Having research centers all across Missouri is crucial because with the state’s varied soil and climatic conditions, what works in one region of the state won’t always work in another. Plus, the different centers focus on varying aspects of Missouri agriculture. For example, while research at the Hundley Whaley Research Center in Albany focuses on corn and soybean projects, research at the Fisher Delta Research Center in Portageville focuses on cotton and rice production.

Still another reason for the diversity of locations is that the centers are sites for public outreach. “The research centers operate collaboratively with MU Extension faculty, both on campus and also regional extension faculty, to put on demonstration projects for producers,” Linit says. The Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program is a good example. The program began when David Patterson, a professor with a joint appointment in extension and research in CAFNR, recognized an opportunity for Missouri beef producers to improve the quality of their herds through improving the herds’ replacement females. A focus of Patterson’s research was to develop

breeding systems that would expand use of artificial insemination to lead to improved herd genetics. Although artificial insemination is known to result in better genetics, only 10 percent of cows in the U.S. are artificially inseminated. Herd owners cite lack of time and labor as the biggest obstacles. Patterson along with graduate students developed methods to synchronize the reproductive cycles in cattle so that all of the heifers or cows in a herd could be artificially inseminated in one day. As Patterson developed these methods in the 1990s and 2000s, he ran experiments with the cow herd at the MU Thompson Research Center in Spickard. Once the research was

The Forage Systems Research Center in Linneus works to improve the quality of forage grass and determines its best use. An early promoter of management-intensive grazing, the center supports the agricultural industry through courses in rotational grazing, cattle management and the economics of beef and forage. Photo by Kyle Spradley demonstrated to work effectively, Patterson then worked with regional extension livestock specialists, herd owners and their veterinarians across Missouri to transfer the technology to the field. One family farm benefitting from the program is Crooks Farm in Leeton. The farm joined the Show-Me-Select program in 1998, and began using artificial insemination. “It’s improved our cow herd tremendously,” says Doug Crooks, who runs the farm with his father, Alvin Crooks, university of missouri system ❘ ❙❚ 41

ag r i c u lt u r e Soybeans are harvested at the Fisher Delta Research Center. Three locations make up the center’s 1,078 acres in the 12-county area that forms the Missouri Bootheel. Opposite page: Harvested cotton runs through the gin at the Fisher Delta Research Center in Portageville. Photos by Kyle Spradley

and brother-in-law, Howard Early. “We’re getting a lot better genetics in our cattle, we’re getting better weaning weight and we’re getting better maternal cows that milk better and raise better calves. Also, since we started doing this, we’ll keep back anywhere from 25 to 30 Simmental and SimAngus bulls and sell also.”

By 2013, producers from 103 of Missouri’s 114 counties had enrolled heifers in the Show-Me-Select program, with buyers coming from 108 Missouri counties and 17 other states. By 2013, producers from 103 of Missouri’s 114 counties had enrolled heifers in the Show-Me-Select program, with buyers coming from 108 Missouri counties and 17 other states. To date, more than 111,000 heifers have been enrolled in the Show-Me-Select program from 776 farms across Missouri, and the program’s estimated contribution to Missouri’s economy has exceeded $75 million.

42 ❚❙ ❘ Spectrum

“Show-Me-Select has been a conduit from the university to the field, which has contributed to an improvement in cow herds across the state and a growing awareness of the technology that’s available for use,” Patterson says.


At CAFNR, it’s business-as-usual to move research out of the university setting and into the public domain. In fact, many faculty members are like Patterson in that they have dual responsibilities to conduct research and then to deliver the findings through extension. “This is a unique feature of a land-grant university college of agriculture,” says Linit. “Individuals have responsibilities to do original research — in this case it’s usually applied research, practical research — and they also have responsibilities for developing programs where they deliver the information developed in that research to stakeholders. These can be agricultural producers or a subset of the agricultural industry — food safety, for example.” MU Extension offers dozens of Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension programs, most of which

are delivered to the public in group settings. The effect these programs have on Missouri’s agriculture and natural resources is enormous: • The MO PORK program has helped pork producers reformulate their swine’s diets to save more than $36 million in feed. • The beef nutrition program educated producers on strategies to reduce their hay needs by 10 to 30 percent and cut supplementation cost by 25 percent. • MU Extension faculty provided certification and recertification training for more than 3,000 private and commercial pesticide applicators in 2013. • Educating producers about better irrigation management resulted in increased production valued at about $40 million in 2013. • Master Gardeners contributed 145,273 volunteer hours in 2013 with an estimated financial benefit to communities of nearly $2.86 million. • Participants in the Missouri Woodland Steward Program implemented forest management plans and estimated that they increased the value of their forests by $750 per acre.

◗ Missouri’s Only Vet Med Program Provides Top Care

A Taking all of it together, David Baker, assistant dean and program director for Agriculture and Natural Resource Extension, points out that the impact the university is making through its work in agriculture, food and natural resources goes beyond even the crucial economic boost of supporting the state’s largest industry. “You look at how we’re addressing environmental issues, such as water quality and water quantity, and it’s extremely important that we as an agricultural institution are doing research and educational programming to help local communities deal with those challenges,” he says. “And, then you look at the long-term impact: If we’re going to feed 9 billion people by 2050, we’ve got to grow this industry and grow it dramatically. We need to make more advances than we’ve made in the last 100 years as far as production. At the same time, we need to balance those impacts upon the environment and improve the quality of life in rural areas. The College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources will help Missourians and the world meet these goals.”

s the only college in Missouri to award the doctor of veterinary medicine degree, the MU College of Veterinary Medicine graduates approximately 115 new veterinarians each year. These veterinarians leave MU with experience gained at the college’s Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and the Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory. Along with providing practical education for future veterinarians, the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital serves Missouri agriculture by providing state-of-the-art care to the state’s animals. The hospital’s Food Animal Clinic is one of the busiest food animal hospitals in North America, with the bulk of the caseload consisting of traditional agricultural animals, including beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine, sheep and goats. Twenty years ago, most of the agricultural animals treated by the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital came to the clinic. Not so now, says Dr. Neil Olson, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “Now that Columbia has become more urbanized, in most cases, it’s just not practical to bring a sick animal to the hospital,” he says. “So, our activity is more about going out to individual farms and to the larger, corporate farms.” The outreach isn’t just for sick and injured animals. The Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital’s ambulatory services, which go out about 50 miles from Columbia, cover a full spectrum of field services. Missourians throughout the state benefit from the consultation and laboratory services.

Taking Care To The Farm

The Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital has two ambulatory programs, one for food animals and one for equine species. These programs have full-time veterinarians and

rotating interns who offer a wide range of field services, from routine preventive care to field surgery, and from endoscopy to digital radiography. Last year, the Food Animal Ambulatory Service had 9,277 cases, while the Equine Ambulatory Service saw 2,436 cases. Sherri Crider, an owner of Guardian Oak Growth by Giving Association, a nonprofit equine rescue, riding and educational program in mid-Missouri, regularly uses the Equine Ambulatory Service to check the health of rescued horses. “Through the years, our horses have presented many unique medical challenges, and MU has always provided wonderful care for them,” Crider says. For example, she offers the case of Gemini and Imp, two colts rescued from sales in Pennsylvania. Gemini was a withdrawn, scared colt with misshapen back legs when Guardian Oak rescued him, and Crider paired Gemini with Imp, rescued on the same trip but at a different sale, in the hope the two would be buddies. “The minute we put them together, Gemini attached himself to Imp,” Crider says. Together, Imp and Gemini arrived at Guardian Oak “depressed, coughing, a bit snotty and definitely not acting like happy active colts,” Crider says. “Since I was working on building trust with them, I told the veterinarians, ‘No way was I coming in.’ ” So, the Equine Ambulatory Service came to Gemini and Imp. The veterinarian, Dr. Martha Rasch, found both colts had temperatures and upper respiratory infections. She prescribed a course of antibiotics, along with worming. Soon, Crider saw both colts make a turnaround. “Both were feisty and frisky foals before they had finished their meds,” she reports. Crider adds, “I am impressed at the willingness and ability of the MU veterinarians to help a horse as an university of missouri system ❘ ❙❚ 43

ag r i c u lt u r e

individual, often thinking outside of the box to do so.”

Beef Herd Management Services

Another field service the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital provides is production medicine. “A large part of what we do is work with food animal producers to develop preventive medicine protocols that enhance the health, well-being and productivity of their herds,” says Dr. John Middleton, professor and section head of Food Animal Medicine and Surgery. One example of production medicine is the Beef Herd Management program. This fee-for-service program helps beef cattle producers maximize profitability of their cow/calf operations through preventive health management, reproductive management and herd productivity tracking. William Cleeton, a beef cattle farmer in Moberly, is one satisfied Beef Herd Management client. He began using the service in 2013 after 52 of his cows — about a third of his herd — failed to calve. “The MU vets started working up a practical program for me, and I’ve been in love ever since,” Cleeton says. “It used to be we didn’t treat until a problem showed up, but then it was too late — we were losing money. Now we don’t wait until there’s a problem. We head it off with vaccines and parasite controls and even little things. Little things are huge things.” For example, Cleeton, following the advice from university veterinarians, now always has his bulls checked before breeding. “It’s those little herd management issues that made a believer out of me,” he says. Cleeton adds that he now considers MU to be an important partner in his cattle operation, which he and his wife took over from his aging parents. “We feel a lot more confident in what we’re doing because we know if there’s a problem there’s someone a phone call away to help,” he says.

Solving Mysteries

The Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory is the only nationally accredited

44 ❚❙ ❘ Spectrum

diagnostic laboratory in Missouri and one of only five in the Midwest. Producers, veterinarians, state regulatory agencies, conservationists, scientists and researchers all use the diagnostic laboratory to help determine the cause of disease and death in Missouri livestock and poultry. Dr. Tim Evans, a veterinary toxicologist, talks with producers, extension agents, veterinarians and regulatory officials on a regular basis. “The questions might be as straightforward as the identification of a potentially toxic plant, or they might involve discussion of all of the diseases, including common intoxications, which could have possibly resulted in observed illness or death in a given livestock species,” he says. Along with answering questions, Evans and his colleagues work to make sure producers and veterinarians are aware of environmental factors that might lead to an increased incidence of certain intoxications or infectious diseases and to

help in the prevention and diagnosis of those disease syndromes. “For instance, in 2012 when we were experiencing a drought, the diagnostic laboratory tested lots of samples of corn plants for elevated concentrations of nitrates, which can potentially cause death in cattle,” Evans says. “We also distributed lots of nitrate test kits, so local extension agents could test their producers’ forages for nitrate. When a cattle owner or their veterinarian suspected that cattle might have died from nitrate poisoning, the diagnostic lab tested samples collected from deceased animals to confirm that diagnosis.” One farmer who benefitted from the nitrate testing was Jeff Robinson of Rockin’ R Farms in Lucerne. He, along with several other producers in the Putnam County area, brought forage to a mobile laboratory set up by extension agents for testing.

G. Tyler Kimberlin, CVM Class of 2011, listens to a calf’s heartbeat at the MU Foremost Dairy Center. Opposite page: Haley Dingfelder, CVM Class of 2011 and Kelvin Urday, CVM Class of 2011 examine a client’s horse while on an Equine Ambulatory call. Photos by Bob Wiedmeyer

“We brought in several samples, and we were able to determine which ones were high in nitrate,” Robinson says. “Therefore we adjusted and figured out a plan to feed a percentage of that forage in the winter, where it wouldn’t be at the high risk if we fed it to them straight.” At the opposite end of the state, Dr. Mike Bloss, a veterinarian at Countryside Animal Clinic in Aurora and a graduate of the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, says the high nitrate levels were also a serious problem in his area. He referred several clients to the local extension office to use the testing kits, and he also saw his clients benefit from a newsletter put out by his area’s local extension livestock specialist. Bloss recently had an unusual case where one of his client’s mules was behaving strangely. A toxin found in poison hemlock was found in the feed. When the problem confronting producers isn’t a toxicant like nitrate, but

bacterial, viral, parasitic or something unidentified, skilled pathologists, microbiologists and other diagnosticians help producers and veterinarians find answers. “The lab is definitely a valuable resource for us when we have problems,” says Dr. Chuck Dake, another MU College of Veterinary Medicine graduate, from Dake Veterinary Clinic in Miller. “Most of the time we have a pretty good idea before contacting them, and they help us out with confirmation, and occasionally, we’re absolutely clueless, and they chase down the problem for us.”


Like CAFNR, the College of Veterinary Medicine also engages in research activities that benefit Missouri agriculture. John Middleton is wellrecognized for his research investigating mastitis in dairy cattle, while other researchers are actively investigating a

variety of livestock diseases, including pneumonia in cattle, leg problems in horses, and fungal toxins that affect poultry and swine. Each of these examples of outreach and research, Olson says, reveals the college’s commitment to providing services to support Missouri’s animal agriculture. “Veterinary medicine has been a part of the University of Missouri tradition since about 1890,” he says. “That tradition has always been about having excellence in everything we do and providing the highest quality of service that we can, and today, we continue that tradition and build on that strong foundation.” “We’re one of only 28 veterinary schools in the United States, and of those schools only about a dozen or so have a strong emphasis on food animals,” Olson adds. “All schools have to give some attention to food animals, but it’s pretty minimal in some schools. Not here. Missouri is very much an animal agriculture state.” university of missouri system ❘ ❙❚ 45

s ys t e m su p p o r t er s

The Missouri 100

Enthusiastic Supporters Advise University Leadership


here are enthusiastic supporters of the University of Missouri System all across Missouri, and one group that pulls these champions together is The Missouri 100. Launched in 2007, The Missouri 100 is a group of business and community leaders from all around Missouri who both advise and assist UM System President Tim Wolfe in promoting the university and advancing its mission. “The state is very diverse, so in order to have the best policies that benefit the state, it’s important to have the input of many different Missourians,” says Cindy Brinkley, a founding member. “That is where The Missouri 100 can really bring value because we can offer our opinions, insights and observations to President Wolfe. We’re a very diverse group, representing all different sectors and regions of Missouri, and when we come together, we make the university stronger.” As advisors to the president, The Missouri 100 members keep up-todate on important university programs, initiatives and priorities across the four UM System campuses, MU Health Care and MU Extension. In their talks with the president, they are invited to share where they are seeing challenges and opportunities. “That interaction with the president is meaningful because you are there to exchange ideas and talk about what’s going on,” says Tom Turner, a current tri-chair. “The president is interested in what we think.” In the role of ambassadors, The Missouri 100 members help encourage public dialogue about the vital role of the UM System in such areas as health care and economic development. To do this, members write letters to their local editors, speak before groups and

46 ❚❙ ❘ Spectrum

The Missouri 100 Tri-Chairs Thomas Turner, Dudley McCarter and Richard Miller organizations, communicate with public officials, and organize gatherings and events in their communities to bring university leaders, public officials and private sector representatives together to discuss challenges and issues affecting the university and the state. “The members in this group are some of the most influential people in the state,” says Richard Miller, also a current tri-chair. “There are times President Wolfe needs this type of support to advance our cause. At our meetings, we members have all had the opportunity to learn much more about the strengths of the system.” This advocacy work has become even more important as state funding for the UM System has declined, says Dudley McCarter, another current tri-chair. “Because of our low level of funding, it is difficult for the UM System to spend money to promote itself and tell the story about the things that it does

for the citizens of our state,” he says. “Thus, it is important to have a group like The Missouri 100 to tell that story to our elected officials, businesses and citizens.” The Missouri 100 members receive information through two annual statewide meetings, where speakers include the president, chancellors and invited guests, as well as through regular email updates about legislative issues and campus news throughout the year. It’s crucial that membership in this group covers of all Missouri, says Brinkley, who is a native of Milan, a small town near Kirksville. “At the end of the day, this is our university system — the residents of Missouri — and it’s only going to be as good as the people who are associated with it,” she says. “By joining together and lending your voice and your resources to making this university better, it lifts everybody up.” — Anita Neal Harrison

The Missouri 100 Members Ron Ashworth

Donald L. Cupps

Chesterfield, MO

Cassville, MO

Thomas E. Atkins, III

Ann King Dickinson

Columbia, MO

Kansas City, MO

Alan L. Atterbury

Roger A. Dorf

Kansas City, MO

Dallas, TX

W.H. Bates,

Terrence P. Dunn

Kansas City, MO

Warner Baxter St. Louis, MO

Brett D. Begemann St. Louis, MO

David R. Bradley St. Joseph, MO

Jean Paul Bradshaw Kansas City, MO

Cynthia J. Brinkley St. Louis, MO

Robert G. Brinkmann Chesterfield, MO

Kansas City, MO

Stephen E. Erdel Columbia, MO

Warren K. Erdman Kansas City, MO

D. Preston Fancher

Maryland Heights, MO

J. A. Felton

Kansas City, MO

Adam B. Fischer

James F. Hoffmeister

John W. Ricketts

St. Louis, MO

Springfield, MO

C. Blake Hurst

J. Joseph Schlafly, III

Tarkio, MO

St. Louis, MO

Michael D. Hurst

John W. Shaw

St. Louis, MO

Kansas City, MO

R. Kenneth Hutchinson

John L. Sheets

Columbia, MO

Chris T. Koenemann St. Louis, MO

Raymond J. Kowalik Kansas City, MO

Mariel T. Liggett Columbia, MO

Dale R. Ludwig Jefferson City, MO

Sedalia, MO

Teresa Maledy

Donald L. Flora

Columbia, MO

Cape Girardeau, MO

Jeanne C. Sinquefield Westphalia, MO

Paul W. Steele

Chillicothe, MO

Roger J. Steinbecker Weldon Spring, MO

Giltner B. Stevens Joplin, MO

Kit Stolen

Columbia, MO

Kenneth H. Suelthaus

Kansas City, MO

John A. Mathes

St. Louis, MO

Gary D. Forsee

St. Louis, MO

Robert M. Thompson

Greg Brown

Kansas City, MO

*W. Dudley McCarter

Kansas City, MO

Jefferson City, MO

Mark S. Foster

St. Louis, MO

William S. Thompson Jr.

Connie Burkhardt

Kansas City, MO

Larry L. McMullen

Newport Beach, CA

Frontenac, MO

Bo M. Fraser

Kansas City, MO

David T. Turner

Mark E. Burkhart St. Louis, MO

John M. Carnahan III Springfield, MO

Marie A. Casey Clayton, MO

Jerry F. Cash Springfield, MO

W. Randall Coil Columbia, MO

Morry S. Cole St. Louis, MO

Paul T. Combs Kennett, MO

S. Bryan Cook St. Louis, MO

Sam B. Cook Jefferson City, MO

Columbia, MO

Webb R. Gilmore Kansas City, MO

Wayne Goode St. Louis, MO

José M. Gutiérrez Dallas, TX

David S. Haffner Carthage, MO

John C. Hagan, III Kansas City, MO

Rick L. Means Columbia, MO

*Richard G. Miller Columbia, MO

David M. Minnick St. Louis, MO

David C. Novak Louisville, KY

Michael J. O’Brien Columbia, MO

David M. Haggard

William L. Orscheln

Steele, MO

Moberly, MO

Sam F. Hamra

Annie M. Presley

Springfield, MO

Kansas City, MO

Sara F. Harper

Robert K. Pugh

Columbia, MO

Columbia, MO

John R. Hoffman

John M. Qualy

Bucyrus, KS

St. Louis, MO

Jefferson City, MO

Edwin S. Turner Chillicothe, MO

*Thomas J. Turner Mission Hills, KS

Don O. Walsworth Sr. Marceline, MO

Linda Doolin Ward Kansas City, MO

James H. Whitaker Mission Hills, KS

Paul L. Wickens Kansas City, MO

John H. Wilson Olathe, KS

Joan B. Woodard

Albuquerque, NM

Hugh J. Zimmer

Kansas City, MO

*Tri- Chair; Members as of May 2014

For more information on how to get involved in The Missouri 100, contact Melanie Barger, University Relations,, 573-884-9724. university of missouri system ❘ ❙❚ 47

a ro u n d o u r s tat e

Show Me Value

Showcasing The Value Of Higher Education To Missouri’s Youth


t’s a cold winter morning as University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe stands before 350 students in an auditorium at Laura Speed Elliott Middle School in Boonville. He’s come to tell the students about the power a college education has to fuel all of their dreams. “I am going to share with you why I believe that, no matter what path you follow, you should work college into your life plan,” Wolfe says. “Quite simply, education is a path to lifelong success.” Wolfe’s visit to Boonville is part of the Show Me Value Tour, a campaign he launched in March 2013 to promote the value and importance of a college degree. The message Wolfe is sharing is critical for Missourians to hear at this time when several media reports — including an influential 2012 Time cover story — suggest that increasing student debt and difficulties finding a good job after graduation have made a college degree no longer worth the trouble and

48 ❚❙ ❘ Spectrum

expense. Understanding the damage this skepticism could have on Missourians’ future, Wolfe is taking a proactive approach with the Show Me Value Tour. “This skepticism about, ‘Is higher education really valuable? Is it still worth it?’ is something I couldn’t let go unanswered,” Wolfe says. “I knew I had to go out and influence the conversation because there are tons of positives to share, and Missouri students need to hear what a college education is worth, really.” On a typical Show Me Value Tour visit to a Missouri town, Wolfe speaks with middle school students about why a college education is the best investment they can make in themselves. He also tours a local business and meets with local legislators, as well as with business and community leaders to discuss workforce needs.

Higher Earnings

Wolfe knows a university president might seem a suspect source for information on

the value of higher education. After all, he’s a university president — of course he thinks a college degree is valuable! So, he lets the facts make much of his case for him. For instance, on average, college graduates earn nearly twice as much over their lifetimes as non-college graduates. That “twice as much” averages out to a cool $1.6 million. Assuming students graduate at the age of 21 and live to be 78 — the average life expectancy in the U.S. — that $1.6 million equals an extra $540 every week in the pockets of college grads. Wolfe follows up this talk of higher earnings with a discussion of higher education’s cost. He acknowledges that the “sticker price” of a college education can be shocking, but, he points out, it can also be misleading. “At the University of Missouri, nearly eight out of 10 of our students receive some form of financial aid — and the average tuition paid is less than half the ‘sticker price,’” he says.

On The Map In the first year of the Show Me Value Tour, President Wolfe’s travels took him to Moberly, St. Joseph, Farmington, Lebanon, Webb City/ Joplin, Jackson/Cape Girardeau, California, Boonville, St. Louis, Kansas City, Willard/ Springfield, Palmyra/ Hannibal, Maryville and Poplar Bluff, to explain to nearly 5,000 middle school students at 14 schools that a college degree is crucial.

Above: President Wolfe visited Jackson Junior High on Oct. 30, 2013, where he shared the value of higher education with more than 750 students. Opposite page, left: Students visit with UM System President Tim Wolfe following a presentation to grades seven through nine at Bayless High School. Photo by Justin Roberts Right: President Wolfe visits with a student at Hickman Mills Junior High School following a presentation to the ninth grade class. Photo by Kelly Peery

More Job Security

Connected to higher earnings is the extreme advantage college graduates have in avoiding unemployment. In 2012, Missourians with only a high school education faced an 11.7 percent unemployment rate — while the rate for college graduates was just 2.9 percent. A college education, Wolfe explains to students, means more choices. “So, if the company you work for goes out of business, you’ll be able to regroup and find something else — something better perhaps,” he says. “But if you work in a factory and have a very specific skill set and technology changes or the business goes under, it can be very difficult to find something that will pay as well.”

Longer Life

Another fact Wolfe shares with students touches on a benefit of education that is harder to put a dollar value on — a healthier, longer life. A study from

the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shown that, on average a 25-year-old recipient of a bachelor’s degree can expect to live almost nine years longer than a person with only a high school diploma.

Greater Self-Worth

As compelling as these benefits are, Wolfe doesn’t just recite facts and figures in his talks on the Show Me Value Tour. As he stands before the students at Boonville, he takes time to connect with the seventh and eighth graders on a personal level. He begins his talk with an unexpected confession, that he was once a “just an okay student,” and then he shares how a decision to prove to his dad that he could succeed in school led him to a fun and fulfilling college career, that in turn, has given him more than he’d ever dreamed. “It isn’t just about money,” Wolfe explains. “A college education also

gives you something intangible — a sense of pride, a sense of accomplishment. It is something that — once earned — no one can ever take away from you.” In addition to the students from Boonville, the audience includes students from other communities, including New Franklin, Prairie Home and Pilot Grove, and when the presentation is over, they fire questions at Wolfe about everything from college majors to the kind of food served in college dorms. The president has made his point, and it’s one worth repeating in an era of higher education skepticism. “We felt that, as a district, it is very important for all of our kids to hear the message about going to college, pursuing their dreams, and not giving up on education,” said Shelli Adams, Boonville R-1 assistant superintendent. “President Wolfe’s message is very powerful and all students in Missouri need to hear it.”

— Anita Neal Harrison

university of missouri system ❘ ❙❚ 49

b usi n e ss

Missouri S&T alumnus Gary White visits with rural communities throughout the world as executive director of, a nonprofit organization that has transformed hundreds of communities in Africa, South Asia and Central America by providing access to safe water and sanitation. Photo courtesy of


stars are born UM System Grads Make Headlines In The Business World Some graduates from the University of Missouri System stay in their local communities to establish a career. Others travel to seize opportunities throughout the nation or even in the international realm. Whether near or far, they’re making waves in the fields of medicine, agriculture, technology and more. Here, we highlight success stories from three of those graduates who have gone on to impact their cities, their country and the world.

B y Kate Hrdina

university of missouri system ❘ ❙❚ 51

b usi n e ss

◗ Gary White: A Thirst To Help


ary White spends his time shaking hands with presidents and talking to the world’s poorest to discover their concerns, and he also happens to be friends with actor Matt Damon. In 2011, Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people. Perhaps one of his biggest feats, though, is remaining genuine despite his success. “He realizes that to make an impact you need to interact with the people,” Dr. Joel Burken, a professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology, says. “With good policy, good science and good interaction, you can accomplish a lot.” White co-founded an organization in 2009 with Damon called The nonprofit addresses international water and sanitation issues, and aids the poor by finding culturally relevant solutions in disadvantaged communities. White’s compassionate side revealed itself early on. He grew up in Kansas City and studied engineering at the University of Missouri-Rolla (now Missouri S&T). He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1985, and with a master’s degree in 1987, both in civil engineering. He was the kind of student who organized a campaign to recruit other students for Big Brothers/ Big Sisters, and who got involved the United Way campaign. But he’s the first to admit that he was also your average, fun-loving college student and even got put on academic probation during the second semester of his sophomore year. While in college, White connected with a group from DePauw University for an opportunity to travel to Guatemala and view the country through the eyes of a budding engineer.

Missouri S&T alumus Gary White and actor Matt Damon co-founded in 2009. Here, they are greeted while visiting a small town in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Photo courtesy of

52 ❚❙ ❘ Spectrum

He had read about international issues such as the water crisis, but that trip allowed him to see the issues face-to-face for the first time. “I got it on an intellectual level before that,” he says. “But then I got it on more of an emotional level.” There was an image from the trip that stuck in White’s head. He had taken a side trip to the slums of Guatemala City. He saw children drinking filthy water because nothing else was available. This kind of lifestyle was the inspiration for his involvement in addressing the water crisis, not only for his remaining time at S&T, but also beyond graduation. Ironically, White says, the more he focused on trying to make an impact on the world, the more his grades went up. He finished out his time at S&T as an honor roll student. These are the kinds of light-bulb moments that professors hope students experience. For this reason, Burken says, White and other accomplished alumni were the inspiration behind a new experiential learning requirement for engineering students at S&T. The work doesn’t have to be international, but it does have to be hands-on. “Having an alumnus who has done what he’s done at an international scale is phenomenal,” Burken says. “It sets the bar at an achievable high level for all our students.” Burken says the engineering students at S&T are very aware of who White is and the impact he is making. He does, after all, try to spend as much time with students as possible “I want [my children] when visiting his alma to know what other mater. When he speaks to countries are like, the Engineers Without Borders club, Burken says what poverty is like and what solutions are White avoids telling the students what to do and like.” — Gary White instead has a conversation about their ideas. White rejects pomp and circumstance as much as possible. During one of his visits to S&T, he was asked to give a speech about the awards he had received. Instead, White set up an interview–style presentation where professors who knew him asked him questions about his work. White’s trademark as part of has also been this kind of on-the-ground interaction with the people. It’s an example he’s started passing on to his children, both when he’s working abroad and when he’s home. White says although he enjoys cycling and hiking, his priority when he’s back in Kansas City is spending time with his wife, Becky, and their two children, Anna and Henry. White took Anna to Africa when she was 14 years old. She is now a junior at St. Louis University studying public health and international studies. White says he’d like to take Henry on an international trip soon. “I want them to know what other countries are like, what poverty is like and what solutions are like,” he says.

Nelson Sabates (left) greets twotime Pulitzer Prize winner, James B. Steele, at the 2013 Alumni Celebration where Sabates was the recipient of the UMKC Alumni Association’s Spotlight Award.

◗ Nelson Sabates: A Man With Vision


r. Nelson Sabates has been coaching youth football, basketball and baseball for 12 years. He has three children, and some of the coaching has been for their teams. “I like to make a difference in everything I do,” he says. “I really enjoy being around the kids and playing a positive role in their lives.” It was, after all, the positive influence of his father that gave Sabates the inspiration to land where he is today. Sabates is the president and CEO of Sabates Eye Centers in Kansas City. His father, Dr. Felix Sabates, founded a private practice in 1966 that would eventually become the starting location for Sabates Eye Centers. Since 1970, Sabates Eye Centers has also been home to the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of MissouriKansas City School of Medicine. This means the company is both full-time academic and full-time private practice. Having such close ties to the world of eye care gave Sabates confidence when he started on his own career path toward ophthalmology, which he says was very important. Sabates says his father’s support was comforting because he could genuinely relate to what he was studying and going through. “Going to medical school is a big commitment at a very young age,” he says. “It’s a lot of responsibility, and you have to know that’s what you want to do.” Sabates graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine in 1986, and went on to complete an internship at Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City. He completed his residency at the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine, trained at Harvard Medical School and did a research fellowship in Boston at the Schepens Eye Research Institute.

Ultimately, Sabates knew he wanted to follow his father’s footsteps back home to Kansas City. He joined his father’s practice — then called Midwest Eye Consultants — in 1992, and began to update the company. Not long after, they changed the name to Sabates Eye Centers. Sabates wanted to include more subspecialties in his family’s practice, so he began recruiting different specialists. Sabates Eye Centers now includes eight subspecialties: cataract, retina, glaucoma, cornea, reconstructive and cosmetic, neuroophthalmology, ocular oncology and ocular immunology. Sabates says the industry was changing at this point, too, and he knew people were searching for more and more convenience. He expanded Sabates Eye Centers throughout Kansas City and neighboring cities “I like to make a difference by building more locations. in everything I do.” “Academics and — Dr. Nelson Sabates universities are going through tremendous changes nowadays, especially in health,” Sabates says. “The money is not there, and you have to realign what you’re doing. You have to put satellites all over the region to attract patients and continue to be relevant.” Sabates Eye Centers has locations in and around Kansas City, including sites in Independence, St. Joseph, Warrensburg, Leavenworth, Leawood, Olathe, Prairie Village and at the St. Luke’s Medical Plaza. Over the last 48 years, Sabates Eye Centers has diversified itself and grown both geographically and physically. It has changed, but remained the same at its core — much like a son under the careful guidance of his father. university of missouri system ❘ ❙❚ 53

b usi n e ss

◗ George Paz: A Leader Who Delivers What is one of the most important things you learned during your time at UMSL?

In addition to getting a good education in business and accounting, I learned a lot about myself and what I thought I could do with my life. UMSL was a great preparation for what I would experience in the business world and opened my eyes to opportunities and a future that I wouldn’t have otherwise imagined.

What other jobs did you hold before Express Scripts?

Before coming to Express Scripts, I was a partner at Coopers and Lybrand, LLP (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) and had served as the chief financial officer of Life Partners Group, Inc. While I was at UMSL, I worked at a Steak ‘n Shake in St. Louis. I eventually became a manager there while working through school. In all honesty, the lessons in leadership I learned at Steak ‘n Shake have served me well throughout my career.


eorge Paz graduated from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting. He’s now the CEO of Express Scripts, a company located just across the street from his alma mater. Express Scripts is the largest pharmacy benefit management company in the country. Paz started working there in 1998, as senior vice president and chief financial officer. He moved to the position of president and eventually became chief executive officer in 2005.

What was your time at UMSL like?

Our family did not have significant financial resources. In fact, you could say we were poor. But my father strongly believed that education was the ticket to a better life and encouraged us to pursue college. UMSL was the right choice for my brother and me, as it gave us the opportunity at a first-rate education that we could afford. I worked during my time at UMSL and, just as it is today, the school is very flexible in accommodating students who work their way through school.

Did you know during your time at school that you would use your business degree in the health care industry? I’m not sure anyone knows precisely which way their career will go when they are in college. I’m not any different. I focused on accounting because I was good at math, enjoyed business and liked going through financial reports to understand how businesses work. Okay, that may sound boring or tedious, but it’s essential to successfully running a business in any industry.

54 ❚❙ ❘ Spectrum

What has been your vision for Express Scripts since you joined?

Express Scripts has a unique opportunity to drive real meaningful change in health care. If a company can marshal its resources to control costs, drive out waste and improve health outcomes, then that company is going to be successful for the long-term. That’s what we’ve done at Express Scripts. We are proud to have more than 3,500 clients and serve around 90 million people. Our vision has always been on doing what’s best for patients, and we have built our company to be the best at making the use of prescription drugs safer and more affordable.

You have doubled the size of the company. How did you do this?

Over the past two decades, we have built Express Scripts in a strategic, planful way. Each acquisition we have made has always been with a future state in mind. We may not know exactly what the future will bring, but we know enough to predict what we will need to be successful. We have been fortunate to add great people, processes and capabilities that have helped us grow into the industry leader we are today.

What do you believe is the most effective business model?

Our business model of alignment works for everybody — our clients, our patients, our shareholders and our employees. It’s very simple: We make money when we save money for clients. When we do that well, it means companies and health plans can provide a good pharmacy benefit to their members. It means patients can get more cost-effective prescription drugs and have better health. And, it means that our company continues to grow and delivers solid results for our shareholders.


When Seconds Count University Of Missouri’s Dr. James Kessel Improves Outcomes For Rural Trauma Patients Traumatic injuries pose far more danger to people in rural areas than to people who live in more populated regions. In fact, while only 25 percent of Americans live in rural areas, more than 60 percent of America’s trauma deaths occur in rural regions. Dr. James Kessel, chief of staff for University of Missouri Health Care, a professor of clinical surgery at the MU School of Medicine and a trauma surgeon, is committed to improving the care rural trauma patients receive. One of Kessel’s greatest contributions has been the Rural Trauma Team Development Course. Kessel served as a lead author of this American College of Surgeons course that trains rural health care providers in trauma care. Soon to be in its fourth edition, the course is helping not just Missourians or even Americans, but rural patients worldwide. Here, Kessel shares more about the course, his motivation for focusing on rural trauma care and how the University of Missouri Health System is improving care for the state’s rural patients. — Anita Neal Harrison

What drew you to rural trauma care?

I was raised in Ripley, W.Va., a very rural town with a population of 3,000 and one stoplight. Ripley had two funeral homes with hearses that doubled as ambulances with only the addition of a bubble gum light and siren for equipment. When there was a wreck or injury, the drivers for the two homes would race to the scene. The first one there loaded the patient and transported the injured to the hospital 40 miles away. The competition was important as if, or when, the patient died, it was hoped the family would think favorably on the winner and award them the funeral. This was accepted as the norm in those days. During my surgical residency, I became interested in trauma care and in changing the way trauma victims received treatment.

How does the training in the Rural Trauma Team Development Course save lives?

The course consists of lectures to impart basic information. It also relies on scenario presentation and discussion to teach the concepts of care and outline the importance of preparation of both supplies and staff. A few basic interventions are introduced that can be lifesaving. The rural hospitals and caregivers taking this course acknowledge that while it will be a rare occurrence, their systems will be called upon to care for a trauma patient at some point. This acceptance already begins to improve the patient’s chance for survival. Organization of supplies,

56 ❚❙ ❘ Spectrum

organization of staff, preparation drills, establishing transfer protocols and transfer agreements, all lead to avoidance of delays. This is how we can save more lives.

Aside from supporting this course, what steps has the University of Missouri taken to improve the trauma care available to rural patients here in Missouri? There are two approaches. First, we eliminate as many obstacles to the transfer of a patient from the scene of injury or another hospital into our hospital as possible. We do this by staffing modern ground and air ambulances staffed with highly trained personnel who are able to diagnose and intervene early in life-threatening injuries. In addition, we do not require “proof ” that the patient requires our care. We discourage time spent in diagnosing every injury the patient has suffered. If the treating team feels a higher level of care is needed, that is the only authorization that we need. Secondly, the trauma office and Dr. Jeff Coughenour, the trauma medical director, are actively working on developing a performance improvement plan for our region and ultimately the state. Cases are presented at our regional meeting and discussed in an open forum. These may be teaching cases that illustrate a concept or maybe a case in which the referring hospital or squad is asking for feedback and outcome. A two-way discussion is vital to improving our care at every level.

James Kessel, MD, professor of clinical surgery and former medical director of trauma services for University of Missouri Health Care, examines a patient in the Frank L. Mitchell Jr., MD, Trauma Center at University Hospital. Photo by MU Health Care


Online learning allows students to access courses from practically anywhere, including catching a class on a sunny day near Bugg Lake on the UMSL campus. Photo by August Jennewein

Online Learning Putting College Education Within Reach For Every Missourian


tudent demand for online learning keeps growing, and so do their options at the University of Missouri System. “We’ve been putting a major push on expanding online offerings because we realize that students want to learn in different ways,” says Steve Graham, senior associate vice president for academic affairs. The number of UM System students taking at least one fully online class grew 26 percent between 2012 and 2013, from just over 22,000 to 28,000 students. Nationwide, the same increase has been averaging just around 10 percent. One reason for the exceptional online growth at the University of Missouri is a surge in new courses available online. Between 2012 and 2013, the UM System added 162 fully online courses, which brought the total to 1,406. Students can choose from more than 80 online degree and certificate options, from a bachelor’s degree in educational studies to a doctorate in architectural studies. Another reason for the huge jump in students taking online classes is a trend

58 ❚❙ ❘ Spectrum

toward students taking a mix of faceto-face classes and online classes. While many of the 28,000 students taking a fully online class are distance learners earning their degrees online, there is also a significant number of students filling in work for a traditional degree, as well as students taking an occasional course for professional development. “A lot of our college students today are older students who have a job and a family and are juggling a lot of things but who want to further their education — it might be a nurse who wants to pick up that advanced nursing degree or a teacher looking for a new certification,” Graham says. “Online learning makes higher education available to them in a way where they can continue their life.” There is also a demand for online learning mixed into traditional courses. In this context, online learning is often called eLearning, although eLearning can also refer to classes that are 100 percent online. Classes blending eLearning with face-to-face instruction have become the

norm on UM System campuses as nearly all professors now use tools that let them enhance their face-to-face instruction with online material and interaction, whether it’s posting notes online, accepting assignments online or even videoconferencing with students. “We’ve found some really powerful tools that help students learn better,” Graham says, adding Missourians can expect even more in the future. “We’ve only scratched the surface of what technology can do for learning,” he says. “I think over the next 10 to 15 years you’ll see some amazing advances in eLearning.” — Anita Neal Harrison

Learn more about our online course and degree options. MU – UMKC – S&T – UMSL –

Mizzou K-12 Online

Famous Mizzou K-12 Online Students


Out of the 1,500 Missouri students enrolled in Mizzou K-12 Online, 75 percent are from rural areas. While most Mizzou K-12 Online students are also attending a regular high school, about 100 students annually earn accredited diplomas from the MU High School. These students include actors, entertainers, athletes, adults who previously dropped out and students who travel or are located overseas due to military and missionary responsibilities, as well as students who cannot attend a brick and mortar school because of health issues.

Gracie Gold

Christopher Massey

• 2014 Olympic bronze medalist in team event

• Simba in Disney’s stage production of “The Lion King”

Olympic figure skater

• 2014 U.S. national champion • 2012 World Junior silver medalist • Working toward her diploma from Mizzou K-12 Online


• Michael Barret in the Nickelodeon’s “Zoey 101” • Earned his diploma with Mizzou K-12 Online in 2008

Kyle Massey

Lindsey Vonn

• Cory Baxter in the Disney Channel’s “That’s So Raven” and its spinoff, “Cory in the House”

• Gold medalist in downhill at the 2010 Winter Olympics


• Runner-up on ABC’s 11th season of “Dancing with the Stars” • Earned his diploma with Mizzou K-12 Online in 2010

Olympic skier

• Winner of the U.S. Olympic Spirit Award in 2006 • One of six women to have won World Cup races in all five disciplines of alpine skiing • Earned credits at Mizzou K-12 Online

Photos from Wikimedia Commons

housands of high school students are benefiting from the University of Missouri-Columbia’s expansions in eLearning. Through Mizzou K-12 Online, some 3,000 high school students from around the world are taking high school courses online. Half of those students are in Missouri, and most are supplementing their high school educations with the more than 180 courses offered through Mizzou K-12 Online. “High school students in Missouri use online courses from Mizzou to combat scheduling problems, take courses not available at their local high schools, complete graduate requirements early, recover credit to graduate on time, supplement their regular schedule, and in lieu of summer school,” says Zachary March, director of Mizzou K-12 Online. “Many schools, especially small, rural schools, cannot offer particular subjects because they lack a certified teacher or do not have enough students to offer a section. This is especially true for Advanced Placement subjects, foreign languages and upper level math and science courses. In cases like this, individual students or an entire classroom of students may enroll in online courses as an alternative.

university of missouri system ❘ ❙❚ 59

University of Missouri System Office of University Relations 309 University Hall Columbia, MO 65211 573-882-2726

E v ery C o u nty. E v ery D ay. View our interactive map at


shelby County

30 UM Students 136 UM Alumni

39 UM Students 217 UM Alumni $614,071 Economic Impact

$226,548 Economic Impact

Latest story: Lending a Helping Paw for a Kinston Farmer

Latest story: Shelbyville Nurse Keeps Students Healthy

DADE County

cape girardeau County

13 UM Students 90 UM Alumni $451,696 Economic Impact

305 UM Students 1,609 UM Alumni $921,291 Economic Impact

Latest story: Day in the Life of MU Extension, Dade County

Latest story: A Look at the Influence of the UM System in Southeast Missouri umsystem


Spectrum: University of Missouri System  
Spectrum: University of Missouri System  

The mission of the University of Missouri System, as a land-grant university and Missouri’s only public research and doctoral-level institut...