mizzou.com | Spring 2021
Pictures Perfect From young Canadian cowpokes to the last of Africa’s white rhinos, a long-running J-School photography contest shows us the world. Page 14
FIRST LOOK ZOOM IN This 1975 photo shows a pair of judges deliberating over entries to Pictures of the Year, the world’s oldest photojournalism competition. Before virtual judging, digital files or even slides, the photographic print was the medium of choice. This year, the School of Journalism’s POYi celebrates its 20th year as an international competition and its first year of remote judging. Despite the global pandemic, seasoned photo editors and photographers from around the world judged more than 40,000 images, short films and online storytelling presentations remotely via Zoom. The judges selected over 200 winners across 35 categories, including new ones this year: COVID-19 News Picture Story, COVID-19 Personal Expression, Impact 2020: Protests and Movements, and Impact 2020: Election Season. See our story on Page 14. More: poy.org — Kelsey Allen, BA, BJ ’10 SPRING 2021
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FROM THE PRESIDENT
Editorial and Advertising Mizzou Alumni Association 123 Reynolds Alumni Center 704 Conley Avenue Columbia, MO 65211 phone: 573-882-6611 email@example.com executive editor Ashley Burden managing editor Dale Smith art director Blake Dinsdale class notes editor Jennifer Manning editor emerita Karen Worley advertising Scott Dahl: 573-882-2374 Mizzou Alumni Association 123 Reynolds Alumni Center Columbia, MO 65211 phone: 573-882-6611, fax: 573-882-5145 executive director, publisher Todd A. McCubbin, M Ed ’95
Ahead of the Curve Medical innovation has never been more important than it is right now. What we’ve seen over the past year in response to the pandemic — with unprecedented progress in vaccine development, new testing capacities and more — has at times felt like something out of a science fiction movie. After all, when organizations and technologies move faster than we ever thought possible, it can appear as if innovation has gone into hyperdrive. But the reality is much more important and hopeful. These scientific and medical advancements are the results of decades of innovation happening behind the scenes. Asking complex, out-of-the-box questions. Generating, testing and implementing cutting-edge technologies and processes. Looking deeper for the solutions to the challenges that many in the world aren’t even experiencing yet. NextGen Precision Health is designed with this forward-thinking charge in mind. As a fully equipped translational research powerhouse, it will provide teams of scientists the ability to develop health care solutions in a collaborative, stateof-the-art environment fueled by two essential ingredients: talent and resources. Two of the most illustrative examples of bringing our NextGen vision to life are through the imaging facility and the electron microscopy core. (See Page 36.) The imaging facility was developed in collaboration with Siemens Healthineers, a global leader in medical technology. Our clinicians and researchers will have access to the most
advanced diagnostic tools currently available, enabling them to more accurately determine the severity of cartilage injury, identify brain damage and much more. In addition, a Siemens scientist will be stationed on-site so that the best of our research advances will be considered in the design of the next generation of Siemens instruments. Along those lines, the NextGen electron microscopy core — built in partnership with Thermo Fisher Scientific — aims to speed up the translational research process, bringing MU discoveries into global solutions. Electron microscopy is a powerful technology that can open doors to faster answers and new options for patient diagnosis without invasive biopsy. Having a fully equipped electron microscopy analysis pipeline under one roof is a stark contrast to other universities where researchers must access many different locations, sometimes at multiple institutions, to conduct high-impact studies. Bringing together scientists, clinicians and industry experts in one place means that new research developed on campus will be passed to the rest of the world more effectively and expediently. NextGen will change lives while advancing our research, teaching and engagement activities. As we’ve all seen, our future depends on the medical innovations happening right now, right here. And we don’t take this mission lightly. MUN Y. CHOI, PHD President, University of Missouri
Opinions expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the official position of the University of Missouri or the Mizzou Alumni Association. ©2021 Statements of Purpose The Mizzou Alumni Association proudly supports the best interests and traditions of Missouri’s flagship university and its alumni worldwide. Lifelong relationships are the foundation of our support. These relationships are enhanced through advocacy, communication and volunteerism. MIZZOU magazine reports credible and engaging news about the University of Missouri community to a global audience. BOARD OF DIRECTORS President Robin Wenneker, BS BA ’91 • President-elect Sabrina McDonnell, MBA ’15 • Immediate Past President Steve Hays, BS BA ’80 • Treasurer Jeff Vogel, BS Acc ’90 • Secretary Todd McCubbin, M Ed ’95 • Diversity and Inclusion Committee Chair Joe Valenciano, BA ’95 • Mizzou Legislative Network Committee Chair Jeffrey Montgomery, BS Ed ’89 • Directors Cristin Blunt, BS Ed ’02; Pete Ferretti, BA ’93; Chuck Kaiser, BA, BJ ’93; Derek Kessen, BS BA ’05; Leigh Anne Taylor Knight, BS HES ’89, BS Ed ’90, M Ed ’91; Emily Kueker, BS ’02; Rusty Martin, BS CiE ’84; Mindy Mazur, BA ’99; Craig Moeller, BS ’93; Ellie Preslar, BS BE ’04; Martin Rucker, BS ’07; Bill Schoenhard, BS PA ’71; Jim Simmons, BS ’93, MD ’98; Dawn SmithPopielski, BA ’96; Peggy Swaney, BS Ed ’71; David Townsend, JD ’00 • Student Representative Cade Koehly MIZZOU magazine Spring 2021, Volume 109, Number 3 Published triannually by the Mizzou Alumni Association CASE Bronze Awards 2019: General Interest Magazine 2020: Feature Writing (“Forever Young,” Spring 2019), Council for Advancement & Support of Education
TABLE OF CONTENTS
MORE MIZZOU ONLINE
1 First Look
Pictures of the Year International celebrates 20 years as a standard-setter in journalism. See Page 14 for more.
6 Around the Columns Scientists study consumerism, counter colorism and expose hacked honey. Mizzou Athletics unveils plans for a new indoor practice facility.
Coming or Going? Anton Unitsyn won an Award of Excellence in the Pictures of the Year International competition for this image of a parkour jumper training near Blagoveshchensky Cathedral, built in 1584 in Solvychegodsk, Arkhangelsk Oblast, Russia. View a slideshow of POYi images at tinyurl.com/MizzouPOYi.
57 Class Notes
Marina Shifrin, BJ ’10, the author of 30 Before 30: How I Made a Mess of My 20s, and You Can Too, is a comedy writer living in Los Angeles. While recovering from a scooterversus-car accident, she asks big questions about humor as a healing discipline. Page 46
Wright Thompson, BJ ’01, is the New York Times bestselling author of Pappyland: A Story of Family, Fine Bourbon and the Things That Last. His essay in this issue looks at family and legacy right here in CoMo. Page 72
Tony Rehagen, BA, BJ ’01, has written for GQ, The Columbia Journalism Review and Next Wave: America’s New Generation of Great Literary Journalists. He looks at a Tiger soccer program with six graduates in the professional ranks. Page 30
Scott Wallace, MA ’83, is a regular contributor to National Geographic and the bestselling author of The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon’s Last Uncontacted Tribes. He reports on Pictures of the Year International. Page 14
mizzou.com | Spring 2021
Pictures Perfect From young Canadian cowpokes to the last of Africa’s white rhinos, a long-running J-School photography contest shows us the world. Page 14
Alumni dish on their latest anniversaries, jobs, weddings and babies.
A bestselling author returns to Columbia, family in tow, and ponders the meaning of place.
About the cover Yes, rodeos are alive and well in Canada, as mud-spattered steer rider Kade McDonald of Melville, Saskatchewan, can attest. The portrait is by Leah Hennel of the Calgary Herald. View more award-winning images from the past 20 years of the J-School’s Pictures of the Year International competition on Page 14.
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SAFE EGGS-POSURE Photo sessions in this issue were masked or maintained six chickens of distance.
PA R KO U R : A N TO N U N I TSY N /S I B F M ; S H U T T E R STO C K
56 Mizzou Alumni News
Meet Faculty-Alumni Award winner Winnie Fritz and remember the late, great Michael Budds, who taught music to generations of Mizzou students.
Who are you calling chicken? From their farm in Centralia, Missouri, brothers Dustin and Austin Stanton deliver about 2 million eggs a year to grocery stores, school systems, colleges (including Mizzou), nursing homes and restaurants within an hour’s drive. Page 24.
J E N N I F E R S I LV E R B E R G
14 24 30 32
For 20 years, Pictures of the Year International has brought to light the best works in photojournalism from around the world. by scott wallace, ma ’83
Something to Cluck About
Brothers Dustin and Austin Stanton have pitted themselves against a critical problem that confounds communities throughout the world: how to produce affordable, healthy food locally and profitably. by jack wax, bs ed ’73, hes ’76, ma ’87 * photos by michael cali, bj ’17
MU soccer Tigers grind their way into professional ranks. by tony rehagen, ba, bj ’01
Lessons in Wonder
With an enduring mix of curiosity and hard work, former Mizzou linebacker, four-time MU graduate and board of curators Chair Darryl Chatman has spent a lifetime reaching for the stars. by sara diedrich * photos by michael cali, bj ’17
36 40 46
Cores of Discovery
With top-tier magnetic and electron imaging, Mizzou clinicians and researchers practice at the fore of the resolution revolution. by david lagesse, bj ’79
Bones of a Teacher
Get ready for a chert-chipping, atlatl-tossing good time. Libby Cowgill, aka the one-woman Discovery Channel, fits her students into the skins of our prehistoric ancestors. by tony rehagen, ba, bj ’01 photos by michael cali, bj ’17
Is Humor Super?
As a 30-something comedy writer recovers from a serious accident, she questions an erratic career and ponders the powers of humor itself. by marina shifrin, bj ’10
AROUND THE COLUMNS
SECOND CHANCE TO SHINE
In spring 2020, with the pandemic raging, Marc Johnson got an email from the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) asking if anyone at Mizzou could measure coronavirus levels in wastewater. State officials were hoping to model a project after one in the Netherlands, where wastewater analysis generates data to help communities manage the virus. Although the professor of molecular microbiology and immunology knows how to extract RNA, the genetic material that carries coronavirus, working with wastewater would be a twist. But under the circumstances, “I didn’t feel I could say no,” Johnson says. A Zoom meeting led him to Chung-Ho Lin, an associate professor of natural resources with wastewater expertise. The Missouri Coronavirus Sewershed Surveillance Project was born. “We started with a very small pilot project because we weren’t sure this would work,” Lin says. But it quickly mushroomed. Now, HHS delivers weekly samples from over 100 sewer systems statewide to Johnson’s lab, which concentrates the samples, extracts RNA and freezes it at minus 80 degrees. Across campus, Lin’s lab then determines exactly how much coronavirus RNA is in the samples. The results, along with hospitalizations and testing data, help community decision-makers target mitigation efforts such as testing and education. “Before I take off my mask, I will definitely check wastewater data,” Lin says. With the rollout of vaccines, fewer people are getting tested, and wastewater can play an even greater role in keeping tabs on the virus. A new $4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will allow the researchers to expand the study. They’ll look at how much an individual can contribute to coronavirus levels in wastewater and identify environmental factors, such as heavy rainfall and chemicals in the wastewater, that influence results. Like all viruses, this one is mutating, prompting Johnson and Lin to come up with a way of detecting variants. The process, now used in other states, took the duo about 10 days to develop. “Because we’re an academic lab, we’re used to taking rapid left-hand turns,” Johnson says. “When we started, there were no companies that could do this, and there were no protocols. We had to build the airplane while we were flying it.” 6
C OV I D, VAC C I N E : S H U T T E R STO C K ; C O P E : C O U RT E SY N I C O L E C O P E
COVID Research Goes to Waste(water)
Twenty-three years ago, Nicole Cope left MU on academic probation, one class short of graduating. (Long story.) Cope wound up serving in the Army Medical Corps, rising in the ranks to master sergeant. She’ll never forget running her first weeklong medical mission during her last deployment in a remote village near Comayagua, Honduras — a place with no running water or basic hygiene. “A little girl who had been a participant in the health care clinic ran up to me and bear-hugged my leg,” says Cope, BS ’15, MPH ’20. “She looked at me with awe in her eyes. My translator told me she wanted to be like me when she grew up.” That sweet moment was a turning point leading her back to Mizzou to earn a master’s degree in public health. Now, thanks to Mizzou’s academic renewal program and a decorated Army career, she has graduated with honors and landed a job that reflects her dedication and service. In January 2021, Cope became executive director of the Missouri Immunization Coalition, a nonprofit organization tasked with preventing disease and promoting vaccinations. Since its establishment in 2020, the coalition has been informing Missourians about the importance of getting vaccines, including for COVID-19. “Nicole’s military background has prepared her for the huge logistical challenge of promoting and tracking vaccinations across the state,” says Lynelle Phillips, assistant teaching professor of public health. “She will be a tremendous asset to our state during the greatest immunization challenge of our lifetimes.”
Loving Pure Honey and the Bees That Don’t Make It MU scientists expose the icky in the sticky stuff and the wild side of bees.
Startled attendees drifted into the World Beekeeping Awards, where judges had disqualified almost half the entries for the world’s best honey. The awards can mean big bucks amid rising honey snobbery — a cool $100 buys 20 ounces of Tupelo Honey Gold Reserve. But judges flagged 42% of the entries with index cards: “This exhibit failed laboratory testing and cannot further be judged.” Mizzou scientists had splashed into the sticky morass that is hacked honey. Sophisticated MU gear screened the 215 entries for the annual contest in tests supervised by Michael Greenlief, associate professor of chemistry, and Jim Gawenis, owner of Sweetwater Science Labs. The 2019 Apimondia International Apicultural Congress in Montreal hosted about 5,500 attendees who discussed honey, beekeeping and the new screening designed to fight cheating. It seems that the demand
BEAR: SHUT TERSTOCK , BLAKE DINSDALE; BEES: SHUT TERSTOCK
Yes, we love honey and admire honeybees, those hard workers that gather nectar and magically turn it into sweet stuff for our toast. Now it’s time to spread the love, says MU’s Damon Hall. Hundreds of other bee species busy themselves across North America, getting little credit for filling the continent with flowers and food. They instead face habitat loss and pesticides that threaten their existence. But there’s reason for hope, says Hall, an assistant professor in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. “People now like bees,” he wrote in a recent research paper. Reports of failing honeybee hives have stirred public sympathy for the pollinators that enable flowers and crops to flourish. And that’s despite the scare of yesterday’s “killer bees” and today’s “murder hornets.” Today’s buzz about bees could be harnessed to ad-
for pure varietals, which helped push last year’s global honey sales to about $8 billion, is encouraging fraud. “The amount of adulteration in honey is phenomenal,” says Gawenis, PhD ’01, MS ’02. The MU partnership uses mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to test the sweet stuff for unwanted residues, such as pesticides, and for impurities, such as syrups, foreign honey and other cheap additives. The MU gear can detect where the bees found their pollen and even if they flitted about desired flowers, such as from swampy tupelo trees, New York buckwheat or Argentine clover. Sweetwater Science also tests olive oil, coffee and wine, among other potential food frauds. The partnership generates income that helps maintain and improve the expensive Mizzou lab equipment while engaging graduate students in real-world investigations. The Apimondia testing alone “kept us busy for the better part of two months,” Greenlief says.
just farm practices and land use for the benefit of native pollinators, Hall says in the paper published in Current Opinion in Insect Science. “We are the problem,” Hall says. “Bees do what they do, but we’ve changed the land and how it is used.” Honeybees tend to grab the spotlight, partly because they’re the only ones that make honey. But they’re a cultivated European import that scientists deride as being as different from wild bees as chickens from eagles. Unfortunately, we don’t know much about domestic bees because we don’t study creepy crawlies enough, says Hall, noting that he himself isn’t an entomologist or biologist. He researches how humans interact with natural resources — in this case, pollinators. Instead of bees and insects, public interest has focused more on threatened wildlife, Hall says. But it’s native bees that pollinate the fruits and berries that feed those bigger beasts; we’d be smart to give more attention to the sixlegged little ones. “If you care about wildlife and birds,” Hall says, “you should care about bees.” SPRING 2021
AROUND THE COLUMNS
JUST GETTING STARTED Mizzou health professions alumni are at the center of the pandemic, serving as public health analysts for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, running companies that provide medical oxygen to hospitals, and treating patients as respiratory therapists. But if the coronavirus had hit before the early 2000s, that might not be the case. Twenty years ago, the School of Health Related Professions was a unit in the School of Medicine. The university didn’t have a public health program or a health sciences program. With limited resources, the school within a school lacked the capacity to expand. Yet there was a growing shortage of health professionals in Missouri. So, the faculty, spearheaded by then Director Richard Oliver, BS MT ’71, M Ed ’73, PhD ’77, petitioned the board of curators to become a freestanding unit, and, in 2001, the School of Health Professions was born. Since then, the school has launched numerous degree programs, including a bachelor’s and master’s in public health and a bachelor’s in health sciences, which is now the No. 1 major at MU on campus. Students work alongside faculty in multiple outpatient clinics, providing muchneeded services to the community. Faculty from 13 disciplines conduct collaborative research in health disparities, language development, autism interventions and stroke rehabilitation. And alumni have become leaders in their field, shaping the future of health care delivery in Missouri and beyond. Dean Kristofer Hagglund doesn’t see the school slowing down any time soon: “We will play a critical role in community health and sophisticated team-based health care. That includes advancing workforce diversity and reducing health disparities. When it comes to research, I predict that our school will more than double its productivity. And, who knows, maybe we will also obtain a new state-of-the-art facility.”
Draw a dark line with pencil on paper. Then stick a battery at one end to see a bulb glow at the other — an experiment that science students have enjoyed for decades. Now a Mizzou researcher has used that concept, and simple pencil and paper, to produce sophisticated onskin sensors that yield measurements as accurate as pricey biomedical gear. “Based on the layout of the ‘wires,’ we can make a variety of devices that are much less expensive,” says MU’s Zheng Yan, lead investigator for the paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. His team’s penciled circuits can measure heartbeats, glucose in sweat or even generate small bursts of energy from humidity, among other feats. Today’s on-skin electronics typically need costly materials, such as copper or gold, assembled in complex processes. Yan’s group found its supplies in stores — such as Hobby Lobby’s The Fine Touch pencils and Staples copy paper. Graphite in pencil “lead” is an unusual nonmetal that conducts electricity. The more graphite, the darker the mark and better the conduction. Yan’s favored pencil, a 9B at the dark end of an international scale, contains about 93% graphite, compared to 68% in America’s favorite, the No. 2. Challenges remain, including how to uniformly reproduce penciled-in devices. “Next, we’ll explore a scalable fabrication process,” Yan says, that could bring sensors to market. The simple concepts, meanwhile, should encourage widespread experimentation, the researchers say. And enable science teachers to shine a brighter light on the pencil’s potential.
S C H O O L O F H E A LT H P R O F E S S I O N S : K E I T H B O R G M E Y E R
The Finer Points of Research
Countering Colorism Antoinette Landor didn’t need to get a doctorate to know she was treated differently than darker-skinned peers at her predominantly African American elementary school in southern Louisiana. But she wanted to know why. “I knew even then that, although I experienced racism because I’m Black, I also received privileges based on being lighter skinned,” Landor says. “Teachers gave me passes on things. I was not disciplined in the same way as my darker-skinned peers.” In graduate school, she not only studied colorism, or discrimination based on skin tone, but also how it affects people. Named the Millsap Professorship of Diversity and MulticulturalStudies in MU’s Department of Human Development and Family Science for the 2020–21 academic year and a 2021 Kemper Fellow for Teaching Excellence, Landor recently published the first model for understanding “skin-tone trauma.” Some examples: Parents provide more love and support to their lighterskinned children compared to their darker-skinned children. People with lighter skin have more positive attitudes toward marriage and their likelihood of finding a mate. Darker-skinned individuals report lower selfesteem, higher blood pressure, and more anxiety and depression. Landor says the first step in countering colorism is to talk about it — and she’s doing just that. Her nationally recognized research program is defining a new field that deals with the intersection of colorism, racism and relationships in the lives of African Americans. “That’s the goal of my research — not to have colorism remain a dirty little secret but rather to push this work into day-to-day conversations, similar to how we talk about racism.”
LANDOR: MICHAEL CALI
• MU won a $4 million grant to advance STEM education in rural, underserved Missouri schools. The Enhancing Missouri’s Instructional Networked Teaching Strategies (eMINTS) National Center will partner with 47 schools to teach fifth grade students how to create video games that teach computer coding skills at the same time. • Derrick Christian, BJ ’10, senior marketing manager at the United Center in Chicago, created a list of over 100 Black Mizzou alumni-owned businesses in partnership with the Mizzou Black Alumni Network. Find the list at noirmizzou.com/ buyblack. • Three MU professors earned the distinction of becoming 2020 fellows in the American Association for the Advancement of Science: Dongsheng Duan, professor of molecular microbiology and immunology and neurology in the School of Medicine; Shibu Jose, professor of agroforestry in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources; and Paula McSteen, professor of biological sciences in the College of Arts and Science.
Success From Above
When business major Ed Ge started Stratodyne in 2019, his dream was to take people to space in affordable 3D-printed launch vehicles. He started launching small rockets from a balloon into the stratosphere. But they never reached the heights Ge had envisioned. “It was basically an overpriced hobby,” he says. But then Ge’s business partner, fellow Tiger and business major Bryce Edmondson, mentioned his family’s farm back in Texas and the problems they faced competing against corporate farms. Ge and Edmondson realized that, rather than looking upward, they should be focusing their efforts down on the ground. Their balloons can carry equipment that could provide farmers with a steady stream of information from above: surveying crop conditions, catching disease before it spreads, helping predict yields and even planning harvests. Unlike aircraft that fly over quickly and satellites that take hours to transmit their findings, balloons hover at 65,000 feet and can communicate in real time — all at a fraction of the cost. Stratodyne recently received a St. Louis Arch Grant and acceptance to Silicon Valley’s vaunted Alchemist Accelerator, along with $200,000 from external investors — a sign that they are finally looking in the right direction. “Rockets are expensive and a pain,” Ge says. “But having balloons feed data to farmers is not only where the money is; it’s also improving lives back on Earth.”
Senior Ed Ge’s startup launches cameracarrying balloons 65,000 feet into the air to capture high-resolution images for farmers.
• James Stevermer, the School of Medicine’s vice chair for clinical affairs and a professor of family and community medicine, has been appointed to a four-year term on the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. This panel of national experts makes recommendations about clinical preventive services, including screenings, medications and counseling. SPRING 2021
AROUND THE COLUMNS
Athletes often come to college to further their sporting aspirations. And while driver Leah Albietz, BS ME ’20, knew Mizzou’s drag-racing scene has yet to rev up, she figured the engineering program could boost her auto career. Now she’s in General Motors’ Technical Rotation and Career Knowledge (TRACK) program where entrylevel engineers rotate jobs every six months. Her favorite task thus far has been testing engines, and she definitely sees a future in the Motor City. That’s why she’s sending for the 1993 Chevy Corvette roadster she and her father rebuilt in his Wentzville, Missouri, shop. “Detroit racing is similar to St. Louis,” she says. “But there’s a big cruising scene up here, and I’m excited to do that, too.”
The new MU Space Reduction and Strategic Relocation Plan announced March 4 calls for demolishing eight buildings, which will eliminate more than $93 million of backlogged maintenance and repair while realizing more than $2.5 million in annual operating savings. The savings will support researchers and help keep tuition as low as possible. The structures are Columbia Professional Building, Loeb Hall, London Hall, Read Hall, Neff Annex, Noyes Hall, Old Student Health Building and Parker Hall. The plan also calls for vacating Mizzou North and moving the museums (art, archaeology, anthropology) to the main campus.
Human Environmental Sciences Reorganization
University officials announced Feb. 8 the academic restructuring of the College of Human Environmental Sciences. The move is designed to simplify and align student major choices and to foster research collaboration that better responds to industry needs and student interests. Beginning July 1, departments from the college will merge with academic units across campus to strengthen relationships among researchers and provide greater opportunity for students to be exposed to connected and similar subject areas. This will help students better focus their career paths for emerging jobs. “Our recent investments in research and facilities and our expertise in the health sciences, for example, are helping us meet the evolving demand from both industry and prospective students,” says Mun Choi, president of the University of Missouri. “These consolidations will synergize research, learning and teaching in a manner that allows the whole to be greater than the sum of the parts.”
ALBIETZ: COURTESY LEAH ALBIETZ
She’s on the Fast Track
Living in the Material World
C A R T, I L L U S T R AT I O N : S H U T T E R S TO C K
After helping to create the material values scale more than 30 years ago, marketing Professor Marsha Richins has explored the role of materialism in consumer behavior. Last year, the Association for Consumer Research conferred its top honor on her, designating her a fellow in the association. Although consumer research is primarily a marketing tool, Richins values it as a means of educating consumers and policymakers. “One of my goals is to help consumers understand themselves better and to be able to make wiser choices,” she says. She cites truth-in-lending laws and nutrition labeling as policy achievements resulting from consumer research. But it’s the conflict between wanting and having that is at the heart of her research on materialism. Her studies reveal that people who believe the more they have the happier they’ll be are setting themselves up for unpleasant consequences. “I think materialistic beliefs are harmful because they encourage people to make bad choices with respect to their time and money,” she says. After studying parenting styles and materialism, Richins concluded that parents who bribe children to behave are likely to raise materialistic offspring. So, if it’s a choice between love or money, Richins’ studies come down solidly on the side of love. A Third
KUDOS Your MIZZOU magazine brought
home two — count ’em, two — awards from this year’s Society of Publication Designers contest. This put MIZZOU in the winner’s circle alongside the likes of The Atlantic, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Smithsonian, Sports Illustrated and WIRED. One winner was “A Third Act,” our spring 2020 profile of photographer extraordinaire Steve Wallace, MD ’80. The second was the opening section of “Eli’s Calling,” a fall 2020 story about football Coach Eli Drinkwitz.
Parents play a key role in how their daughters feel about their body and appearance. But few scholars have looked at how fathers’ attitudes and experiences figure in, says Virginia Ramseyer Winter, who directs MU’s Center for Body Image Research and Policy. So, she and her colleagues interviewed 30 dads with daughters aged 5 to 10 to study parent-child conversations about body image. The fathers want to raise body-positive daughters, but they sometimes lacked the confidence and knowledge to do so. For example, several men conflated health with body size. “One father said he would want his daughter to aspire to look like healthy Oprah, not unhealthy Oprah,” says the assistant professor of social work. “This suggests to a child that thin is healthy and fat is unhealthy. But size is not a proxy for health.” Weight can be an important piece of information, though not enough to assess risk. A person’s weight, for instance, doesn’t indicate whether they’re developing Type 2 diabetes, but their blood sugar levels can. To help kids develop healthy attitudes toward their bodies, Ramseyer Winter recommends talking about abilities, not appearances: “Our children don’t need to hear how good their legs look or don’t look in a pair of shorts, but it is helpful for them to hear how grateful you are that their legs are strong enough to play the sports they love or to walk to school.”
After success ful careers in both medicine and law, most people would happily slip into
retirement. Steve Wallace , now an award-winning
is not most people.
S T ORY BY CAR S ON VAUGH
PHO T O GR APH Y BY S T EV E WAL L AC E
16 MIZZOUMA GAZINE
and Drinkwitz Coach Eli of Missouri football state’s New Tiger cold calling hundreds sure the are to make made his staff They’ve coaches high school fuel the program. best recruits already. : Zach Bland | a lot of friends BJ ’79 : Mark Godich, | P. 39 Fall 2020 MIZZOU
AGAZINE 38 MIZZOUM
SPRING 2021 11
Broadcaster Passes the Mic Award-winning sportscaster Bill Brown shares stories from some of the best in the business in his new book, Sportscasting 101.
As a boy in Sedalia, Missouri, Bill Brown, BJ ’69, would hide his transistor radio under his pillow at night with the volume turned low so his parents didn’t get suspicious. Jack Buck’s play-by-play calls of St. Louis Cardinals games were the last words he’d hear before drifting off to sleep. “Jack Buck made the job sound easier than it is,” Brown says. Brown should know. He served as the television play-by-play broadcaster for the Cincinnati Reds from 1976 to 1982 and the Houston Astros from 1987 to 2016. Brown recently published a book, Sportscasting 101: The Road to Play-by-Play, which is filled with tips for young people considering a life behind the microphone. He began as a teenager, helping out with high school sports broadcasts in his hometown. His education continued at Mizzou, both at the School of Journalism and in his part-time job calling high school and Lincoln University games for KWOS radio in Jefferson City. Mostly, though, Brown fills the pages with the words of fellow broadcasters he interviewed for the book. Many of their names won’t be familiar to casual fans, and that was by design. Brown thought the advice of high school, college and minor league broadcasters who are grinding away in search of their big
break would be most relevant to his target audience. “I had a good high school journalism teacher, and the journalism teachers at Mizzou were excellent,” Brown says. “I didn’t properly thank them for training me, and it’s too late now. So the underlying reason for the book is maybe I could do a little torch-passing to the next generation and this could provide some advice for them.” — Joe Walljasper, BJ ’92
PERENNIAL POWERHOUSE Under Coach Brian Smith, the Missouri wrestling team has become a national power. Don’t expect that excellence to end any time soon. The Tigers placed seventh at the 2021 NCAA Championships — their sixth straight top-10 finish — and there wasn’t a senior among the 10 MU wrestlers who qualified for the national tournament. Freshman Keegan O’Toole led the way, placing third, and freshman Rocky Elam and junior Brock Mauller also earned All-American honors with fifth-place finishes.
K A R E N WA R R E N / © H O U S TO N C H R O N I C L E . U S E D W I T H P E R M I S S I O N ; O ’ TO O L E : M I Z Z O U AT H L E T I C S
AROUND THE COLUMNS
I N D O O R F A C I L I T Y, B L A C K W E L L : C O U R T E S Y M I Z Z O U A T H L E T I C S ; M A C L I N : B E N L O E W N A U / S T L H I G H S C H O O L S P O R T S . C O M ; H E N K E : 1 9 6 1 S A V I T A R ( C O L O R I Z E D ) ; E N G L I S H : U N I V E R S I T Y O F T E N N E S S E E A T H L E T I C S
Scoreboard 1: Round in which former Mizzou wrestler Michael Chandler, BS HES ’09, knocked out Dan Hooker in his UFC mixed martial arts debut. 2: School records set by swimmer Danny Kovac at the NCAA Championships. He established new marks in the 100-yard butterfly (44.66 seconds) and the 200 butterfly (1:41.14). Kovac earned All-America honors in five events at the national meet and helped the MU men’s team place 16th overall.
SOUTH STADIUM SITE Aerial View from South East
Memorial Stadium Press Box
South End Zone Facility
INDOOR PRACTICE FACILITY JANUARY 29, 2021 | PAGE 4
Momentum Builds for New Indoor Field After an encouraging first season under Coach Eli Drinkwitz, the Missouri football program’s momentum continued over the winter when two anonymous donors pledged $10 million each toward a new indoor practice facility. Mizzou is the northern-most school in the Southeastern Conference and the only one without a full-length indoor football practice field. The current indoor facility — the Devine Pavilion — is 30 yards shorter than a football field and is shared by baseball, football, soccer and softball. “The first day I had Coach Drinkwitz here, we were driving around in a golf cart … and he said, ‘I’ll bet if you ask all the coaches, they’d say we don’t have enough indoor space,’ ” Athletic Director Jim Sterk says. “He was thinking not only for football but also for them.” Pending final approval from the board of curators in May 2021, the new facility would be built directly southwest of Faurot Field. Sterk says construction would take 18 months, and the $31.7 million projected cost would be paid for entirely with donations. More than $28 million had been raised at press time. “We’re going to continue to work diligently to secure more donations to get this thing built,” Drinkwitz says. “And, like I’ve challenged our staff and our players, I’ll continue to challenge our fans.” — Joe Walljasper, BJ ’92
MACLIN REGAINS PIONEER SPIRIT
Jeremy Maclin’s football career came full circle in February when he was named the head coach at Kirkwood High School. Maclin, Arts ’09, was a star for the Pioneers before becoming a two-time All-American wide receiver at Mizzou and playing eight years in the NFL. After retiring as a player, he returned to St. Louis and spent two years as an assistant coach at Kirkwood before he was promoted. “I have been blessed in my life to have mentors and coaches who have had a lasting impact on me,” Maclin said in a press release. “I am grateful for this chance to play such a role in the lives of today’s youth to help fulfill their dreams on and off the field.”
ENGLISH LESSONS As a basketball player, Kim English, BGS ’12, was part of the class that won a Mizzou-record 107 career games. Nine years after his last college shot, English, 32, can start collecting wins as head coach at George Mason University. He was hired March 23 to lead the Patriots after six years as an assistant at Tulsa, Colorado and Tennessee.
4: Place Ja’Mari Ward finished in the long jump at the NCAA Indoor Championships after he broke his own school record with a leap of 26 feet, 7¼ inches.
5: Women’s basketball players who have averaged double figures in two statistical categories in the same season. Aijha Blackwell averaged 14.1 points and 10.6 rebounds to join the exclusive double-double club that also includes Nancy Rutter, Renee Kelly, Ericka Fields and Kesha Bonds. 18.1: Career scoring average of former men’s basketball All-American Charles Henke, who died at age 81 on Feb. 3. Henke was a member of the University of Missouri Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. SPRING 2021 13
MIZZOU MAGAZINE SPRING 2021
International Reach For 20 years, Pictures of the Year International has brought to light the best works in photojournalism from around the world. The global pandemic didn’t crush the contest — it made it more important than ever. BY SCOTT WALLACE, MA ’83
While the month of March is renowned for the annual collegiate basketball tournaments and the passions they engender, a less raucous but no less important competition unfolds that same time of year on a corner of the University of Missouri campus. Run out of the School of Journalism and the Reynolds Journalism Institute, the Pictures of the Year contest has convened every year from mid-February to mid-March since 1943. The competition brings together photographers and photo editors to select the best images in photojournalism from the previous year. The contest may not draw legions of boisterous fans to stadiums across the country, but its images have been seen in newspapers, magazines and online
throughout the world. Many of them have shaped our understanding of both local and world events — from wars to mass migrations and from earthquakes to moments of whimsy — exercising a profound if more subtle effect on the broader public. Together, participating photographers and judges and student volunteers have pitched in to make Mizzou’s Pictures of the Year one of the most important and celebrated photojournalism competitions in the world. This year, the contest is celebrating its 20th anniversary since “international” was first added to its name in 2001 when it officially became a program of global reach known as Pictures of the Year International, or POYi. That’s hardly the only thing unique to this year’s competition. Judges have traditionally converged on Columbia for the annual event, mingling with students over the course of a week and providing rich educational and networking opportunities in the process. But measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic
Previous spread: Refugees and migrants aboard a fishing boat piloted by smugglers reach the coast of the Greek Island of Lesbos after crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey in October 2015. After Italian photojournalist Antonio Masiello made this picture, which won an Award of Excellence in the POYi competition, he helped lend a hand to the refugees disembarking along the treacherous seawall. Above: Adam Pretty documents rock climber Any Dunlop of Australia as she reaches for a small hold while climbing at sunrise above the Li River in China. The photograph, shot in anticipation of the sport’s debut at the postponed Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020, made Petty a Sports Photographer of the Year finalist. 16 MIZZOUMAGAZINE
turned this year’s judging into a series of virtual forums, with judges convening on Zoom to view and weigh in on the entries. To streamline the voting process, judges have been provisioned with paddles, one side green (IN) and the other red (OUT). What’s more, three categories were created to address the unique set of circumstances imposed by the pandemic. One of them, COVID-19 Personal Expression, marked an abrupt departure from traditional rules of photojournalism. Manipulation of images, even staging subjects, was permitted to give photographers a broader palette to express the sense of personal loss and isolation. This year also marks the 10th anniversary of POY Latam, an editorially independent competition created to promote the work of photojournalists from Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula. “We wanted to give Latin American photographers more exposure,” says POY Latam co-founder Loup Langton, Journ ’87. “And we wanted to give people from outside Latin America the chance to see Latin America through the eyes of Latin American photographers.” Held once every two years, the contest has doubled in size since its inception, from 650 entries in 2011 to more than 1,200 this year. “It helps you put a hand on the pulse of what’s happening artistically, cinematically and politically in Latin America,” says Pamela Yates, a film director and co-founder of Skylight, a nonprofit human rights media organization, who served as judge of documentaries this year. That success got POYi Director Lynden Steele, BJ ’94, to think about trying something similar in Asia and set the stage for yet another milestone this year: the launch of POY Asia. Steele had first floated the idea last year with an old friend from J-School days, Kay-Chin Tay, when he returned to Columbia to judge the 2020 POYi. “Without even thinking, I said yes,” recalled Tay, BJ ’92, in a recent Zoom call from his home in Singapore. He hopes POY Asia will provide a platform for photographers from across the vast continent to discuss ideas and build community, turning the focus away from simply winning an award. “Out here in Asia, it’s really competition-crazy,” Tay says. “Every photographer thinks it’s a ticket to stardom.” POY was originally launched in 1943 by Clifton Edom, who had arrived in Columbia the previous year to head the School of Journalism’s new photojournalism sequence. At the time, war was raging across much of the world. Allied forces were battling the Japanese throughout the Pacific. The D-Day invasion was imminent. With the global conflagration dominating the news, Edom had an idea: to hold a contest honoring the work of stateside photographers who were capturing the quiet
Top: Ed Pfueller captures a 25-foot aluminum steeple dangling from a crane in July 2005 before placement at the Fairview Road Church of Christ in Columbia. Photographed for the Columbia Daily Tribune, this image won an Award of Excellence in the Pictorial category. Bottom: Students use the flashlight functions on their smartphones to show support for protesters in Central Hong Kong who were angry over contentious legislation, since scrapped, that would have allowed extraditions to the Chinese mainland. Photographer Lam Yik Fei won an Award of Excellence in the National/International News Picture Story category for the photo she made in August 2019 for The New York Times. SPRING 2021 17
Andrea Bruce captured this snowy scene on the National Mall for the Washington Post. The photograph took second place in the Pictorial category in 2006.
but equally important realities of life back home in small-town America. Edom set forth a single guiding principle for the competition: “Show truth with a camera.” The contest has expanded dramatically in scope over the past eight decades, from 200 homefront submissions in two categories — Spot News and Features — in 1943 to this year’s 40,000 images in 35 categories from photographers and picture editors around the world. As the program took hold in the 1950s and ’60s, photojournalists came to see Pictures of the Year as an important yardstick for measuring the quality of their work — its technical execution, its emotional impact. It could also serve as a stepping stone in an increasingly competitive field. Meeting a
contest judge who represented a large metro daily or national magazine at the annual event in Columbia could help make a career. As 1973 honoree Steve Uzzell, BJ ’70, puts it, “A POY award validates your vision on a high-profile stage and puts you firmly on the map.” It’s less likely today that winning an award will lead to a highly coveted staff job at a prestigious media organization. Still, entering the competition draws attention, and that’s a critical step in our media-saturated environment. Says filmmaker Yates: “It cuts through the signal-to-noise ratio.” POYi may not have officially become an international program until 2001, but categories were evolving as far back as the 1980s that allowed photographers to submit images they’d taken on
Top: Firefighter Michael Saber drinks and washes his face at a fire hydrant hours after the collapse of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Cinematographer Yoni Brook made this photograph, which won first place in the September 11 News category. Middle: Winning first place in the General Reporting category in 2006, Todd Heisler of the Rocky Mountain News documents a Marine’s casket arriving at the Reno Airport and passengers watching the family gather on the tarmac. Bottom: A man cries in the rubble of the devastated town of Onagawa, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, six days after an earthquake-triggered tsunami hit the country’s east coast and killed his mother, wife and son. Hiroto Sekiguchi won second place in the Impact 2011: Japan Earthquake category.
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Professional dancer Musa Motha uses gravity and his crutches in his performances, which mix street, cultural and classical dance. Born in South Africa, Moth had his left leg amputated at the age of 11 after being diagnosed with cancer that affected his bones. Alon Skuy’s photograph won an Award of Excellence in the Sports Portrait category. A circus performer in El Salvador poses for a portrait. Photographer Steven Laxton took third place in the freelance Feature Picture Story category in 2012 for his series “Circo El Salvador,” which documents nomadic families that travel to rural areas with their own brand of circus — more street theater and burlesque cabaret than big-tent production. 20 MIZZOUMAGAZINE
overseas assignments. By then, many regional and even local newspapers had started to send reporting teams out to cover international stories: Central America, the first Gulf War, the deployment of U.S. troops to Somalia. Come the late 1990s, making the competition international and opening it to photographers everywhere seemed a natural next step. “It evolved from a vision to recognize the home front to a program that enabled recognition of photographers around the world, issues around the world,” says David Rees, MA ’81, who taught photojournalism at Mizzou for 32 years, directed the program during the 2000s, and oversaw the transition from POY to POYi. “I wanted to maintain the POY brand, but I wanted to enhance it.” In recent years that enhanced brand has sought out greater diversity in both participants and judges. Expanding the programs into Latin America and Asia is part of the evolution. Increasing the number of judges and adding more women and people of color to judging panels has been another. Early on, one set of judges handled the entire contest, recalls Sarah Leen, BA ’74, who became the first woman to win College Photographer of the Year in 1979 as a grad student and went on to become the first female director of photography at National Geographic. “And now they break it up with different sets of judges, which is nice because you get a wider variety of opinions.” For Steele, the wisdom of Edom’s original edict — show truth with a camera — remains undiminished. “It’s so simple. It cuts through so much fog.” As Steele assumed the helm at POYi in 2018, he ruminated on Edom’s vision and how it continues to resonate in the best of photojournalism so many years later. “When you think about the world, it’s filled with small towns,” Steele muses. “Most of what photography does really well is show those moments of everyday life. And then through that, it conveys stories that build empathy between people.” Stirring empathy is a big part of what judges look for in the submissions they review. Photographers score high marks if they succeed in getting in close to their subjects to portray life unvarnished and raw, if they are able to give viewers a sense that they are present at the scene. Judging the National/International News Picture Story category this year, Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post photographer Michael Robinson Chavez urged his contest entrants to take their audiences into the story with them so that they really “know what it would be like to be a refugee or to be on a 14-hour shift in a COVID ward. Proximity dictates a lot of that.” One of the many surprises emerging amid the widening circle of POYi contests is the cross-
Top: Kent Farrington nails a jump during the Jumping Competition of the XVI Pan American Games at the Guadalajara (Mexico) Country Club in 2011. Photographer Al Bello scored, too, winning first place in the Sports Photographer of the Year category. Bottom: Philippe De Poulpiquet makes a photograph of a fighter, armed with two Kalashnikov rifles, who kicks a ball past the front of Muammar Gaddafi’s burning headquarters in Tripoli. The image won an Award of Excellence in the Impact 2011: Arab Uprisings category. SPRING 2021 21
Top: A Hetaoping Wolong Panda Center worker dons a panda suit to help shelter captive-bred pandas from human contact during a rare hands-on checkup. National Geographic photographer Ami Vitale took third place in the Science/Natural History Picture Story category in 2018 for her series on the center, which reintroduces pandas into the wild. Above right: In 2020, Vitale won an Award of Excellence for her series “Racing Extinction.” Here, the head keeper at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in northern Kenya sits with one of the planet’s last two northern white rhinos. Above left: Photographer Paul Nicklen catches for the first time in the wild a female salmon releasing her eggs while the male salmon simultaneously fertilizes. The photograph placed third in the Science/Natural History Picture Story category in 2004. 22 MIZZOUMAGAZINE
fertilization taking place between the programs. POY Latam and POY Asia are both editorially independent from the parent competition, and their staffs are free to create categories that recognize and encourage evolving trends in their respective regions. The idea for a new COVID-19 Personal Expression category, for example, came from POY Latam, which was already publishing similar images at poylatam.org/revista. Whatever the picture category, the contest that grew up on the corner of South Ninth and Elm continues to bring together thousands of practitioners from around the world. POYi serves as a kind of glue that binds a growing community of photojournalists, all engaged in the same pursuit. “A great picture will evoke this connection between you and someone you don’t know,” Steele says. “The picture allows you to be there, alongside them in their moment. I think that’s the magic of it.” M
Freelance photographer Carsten Peter won an Award of Excellence in the Science/Natural History Picture Story category in 2012 for his series “Infinite Cave,” which highlights what may be the world’s largest cave, Hang Son Doong, discovered in 1991 near the Vietnam-Laos border. SPRING 2021 23
The Stanton Brothers have a sunny-side up attitude about farming. Dustin and Austin Stanton have pitted themselves against a critical problem that confounds communities throughout the world: how to produce affordable, healthy food locally and profitably. In mid-Missouri, the brothers have found a part of that answer in their approach to chickens, eggs and engagement with the community. BY JACK WAX, BS ED ’73, HES ’76, MA ’87
PHOTOS BY MICHAEL CALI, BJ ’17
LETTERING BY JESSICA ZABRISKIE, BJ ’13
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They’ve left their mascots behind — the pair of plush chickens that rode the breeze above their booth until the Columbia Farmers Market’s new signage rules grounded them. But even without their frequent fryers, regular shoppers know Dustin and Austin Stanton, two unassuming tall guys wearing blue jeans and work shirts. They look enough alike that they are accustomed to being called by each other’s names. A hand-lettered sign, supported by an easel, announces who they are and what they’re known for: “Stanton Brothers — Happy Hens with No Pens.” The sign doesn’t reveal that, despite their youth, Dustin, 28, and Austin, 24, are among the market’s most experienced vendors. What’s more, their imprint on niche agriculture has earned them recognition as one of the nation’s largest independent egg producers. They’ve stopped counting the number of awards they’ve received from farm and educational groups, such as the Future Farmers of America, the Missouri Farm Bureau, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the University of Missouri. They’ve lost track of how many presentations they’ve given to agriculture students and wouldbe entrepreneurs. But who could forget the time, three years ago, when Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, touched down at Columbia Regional Airport and visited their farm to query the young men about their business, lifestyle and community involvement. “While he was here, Zuckerberg said that he was concerned that Facebook was only a tool for recreation, and he wanted it to become a tool for community building,” Dustin says. Zuckerberg is one of the richest people on the planet, but no doubt he got the identical dose of their Midwestern nice as any customer spending $3 on a dozen of their eggs. Every sale ends with the same refrain: “We appreciate your business.” When the Stantons started thanking their market customers 14 years ago, neither of them was old enough to drive. They relied on their father, Andrew, for a Saturday morning ride in from 26 MIZZOUMAGAZINE
their Centralia farm about 30 miles north of Columbia. They weren’t exactly child prodigies of chicken and egg production, but their early start gave them time to grow into the work. “I absolutely love working the counter,” Dustin says. “I know that people come to the farmers market to meet the farmers, but on the flip side, we also get to meet the customers.” Austin, who is more reserved than his older brother, gets satisfaction from seeing his work play out locally. “What’s fulfilling is being able to grow something, then, at the farmers market, you see how your work is feeding the community.” Hardboiled, soft-boiled, scrambled or sunnyside up, their eggs have become a regular part of the diets of tens of thousands of mid-Missourians. Stanton Brothers chickens lay about 2 million eggs a year. From the farm, Dustin delivers the eggs to grocery stores, school systems, colleges (including Mizzou), nursing homes and restaurants within an hour’s drive of their farm. They market their eggs as cage-free, from chickens raised on their own non-GMO milo. “They are actually free-range by Missouri’s definition,” Austin says, “but we always stick with the cage-free label, careful to market them one step below what they actually are.” The Stantons aren’t all eggs all the time. They also sell pork from hogs raised on their farm. A few years ago, they experimented with making honey ice cream, and they still intend to add Austin’s locally grown potatoes to their product mix. But what makes them exceptional isn’t just what they’ve produced on the farm. According to industry surveys, in the U.S., just five companies account for one-third of all egg production. The two brothers in Boone County are doing just fine competing against megacorporations. “I think they are a true model for what our younger folk can become,” says Kent Shannon, a precision agriculture professor who had Austin in class and who remains in contact with the brothers through MU Extension programs. “They saw a niche, one in which they could provide a product locally, in a more natural way. And over the years, they’ve adapted to changes, keeping their business viable.” Unlike most other egg producers, the Stantons are a vertically integrated business — actually three businesses in one. They not only raise the feed and process the eggs but also handle all the marketing and sales. But more important than their business model is their business philosophy. “We are part of a community,” Dustin says. “We are involved within mid-Missouri on different levels. It’s something you don’t see from the factory farm operations.”
Z U C K E R B E R G : C O U RT E SY D U S T I N S TA N TO N
Their ties to MU remain strong. Jill Moreland, an adviser in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR), has taken several busloads of students to tour the Stanton farm and occasionally invites them to campus where they interact with students. “Not only are they doing a substantial job with their business operation, but they’re improving agriculture by educating CAFNR students and consumers,” she says. Always eager to pitch in, Dustin became president of the Columbia Farmers Market Association in January. His No. 1 priority for the coming year is to raise the last couple of million dollars for Columbia’s Agricultural Park, which is home to the market. The additional money goes toward finishing the market’s pavilion and adding educational facilities, meeting space and a commercial kitchen for fledgling food entrepreneurs. Austin shares his brother’s vision of a thriving, healthy rural Missouri. He is treasurer for the Missouri Farm Bureau’s Boone County chapter and has
Top, Centralia farmers Austin, left, and Dustin Stanton sell their eggs at the Columbia Farmers Market in October 2020. Above, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg poses with the brothers at their farm in 2017. Zuckerberg visited during his nationwide tour to meet small-business owners.
The Stanton brothers’ imprint on niche agriculture has earned them recognition as one of the nation’s largest independent egg producers. SPRING 2021 27
Clockwise from left, Austin, 24, loves the hands-on aspect of farming. So does his father, Andrew, who is happiest fixing tractors and working in the field. A vertically integrated business, the brothers not only raise the feed and process the eggs but also handle all the marketing and sales. Dustin, 28, delivers a box of fresh eggs to a local HyVee. Fourth-generation farmers Austin, left, and Dustin pose for a portrait on their Centralia farm about 30 miles north of Columbia.
The Stanton farm has been in the family since 1845 and even survived a Civil War battle that took place on its southern end.
served on the Boone County Extension Council. Although many millennials may imagine making their fortunes in Silicon Valley, Dustin and Austin prefer the fields of Missouri for their dreams. Their farm is home not only to their chicken operation but also to their parents’ 100 head of cattle and 1,400 acres of soybean, milo, pasture and hay. It’s where they grew up and where they hope someday to raise families of their own. The business is a family affair, with both their mother, Judy, and father carrying some of the workload. In return, the boys help out with their parents’ crops and cattle. Raising thousands of chickens and readying the eggs for market is gritty, nonstop work. Preparation for the Saturday farmers market starts early on Friday when Judy takes her usual position in the poultry barn that shelters the hens. She sits an arm’s length from the wall separating the aviary portion of the barn from the egg processing and office areas. Through a small opening in the wall, a conveyer belt that runs through the chickens’ nesting area presents her with a flow of freshly laid eggs. She carefully checks them for cracks or loose dirt or straw and sets them in a metal pail. Then, one by one, she places them onto an egg-washing machine that rubs, scrubs and carries them across the room, where they emerge sparkling clean. Andrew hurriedly grabs the eggs and sorts them by size, filling empty cartons. He then loads the refrigerated truck waiting just outside. The Stantons are the Norman Rockwell image of a farm family — close-knit, working side by side during the day, eating together each evening and setting Sunday aside for church. But the physical and mental effort of sustaining that life is demanding. “It’s monotonous sometimes,” Dustin says. “If you don’t feed the chickens and gather the eggs today, you have to do twice as much the next
day.” He’s a bit tired this Friday, having worked late last night, planting his parents’ wheat by the light of the moon. He would have preferred to use his tractor’s headlights, but they weren’t working. The forecast called for rain for the next day, so he had to get it done. Living and working together has its advantages and disadvantages. “Sometimes you don’t have to say anything but you know what the other one is thinking,” Dustin says. The brothers have an easygoing rapport and a working arrangement that complements each one’s strengths. Austin loves the hands-on aspect of farming. He’s happiest fixing tractors and working the field. “I share a weakness with my father for new equipment,” he says. Dustin enjoys the marketing and makes most of the sales calls. “But we meet in the middle sometimes,” he says. As the older brother of a less talkative sibling, Dustin deftly brings Austin into the conversation. “Austin wouldn’t tell you this,” he says, “but … .” The brothers rise at 5:30 a.m., before the sun and their hens. (No roosters are allowed on the farm.) Although the pandemic has slowed business, they still have a full day of Zoom meetings to attend, deliveries to make, chickens to check on and machinery to maintain. “If you’re just an employee somewhere, you clock in and clock out. But for us, we clock in and never clock out,” Dustin says. The payoff: He loves the independence and “knowing your success is due to something you or your family did.” Austin likes the security and stability that their business brings them. “Here, on the farm, I can mess up big time, but as long as I’m not losing money, we can keep going,” he says. Entrepreneurial spunk and can-do spirit flow through Dustin and Austin’s veins and history. The Stanton farm has been in the family since 1845 and even survived a Civil War battle that took place on
its southern end. Like all farmers, they’ve had to overcome their share of setbacks. Changes in Food and Drug Administration and USDA regulations and interpretations have forced the brothers to make significant changes over the years. Originally, all the chickens stayed outside all the time. At their peak five years ago, the Stantons had almost 25,000 chickens coming and going as they pleased, laying eggs in their barns, pastures and anywhere on the farm they felt like nesting. Profits rolled in, and they built an 8,000-square-foot poultry barn — just in time. New rules required them to reduce the flock and move them inside, where they now stay most of the time. “I could comply with the regulations, or I could risk committing a felony,” Austin quips. “Easy choice.” Going to MU and completing degrees in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources were also a natural. Dustin had a full-ride scholarship, and Austin earned scholarships after beginning his studies. Despite starting courses with more than a decade of farming and business experience under their belts, both say their time in the classroom was well spent. “Anyone can learn to run a combine or tractor,” says Dustin, “but successful farmers have to learn how to run a balance sheet and a profit or loss statement.” Stanton Brothers Eggs wouldn’t be a growing business and an inspiration for aspiring young food producers without their commitment to learning — hands-on, in the classroom, and through networking with experts and other farm leaders. “There’s this misconception that once you go to school you have to know all the answers to every problem,” Dustin says. “I think that what you have to do is learn how to find the answers to everything.” Or maybe not quite everything — even the Stanton brothers have yet to figure out why the chicken crossed the road. M SPRING 2021 29
MU soccer Tigers grind their way into professional ranks. STORY BY TONY REHAGEN, BA, BJ ’01
WHEN SARAH LUEBBERT was deciding where she’d play college soccer, there were plenty of reasons for her to choose MU. She was born and raised in Jefferson City, and it would be easy for her family to make the 30-minute trip to Columbia for games. As a kid, Luebbert, BS ’20, had attended soccer camps on campus. Also, Mizzou is a Division I NCAA program that regularly faces top competition, both from within the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and without. And if Luebbert aspired to play professionally, she knew that the Tigers had quietly become a pipeline by which alumnae moved on to pro leagues all over the world. But while all of those things factored into Luebbert’s decision, the clincher was something less tangible, a feeling she got from Coach Bryan Blitz. “He was straightforward, not a salesman telling me that everything would be perfect or even easy,” Luebbert says. “He made it clear that we were a blue-collar team that was going to outwork our opponents. From that point, I knew I wanted to help the team.” “Blue-collar” is precisely the term that Blitz uses to describe what drew him to Luebbert as a recruit. It’s the same descriptor the coach gives to his ethos at Mizzou. And that mentality is also one of the reasons both Blitz and Luebbert give for the remarkable success of what are now six former Tigers playing professionally either in the U.S., Europe or the Middle East. The yeoman’s approach to the game is, in many ways, the foundation of Mizzou women’s soccer. When Blitz arrived to help start the program in 1995, the former college player turned coach immediately saw that he was going to have to find overachievers. And after announcing his retirement this spring, Blitz leaves a program built on that work ethic. “We’re not one of the major programs that attract blue-chip talent like Duke or Stanford,” Blitz says. “We don’t live in sunny Florida. We’re looking for local players from St. Louis, Kansas City and mid-Missouri who are smart, have heart and who are grinders.” By the time Luebbert arrived in 2016, little had changed. Blitz didn’t implement complex formations but rather focused on effort and hustle. Blitz had team managers keep track of the percentage of head balls, second balls and third balls that his players won, and he chided them if that number wasn’t high enough. “He tried to make it very simple,” says Luebbert. “It doesn’t matter what formation you’re in, just make simple crosses and goals. You just had to play soccer.” But you had to play hard. As it turned out, Luebbert’s career was a perfect example of how this intense, uncomplicated approach prepared Blitz’s players for life after Mizzou — whether it involved professional soccer or not. As a freshman, she erupted onto the scene, leading a senior-laden team in scoring, winning SEC Freshman of the Year and being invited to participate in two U.S. under-23 women’s national team training camps. However, when she returned for her sophomore year, opponents were double- and tripleteaming her. It was the Mizzou mindset and Luebbert’s natural perseverance that enabled her to battle through. “She worked extra hard,” says Blitz. “She came early. There were times I’d have to kick her off the field.” Like Blitz and his program, Luebbert also learned to work with what she was given. If two or three defenders were on her, that meant teammates were open, and she added assists to her game. She ended her career at Mizzou as First-Team All-SEC with a body of work and skill set that earned her a place on the roster of the Chicago Red Stars of the National Women’s Soccer League. “She was drafted by the perfect fit,” says Blitz. “Even in the pro game, you can see teams that emphasize hard work. Chicago is a very blue-collar team.” M
A STREAK OF TIGERS
Tiger soccer alumnae compete professionally on three continents.
Janelle Cordia, BA, BS, BS Ed ’10, midfielder, ACF Fiorentina (Italy): The Hickman graduate finally left Columbia to play semipro in New York and top-flight pro in Finland and Denmark before landing in the Champions League in Italy.
Domi Richardson, BHS ’14, defender, Sky Blue FC (New Jersey): After leaving Mizzou, Richardson made the Houston Dash of the National Women’s Soccer League only to be released after playing in two games. She signed with FC Kansas City but never appeared in a game. Then, in 2016, she caught on with Sky Blue FC and has been a fixture ever since.
Kelsey Dossey, BA ’18, goalkeeper, RCD Espanyol Femenino (Spain): One of the most decorated goalkeepers in Mizzou history, this Indianapolis native jumped from the U.S. Women’s Premier Soccer League to pro ball in Spain, where her launch was delayed by COVID-19.
Zoe Cross, BGS ’20, midfielder, Lewes FC (England): The UK native came to Columbia in 2017 and met with a concussion and a torn knee. After her redshirt junior season was cut short by COVID-19, she returned to England, where she turned pro.
Rachel Hise, BS Ed ’20, defender, Hapoel Ra’anana (Israel): The Dallas native has never been a star. She’s always used her versatility to find fits on great teams, most recently in the Israeli Premier League.
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LESSONS IN WONDER With an enduring mix of curiosity and hard work, former Mizzou linebacker, four-time MU graduate and University of Missouri System board of curators Chair Darryl Chatman has spent a lifetime reaching for the stars. STORY BY SARA DIEDRICH * PHOTOS BY MICHAEL CALI, BJ ’17
arryl Chatman will never forget the father-son journeys to the airport to watch planes land. He was 9, sitting shotgun in the old blue Pontiac, a ribbon of blacktop unspooling behind them in the fleeting day. It was a short drive from their mobile home in O’Fallon, Missouri, to the St. Louis Lambert International Airport. The elder Chatman, a draftsman by trade, was an aviation buff and eager to share his passion with his namesake. Their anticipation was palpable. Not far from the landing strips, they’d park, cut the engine and scramble out. Sometimes they’d sit on the trunk or hood for a better view. They’d watch until stars pierced the night sky. Those lessons in wonder were decades in the making. Chatman’s grandfather, who never graduated from high school, was nonetheless a believer in education. He sent all eight of his children to private high school. When his turn came, Chatman’s father, who grew up in the Pruitt-Igoe housing projects in downtown St. Louis, sent his son to private school from kindergarten through high school. The youngster may have been too young to grasp those generational sacrifices, but he did inherit the love of learning. After arriving at the University of Missouri in 1992 on a football scholarship, he went on to earn four degrees from Mizzou and a fifth from North Carolina State University. Chatman has risen quickly through a pressure-packed law career. But it wasn’t until January, when the 46-year-old father of three took the helm of the UM System board of curators, that he felt the full weight of all his father and grandfather had given up for him. As chair of the nine-member board, he oversees the operations of all four of the system’s campuses — MU, University of Missouri–St. Louis, University of Missouri–Kansas City and Missouri S&T. And he doesn’t get to quit his day job as senior vice president of governance and compliance at the United Soybean Board in Chesterfield, Missouri. “My father and grandfather never told me it would be an easy road,” Chatman says. “They were so proud that I was living the dreams that they had envisioned for me.”
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TROPHY FOR DAD
“Darryl has this natural curiosity that I think has led to the trajectory of his significant success. He brings that same commitment of lifelong learning that we talk about as an institution to everything he does.” — Jim Spain
Chatman was born in St. Louis and grew up in North St. Louis County. When he was 4, his 2-year-old sister died from sickle-cell anemia. His parents later divorced, and Chatman split his time between both homes. To keep their son busy and out of trouble, they signed him up for Boy Scouts and every sport available. It would be his saving grace. His father struggled with addiction to alcohol until Chatman was 10. He remembers visiting him at the hospital where he was recovering. It was near Father’s Day, and the boy had brought a gift — a trophy with the inscription: World’s Greatest Dad. “He broke down and cried,” Chatman recalls. His father still had the trophy years later, when Chatman asked why he had quit drinking. “He said because he loved me and wanted to be the best dad that he could be for me.” His father remained sober and an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous for the remaining 35 years of his life. He died in March 2020 about a month after his wife, Chatman’s stepmother, passed away.
* NO. 1 FAN
By the time Chatman reached Lutheran High School North, he was an outstanding athlete, excelling in football, basketball and track. He placed second in the state in shot put and discus, and his football team won the state championship his junior year. His father and stepmother had moved to Olivette, Missouri, where Chatman joined them for his senior year of high school. He had grown especially close with his father, who never missed a chance to see his son compete. He also shared with Chatman his love for space and technology and found ways on a tight budget to buy his son a telescope and a Commodore 64 computer. He even took Chatman to Florida to watch a space shuttle take off. “He was really interested in getting me on the cutting edge of technology and understood the importance it would play in my future,” Chatman says. “He really wanted me to be curious about the world.” And all along, his father never complained. Instead, he embodied the humility that comes with hard work, sacrifice and a belief in something greater than himself, Chatman says. He was an eternal optimist, no matter the mountain to climb. “He didn’t have the money to do what he did for me, but he did it anyway,” Chatman says.
A heavily recruited football linebacker, Chatman chose Mizzou where he brought with him his father’s dogged determination and grit, earning him the nickname “Chopper” and a reputation as one of the most feared defenders in the Big 8 and Big 12 conferences. Coming to MU was a big step for Chatman, who admits he had lived a rather “sheltered existence” before coming to college. But it didn’t take long for the new recruit to catch the eye of seasoned players who recognized his potential. “They took me in and told me: ‘Hey man, you’re only doing what you’re required to do. You need to do more. What do you think you’re doing here? We didn’t come here to be average; we came here to be great,’ ” Chatman says. “That became the norm for me. Those guys did that for me, and they made it fun, too. You have to have that good core of people who will push you to be better.” To this day, those players remain close friends, checking in with one another daily. Among them is Mark Alnutt, BA ’95, MPA ’00, now athletic director at the University at Buffalo. After football, he and Chatman roomed together while both pursued graduate degrees at MU. “Darryl is a worker. He is relentless in a positive way,” Alnutt says. “He was committed to sports and earning his degrees.”
* LIFELONG LEARNER
In 1994, Chatman took his first undergraduate course in animal science from Professor Jim Spain, now vice provost for undergraduate studies and eLearning at MU. It seemed an unlikely subject area for a student from the city, but Chatman was enamored with the topic and the people he met in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. The feeling was mutual. Spain was struck by Chatman’s sense of wonder and massive appetite for learning. “Darryl has this natural curiosity that I think has led to the trajectory of his significant success,” Spain says. “He brings that same commitment of lifelong learning that we talk about as an institution to everything he does.” Chatman was never afraid to ask for help, and like his father and grandfather, he never shied away from hard work or an opportunity to get his hands dirty. After graduating with a degree in animal science in 1997, he earned graduate degrees in animal science in 2001, agricultural economics in 2007 and a Juris Doctorate in 2008. During those years, Chatman held down two, sometimes three jobs to make ends meet. He worked as a jan-
itor at University Place Apartments, a farmhand at the Mizzou dairy farm and a meat cutter at the Mizzou Meat Lab, all experiences he credits with keeping him right-sized. “Those blue-collar jobs were the best things that ever happened to me. I learned the value of hard work. I built a lot of comradery with the people I worked with, and it was very humbling.” Since then, Chatman has applied those lessons in humility to every job he’s held, no matter his title. Chatman has served as general counsel for the Missouri Department of Agriculture and as an attorney with Armstrong Teasdale LLP in St. Louis, where he led the firm’s agriculture and biotech practice group. From January 2015 to January 2016 he served as the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s deputy director. Richard Fordyce, now administrator of the Farm Service Agency for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, hired Chatman as his deputy director. He recognized immediately that the charismatic man who arrived for the job interview could make an impact on farmers across the state. He wasn’t disappointed. “Not only is Darryl curious, but he is incredibly genuine.” To this day, farmers still ask Fordyce: “Have you talked to Darryl lately? How’s he doing?”
* A DREAM FULFILLED
After serving as a member of the board of curators during a tumultuous three years that included leadership changes and financial shortfalls, fellow board member Maurice Graham, BA ’60, JD ’62, nominated Chatman for chair in late 2020. He says Chatman understands the important balance between sharing his own thoughts and ideas and listening respectfully to the input of others. He has noticed that Chatman asks tough questions when necessary, and he never misses a chance to express appreciation. “He has a strong passion for the mission of the university and its four campuses.” As chair, Chatman will prioritize supporting research across the campuses and building on programs that help students succeed. He had not imagined being a member of the board of curators, much less its chair. Both accomplishments brought him to tears. “These are things I never thought possible for me,” he says. “I’ve had great mentors in the past who told me, ‘Darryl, you don’t dream big enough.’ This was something that wasn’t even on my radar, but here it is; it happened, another dream fulfilled.” M
“ This was something that wasn’t even on my radar, but here it is; it happened, another dream fulfilled.” — Darryl Chatman
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CORES OF DISCOVERY With top-tier magnetic and electron imaging, Mizzou clinicians and researchers practice at the fore of the resolution revolution. • STORY BY DAVID L AGESSE, BJ ’ 79
E L I Z A B E T H F I S C H E R , N AT I O N A L I N S T I T U T E O F A L L E R GY A N D I N F E C T I O U S D I S E A S E ( N I A I D )
A revolution is coming to Mizzou. Instead of a rabble, it’s genteel scientists inciting this upheaval, which comes in the form of large, shiny instruments that can peer deep inside bodies, individual cells and even molecules — all in remarkable detail. One machine so huge that a crane must lift it into the basement of the NextGen Precision Health building that’s taking shape near University Hospital. Another that stands 8 feet tall to project electron beams into tiny, cryogenically frozen specimens. Instruments so advanced that their pending arrival seems to somewhat awe even the researchers who helped arrange for them. “It’s amazing, high-end radiology imaging that we’ll be able to do here at Mizzou,” says Talissa Altes, a physician and MU’s chair of radiology. Funded partly by donations, the imaging initiative builds — as does NextGen itself — on Mizzou’s strengths across campus, including in health care research, notably its combination of medical school, veterinary college and research reactor. The new gear also helps attract the scientists, doctors and students needed to make NextGen a success. The timely acquisitions will push the university’s four campuses to the forefront of what’s widely called a “resolution revolution” in scientific imaging. Computing power has accelerated alongside imaging hardware to produce detail that was impossible just a few years ago. “It’s kind of a perfect storm that’s come together for microscopes,” says Tommi White, director of MU’s Electron Microscopy Core Facility. The NextGen building will house the university’s most powerful imaging technology, offering centralized “core” facilities for researchers and clinicians from across Missouri. The tools will enable tomorrow’s breakthroughs in medical, veterinary and materials research — and today’s treatment of diseases that might otherwise remain a mystery. That giant machine to be deposited by crane into the basement, for example, is the most powerful magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) model available for clinical use. MU’s will be one of just a couple dozen available nationwide for patient care. It reveals detail previously unseeable, such as tiny brain lesions causing seizures or minute cartilage tears disabling a knee. “So often, it can help us understand why a patient isn’t responding to treatment as we would expect,” Altes says.
Likewise, it can help determine which patients might be candidates for research into drugs, surgeries and other treatments. Her field of radiology, of course, is all about seeing inside a body without having to open it up. The advances of MRI and similar technology have rendered unnecessary exploratory procedures where surgeons operated on patients to see what ailed them. The MRI is a 7-Tesla model, which refers to the strength of its huge magnets that pack more than twice the power of more common 3T models. In addition to the 7T MRI, NextGen will get other high-end radiology gear as part of a $133 million, 10-year agreement with Siemens Healthineers, which officials described as its largest yet. The novel arrangement includes a Siemens Healthineers scientist posted at the NextGen facility to aid Mizzou researchers and clinicians in improving the quality of images. Siemens then can build the improvements into its products, Altes says: “That means that our breakthroughs not only help our patients but can be quickly disseminated to patients worldwide.” Much of the pricey equipment comes to Mizzou as part of the investment in NextGen. The new building at the heart of the institute will house investigators from many disciplines to break down the silos that have traditionally separated research in human health, veterinary medicine and biomechanical devices. Similarly, the linking of laboratories and clinics — both in the NextGen building and the neighboring University Hospital — should ease sharing between researchers and physicians treating patients. NextGen will host the body scanning technology that is at one end of the imaging spectrum for seeing organs and tissue through gear such as the 7T MRI. It also will house the most powerful electronic microscopes that work at the other end of imaging for peering into cells, molecules and even atoms. Electron microscopes are perhaps best known for their research into the structure of materials and bio elements, such as cell membranes and proteins. But the ability to see the structure of molecules also can lead to rapid health breakthroughs. Scientists elsewhere, for example, used electron microscopes and cryogenic — frozen — specimens to better understand the virus behind the COVID-19 pandemic, including proteins that
The eerie image at left is, in fact, something scary — an infected, greenish-colored cell spewing the virus that causes Ebola, a deadly disease usually found in Sub-Saharan Africa. An electron microscope (EM) captured the image, initially as a series of flat, grayscale photos. Accelerating computing power enables scientists to enhance those EM photographs, assembling them into images with three-dimensional depth and color to distinguish elements in and around cells and even the individual atoms that make up molecules. The ability to see such biological detail helps scientists design medicines and vaccines, including those being used to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), above left, and other advanced technology enables physicians to see inside a body. Mizzou’s new 7-Tesla MRI, above right, in reddish color, offers much more detail for diagnosing disease and injury and for research than earlier 3T models. The grayscale image, above right, is just one of many captured of these interior structures of a cell. Specimens are cryogenically frozen, inserted into a Krios electron microscope like what is coming to MU and rotated to capture numerous, sometimes thousands, of pictures from many angles. Software then assembles and colorizes the photos to create 3D images that scientists can virtually “fly” around and through for detailed views of the cell’s structures and functioning.
it uses to attack human cells. When it comes to human health, science often focuses on proteins, the molecules that carry out many functions in cells. New hardware, software and techniques that emerged around 2013 made possible an ongoing boom in protein description. Those sorts of life-sciences discoveries are “what cryo-EM is tailored for,” says White, of Mizzou’s electron microscopy lab. White will oversee new equipment at the NextGen facility that includes the Krios G4, widely considered the best electron microscope for life sciences. And while health care is NextGen’s focus, the EM core also will serve physicists and engineers with a Spectra 300 for subatomic imaging of materials. All the gear for the facility will come from Thermo Fisher Scientific, a Massachusetts company that is making a substantial in-kind donation to the university. Meanwhile, a gift of $11 million, the single largest to the College of Veterinary Medicine, will pay for a slew of new imaging technology. The vet school already owns several scanning instruments used in animal research. The gift from 1954 Mizzou graduates Glenn and Nancy Linnerson will keep the vet school at the forefront of imaging in animal research and care, says Jeffrey Bryan, an MU veterinary professor and cancer researcher. As in human medicine, the vet college relies a great deal on PET (positron emission tomography) and CT (computed tomography) scans to research and diagnose diseases in animals. The PET scans can detect abnormal biochemistry or physiology while CT scans show anatomic detail of organs and tissues. As part of the gift, the vet college will get a standing CT scanner for larger animals. Other equipment
is similar or identical to what’s used in human health. NextGen, in fact, will encourage overlap among human and animal researchers and clinicians. “Everybody will be talking, so we’ll be able to translate new discoveries to our patients faster,” Altes says. Bryan personifies the NextGen model as he straddles animal and human health research. Among other examples, a trial underway on a human brain cancer relies on a treatment that Bryan helped develop for bone tumors in dogs. He also leads NextGen’s overall cancer research effort. The veterinary imaging research will dovetail with work in theranostics, a field that combines medical therapeutics, or cures, with diagnostics. A new unit, the Molecular Imaging and Theranostics Center is directed by radiology Professor Carolyn Anderson, an expert on using radioactive elements in medicine. The radiometals help imaging equipment to see what’s occurring in a body, which is the diagnostics piece, and can be directed to bind to and kill cancerous tumors, or therapeutics. Anderson’s lab is getting its own PET and CT scanners, sized for rodents, which is where experimental radiopharmaceuticals often get their first test. Curing cancer in a human can be much more difficult than in a mouse, Anderson says. That’s the advantage of access to other animal models at the vet college. “It’s a really great bridge to have,” she says, noting that many dog cancers resemble those in humans. Another great link, she says, is to MU’s Research Reactor, a leading national source for the radioactive materials used in medicines and medical research. Not only is MU unusual for having a reactor, the most powerful research reactor at any U.S. university, but it was also built to be unique among reactors, says David Robert-
E R W I N L . H A H N I N ST I T U T E FO R M R I , E S S E N , G E R M A N Y; B E N JA M I N D. E N G E L , M A X P L A N C K I N S T I T U T E O F B I O C H E M I S T R Y, M A R T I N S R I E D , G E R M A N Y.
“ When I came here, I would not have guessed we’d be getting instruments like these.”
N AT I O N A L I N S T I T U T E S O F H E A LT H ; P R OT E I N S P I K E : J A S O N M C L E L L A N , U N I V E R S I T Y O F T E X A S AT A U S T I N
— Tommi White, Director, Electron Microscopy Core
son, its director. Its design gives it a “bright,” or intense, source of the neutrons used to create the radioactive materials, called nuclides or isotopes. That allows the reactor to make small amounts of material intensely radioactive, and smaller is better when giving patients anything radioactive, he says. Isotopes used for medicines get shipped elsewhere for processing, Robertson explains. “But those for research, yes, they can pick it up right here,” he says. “Or we take it directly to the vet school here on campus, we take it to the chemistry department, we take it to the biochemistry department.” Or to Anderson’s center, just across the street from the reactor. “My lab and all the university’s investigators can be the first to test the new radionuclides they’ll produce,” Anderson says. So the new imaging gear magnifies the university’s unusual advantages in combined med, vet and reactor facilities. And it thrusts the university into a different league, says White, who directs electron microscopy. She came to Mizzou in 2012 after studies that included a stint at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). “Our microscopes here were good,” she says, but she’d had a glimpse of better when at NIH, with its earlier version of the high-res Krios electron microscope. “When I came here, I would not have guessed we’d be getting instruments like these.” M
This page, counterclockwise from bottom right: An electron microscope picture of a nerve ending that has been broken open to reveal vesicles (orange and blue). Fluid-filled sacs, the vesicles transmit messages through the nervous system. • Coloring the virus (green) amid cells (red) helps to illustrate how aggressively COVID-19 can invade and reproduce in its human hosts. Scientists isolated these cells from a patient sample for study under an electron microscope. • These microscopes can image the virus — the round, blue objects — that causes COVID-19 as it replicates and emerges from cells cultured in a laboratory. The virus wears a corona of “spike proteins” through which it invades human cells. • Magnification with the most-powerful microscopes (like Krios G4) enables scientists to model the individual molecules that make up the spike protein, a key step toward developing vaccines that can slow the virus’ spread. SPRING 2021 39
Get ready for a chert-chipping, atlatl-tossing good time. Libby Cowgill, aka the one-woman Discovery Channel, fits her students into the skins of our prehistoric ancestors. T O N Y R E H A G E N, B A , B J ’ 0 1
M I C H A E L C A L I , B J ’ 17
M I Z Z O U | S P R I NG 2021 40
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Previous page: What was life like for the Neanderthal named La Chapelle-aux-Saint, aka the Old Man of La Chapelle? Through hands-on exercises such as fashioning Stone-Age tools, anthropology Associate Professor Libby Cowgill gives her students a window into the Old Man’s prehistoric day to day. Cowgill’s techniques, opposite top, include teaching students to “knap” cutting tools by chipping flakes off of a chunk of chert, and, bottom, show-and-tell lectures on taphonomy, the study of what happens to bones after an individual dies. This includes discerning cut marks from tooth marks left by carnivores like her canine TA, Luke.
a gray March day in Columbia, and Libby Cowgill has convened her upper-level biological anthropology class on Francis Quadrangle, just outside of Swallow Hall, to learn how to break rocks. On the syllabus, the lesson is about “knapping,” the Stone Age technique of chipping flint, chert or obsidian into primitive blades. But first, Cowgill has to break up three small bowling balls of mailorder chert into workable pieces for her 12 pupils. To do so, the professor is employing a technique that may seem crude even to the Neanderthals and early sapiens her students are trying to emulate. “Would you please stand back,” she says. “I’m going to smash this on the ground.” Cowgill lifts a chunk of chert over her head, her olive green sweater doing little to conceal the powerful arms and shoulders of a lifelong weightlifter, and she slams it on the sidewalk. The clap of rock on concrete echoes across the empty quad causing the students to cringe. But when the commotion settles, the stone is unscathed. Cowgill resets, channeling a prehistoric frustration as she again spikes the chert, but to no avail. After the third useless thud, the students’ shock has shifted to bemusement. “That one made a mark … ,” one student says, “ … on the pavement.” Resigned, Cowgill places the boulder on the bench and climbs the stairs back into Swallow Hall to borrow a bucket of better-broken chert from a colleague. She returns and distributes the rocks to her class — now seated out on stairs, benches and sidewalks — along with work gloves and protective eyewear. There’s also a sheet of paper: “Sign your waivers saying that if you lose your finger, it’s not my problem,” Cowgill deadpans. With that bit of 21st-century legal liability out of the way, Cowgill’s class can rewind their minds about 2 million years. Under her instruction, each perches a chunk of chert on their lap and begins striking it, either with a rock or a bit of deer antler,
trying to chip off flakes. The goal is to produce a chert flake large, strong and sharp enough to act as a knife, with which the students can separate meat from the bones of a dead animal in next week’s lesson. Cowgill calls it a Paleo Party. Since her arrival at Mizzou in 2010, the associate professor of anthropology has become known for this type of immersion. Her students do more than read and write about prehistoric humans. Through tasks like knapping, using flakes to cut up animal carcasses and even hurling spears with an atlatl, students emulate their ancestors as a way of glimpsing the ancient world. “Anytime you’re looking at history in this class, you can relate to it,” says Christina Holzhauser, a first-year graduate student. “That makes it more personal.” Another student once referred to Cowgill’s teaching style as watching the Discovery Channel in person. Her enthusiasm and her creative methods of sharing that zeal are listed as reasons why Cowgill was among the five instructors who won a 2020 William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence, MU’s most prestigious teaching award. “Having students disarticulate a chicken sounds like a weird thing to do,” says Cowgill. “But if you’re forced to do it and think how hard it would have been for a small-brained human ancestor to rush out onto an African landscape, manage to kill or scavenge something edible, and then have to eat it before predators arrived … I think butchering a chicken at my house is a weird window into that.” But first, Cowgill must ensure that her students don’t butcher themselves while trying to fashion their stone tools. “Is anyone bleeding yet?” she jokes over the clamor of stone on stone. “In 10 years of doing this lab, I’ve never lost a finger.”
THE SOURCE of Cowgill’s trademark approach to teaching might lie in her own unusual path to academia. She is a first-generation college student; her grandfather was a gymnast who did handstands atop skyscrapers for publicity photos in the 1930s, and her grandmother was a vaudeville performer. Her parents, though not formal scientists, had a fascination with skeletal remains that bordered on obsession. Their home was lined with cabinets full of animal skulls, each carefully labeled with cards listing genus and species. Most of the specimens came out of the Southern California wilderness. Young Cowgill or her stepfather would spot a carcass while hiking, bring the body home, bury it to let nature continue its work, then exhume the
skeleton and boil it down to clean bone. At age 9, Cowgill recalls, her stepfather asked her to stand watch on a San Diego beach while he sawed the head off a bloated dead sea lion with a 3-inch pocketknife. “You weren’t supposed to take things off the beach,” she says. “We put the head in a bag and snuck it home.” Looking back, Cowgill believes she was drawn to the bones because of their permanence. The rest of the body decomposes and fades away, but the skeleton endures. And, if you know where and how to look, there’s often a story imprinted on those skeletal remains. Her stepfather once bought a boar skull that had been painted white and had an arrow jammed through the cheekbone to make it look like a bow kill. He removed the arrow and stripped off the paint to reveal bullet holes — the true culprits in the animal’s death. He had solved a mystery by letting the dead tell its tale. It’s no wonder that when Cowgill arrived at the University of California, Berkeley and took an introduction to anthropology class, it was love at first sight. It was a revelation to study with professionals who made careers doing what she and her parents had done as a peculiar hobby. “And since there was nobody in my life to tell me that becoming an anthropologist wasn’t the most viable career option,” she says, “I jumped off the edge of the bridge.” From Berkeley, she leapt to graduate school
at Washington University in St. Louis, where she studied with Erik Trinkaus, a renowned expert in Neanderthals. Her dissertation looked at differences in the growth and development of Neanderthals compared to modern humans. Searching for remains of immature Neanderthals, she dragged her own bodyweight in gear and X-ray equipment from museum to museum in cities all over Europe and the Middle East — SPRING 2021 43
perhaps why she chose weightlifting as a hobby. The physical nature of the job was never far from her mind, and she has always tried to instill that observation in her own students. After a brief detour through Florida, Cowgill returned to Missouri in 2010 and joined the faculty at MU. Since then, she has become director of graduate studies for the anthropology department. PBS and Netflix have featured her work. In 2019, she was one of 15 University of Missouri System representatives named Presidential Engagement Fellows, enabling her to speak to research communities all over Missouri. She has also received the Provost’s Outstanding Junior Faculty Teaching Award. But Cowgill is still best known for building her one-of-a-kind curriculum. “Experiential learning is a common part of anthropology — but I’m not sure it’s typical for a teacher to have students disarticulate an animal and cook it afterward,” says cultural anthropology Professor Karthik Panchanathan, who has worked with Cowgill since 2012. “Most importantly, I think, she treats teaching like a craft, always trying to improve and inspire her students.” 44 MIZZOUMAGAZINE
COWGILL’S HOME is undergoing renovation, so this year’s Paleo Party moved to Panchanathan’s house. And after appetizers of cooked beef marrow, spread on French bread with capers, shallots, salt, pepper and a parsley garnish (after all, they’re not Neanderthals), the class heads outside with their stone tools to do the deed at hand. The backyard is spacious enough to allow for social distancing, though most of the masked students are keeping much more than 6 feet between themselves and the dead chicken on the patio table. It’s a standard supermarket bird sans head, feet and feathers. But cutting it up with a homemade rock knife is not going to be clean and easy. Two savvy grad students pounce and start hacking away at the legs. Another pair follows, each having a stab at a wing. Eventually, the scent of fowl attracts the attention of Zeus, Panchanathan’s German shepherd, whom Cowgill holds at bay. “Now you’re fighting off a menacing carnivore,” she says. “It’s trying to steal your meat.” Eventually, all that’s left is the thick, sinewy breast portion. Enter soft-spoken senior Hannah
Walters. She grabs the chicken in one hand, her palm-sized flake in the other, and starts slicing at the bird. The crowd cheers her on. In a matter of minutes, she’s separated the breast, holding it aloft as her trophy. “This gives me a better under-
standing of how these tools were made and used,” Walters says afterward. “And it’s a lot more interesting to get your hands dirty.” Once every student has had a turn, Cowgill takes the chicken back inside to cook it in the oven — no open fires. Besides, the two-hour lab is nearing its end, and by the time the bird is cooked, only Zeus will be left to eat it. Nevertheless, the class adjourns to enjoy snacks and revel in their accomplishments. Next month, they’ll face another test: Not a written exam, but rather a trip to the archery range where they will learn to throw a spear with an atlatl. It’s tough enough to make a stone knife to cut up an animal that is already dead. But what happens when survival depends on your ability to wield a deadly but somewhat clumsy weapon? By semester’s end, these students will know firsthand. “I really try and engage that hands-on aspect in every way I can,” says Cowgill. “If I can take them to the archery range to watch all their darts going wild and transport them back to a time when people had to bring home a mammoth with that thing, it makes them ask different questions. How young did you have to start to learn to become proficient? How does one do this?” M
Opposite, Cowgill preps for her signature Paleo Party, where students dismember a chicken with their stone tools, above. At left, it’s a far cry from math class, but strong students still show their work.
SPRING 2021 45
M I Z Z O U M AG A Z I N E • S P R I N G 2 0 2 1 • P. 4 7
As a 30-something comedy writer recovers from a serious accident, she questions an erratic career and ponders the powers of humor itself. By Marina Shifrin, BJ ’10 | Illustration by Pushart
SPRING 2021 47
he first thing I noticed about Boyle Heights, my new neighborhood near the heart of Los Angeles, was the ice-cream trucks. Plural. Every evening, dueling ice-cream trucks would languidly roll into the ’hood and blast their peppy jingles into the dilapidated bungalows lining the streets. Hearing “I’m a Little Teapot” pierce through closed windows at night is jarring. Hearing the song played alongside “Do Your Ears Hang Low?” is maddening. Whether it’s raining, shining or global pandemic-ing, the trucks stick to their meandering journey. The sun always sets, and, shortly after, their tunes reverberate off the gabled roofs and directly into my brain. In October 2019, my husband, Sam, and I bought one of those ancient Craftsman bungalows at an intersection where the ice-cream trucks like to idle. Initially, we laughed at the absurdity
Thankful for the crew transporting me to the rehab hospital (even though they refused to take me to Popeyes).
Who has one working thumb and is high on morphine after surgery? Me, the answer is me. 48 MIZZOUMAGAZINE
of this new soundtrack. Then we got used to it, the shrill recordings disappearing into the background of our evenings. Occasionally, I’d find myself humming the nursery rhymes while cooking dinner, but other than that, I wouldn’t notice them unless a visitor pointed it out: “IT’S LIKE THEY’RE INSIDE THE HOUSE,” my father shouted over the trucks the first time he came over. His voice echoed through the still-empty rooms, lined with unpacked boxes. I shut my eyes as the jolly tunes grew discordant. “THESE ARCHED CEILINGS ARE GORGEOUS. IS THAT CROWN MOLDING?” my dad added. Before I had the chance to respond, I was carried away by a wave of oxycodone. My doctor prescribed the narcotics after a young mother in a Kia Niro used my body as a speed bump. The collision resulted in collapsed lungs, a fractured pelvis, shattered leg and broken arm. Putting me back together required emergency surgery, a titanium rod, some screws and a blood transfusion. All this to say, I do not recommend getting hit by a car. I’ve now been in three major car accidents, each increasing in severity. The first one happened on move-in day freshman year at Mizzou when a semitruck driver fell asleep at the wheel and drove through my minivan. The second took place shortly after I arrived in Los Angeles when a gas-pedal-happy 22-year-old triggered a threecar pileup, which then slammed into my little, red Honda. The ferocious momentum of the impact caused my neck to curl over the headrest. Both collisions left my car totaled, both experiences rattled my soul against my ribs, both events I was lucky enough to walk away from. This most recent accident, however, was a different beast. The day of the wreck, I was taking my trusty 150-cubic-centimeter scooter out to meet a new co-worker, Brandy. We were on a two-week workfrom-home schedule in order to write our respective episodes of a comedy series, Crossing Swords, which appears on Hulu. Brandy and I decided to meet at a coffee shop to help each other avoid the procrastination endemic to comedy writers. As I picked out the perfect “TV Writer” outfit, my stomach fluttered with nervous anticipation. This was my first official TV writing job, and I was terrified of messing it up. Every morning before work, I’d wake up, take a deep breath and vow to not let imposter syndrome get in my way. I guess I should’ve vowed not to let a subcompact sport utility vehicle get in my way instead. In the moments after the accident, while I was almost literally kissing pavement, a strange sense came over me. Stronger than pain or frustration was a feeling of euphoria, as if all of the best experiences
PHOTOS COURTESY MARINA SHIFRIN
in my life combined into this one moment. Lying there in the intersection of Sunset and Hollywood boulevards, I physically understood, for the first time, how thin the barrier between life and total obliteration was. As I watched a pool of deep-red blood collect on the ground in front of me, a wave of gratitude coursed through my broken body. There, juxtaposed with death, I felt more alive than ever before. When the EMTs came, I was delighted to see they were all certified LA hunks. If you’re going to be scraped off the side of the road, the least you can ask for is attractive scenery. “You guys think you can drop me off in Vegas?” I asked, eliciting some chuckles from my new boyfriends. Despite the fact that I was in the middle of publicly being cut out of my “TV Writer” clothes, I was more preoccupied with missing my family’s celebration of my cousin’s 40th birthday in Nevada that weekend. As I looked over the contraptions holding my body together, I vowed not to tell my father about my injuries until he was basically at the craps table. I knew if I told Vladimir, he’d immediately book a flight to LA to be by my side, holding my hand, saying, “I told you that thing was too dangerous.” My first-ever trip to the emergency room was surprisingly quiet, boring even, compared to the chaotic scenes I’d seen in the movies. Sadly, there were no chiseled doctors shouting medical jargon at one another while frantically pushing my bed down a harshly lit hallway. Instead, I was rolled into a large room with cloth dividers where I’d remain without food or water for the next 15 hours. Sam miraculously arrived minutes later — I still shudder to think how fast he must’ve driven from his office. To this day, I gleefully recount every morbid detail to anyone who will listen, but one part that remains painful is reliving the look on Sam’s face when he first saw me. It is the only time I have witnessed his heart break, and I hope to never see it again. A common experience for those who have spent a non-negligible amount of time in any hospital is that there is a lot of waiting that happens. Waiting on scans. Waiting on a room. Waiting on more scans. Waiting on insurance. Waiting on surgery. Waiting on even more scans. I spent a total of 190 hours waiting. This forced slowdown was excruciating at first. But with freedom from all responsibilities and nothing to do but sleep, breathe and consume oxycodone — I began to think. A lot. And my mind kept drifting back to the elated feeling I experienced after impact, more specifically, how desperately I wanted to make everyone around me feel elated, too. Levity seemed essential to my survival, a visceral need that could help rebuild my shattered body. This revelation came 10 years into my comedy
career at a time when I was still unable to make a living wage. Doggedly pursuing my dream career was admirable, cute even, as a 20-something. But now I had a husband and mortgage. Try as I might to avoid it, I was staring adulthood in the face — seemingly no closer to my “big break.” This made me antsy and jaded. When would I feel like I’ve made it? After putting most of my life savings into a 100-year-old home, it felt as though the instability of my career was no longer sustainable. We needed a fridge, air conditioning, a functioning garage door, and all of these things required money — something I spent the majority of my career avoiding. To further complicate things, I’d sometimes catch a melty look on Sam’s face when he’d see a baby. “Aw,” he’d coo, “sooo cute.” “Stop it,” I’d hiss through clenched teeth, worried that his swooning would somehow result in a child of our own. Regardless of whether we were ready to have a baby or, more importantly, air conditioning, it was at least time for me to figure out what a 401(k) was.
I asked Sam to write something meaningful.
o, I began to consider a career shift. Even though the Hulu gig came with the best title and salary I’d ever received as a comedian, it was only a 13-week contract. I’d soon be unemployed once more and begin my perennial spiral into an existential crisis. Looking around my new house with my new husband and my new responsibilities, I started SPRING 2021 49
My dad helping me work on my FDR impression.
researching more stable careers like advertising or day trading. Then the lady and her Kia Niro knocked that plan right out of my body. While recovering from surgery, this saying got stuck in my head: “Tragedy plus time equals comedy.” But I began feeling like the math was off. Could it be that the antidote to tragedy was in fact comedy itself? In that hospital room, with its putrid-green walls and humming monitors, I reversed my decision to shift away from comedy and vowed to pursue it even harder. After Sam admitted to my father that my injuries were worse than we were letting on, my dad rented a car and drove straight from brunching with drag queens to the hospital. Upon finding me stapled together and gaunt from blood loss, the look on his face rivaled Sam’s for the saddest thing I’ve ever seen (and I’m a refugee, mind you). “How do you feel?” my dad asked, gently placing his hand on my foot. “Like I was hit by a car.” Vladimir winced, not appreciating my dark humor.
I was discharged a couple hours later, a week after the accident. Sam scrounged up an outfit for me to wear home: gray Mizzou sweatpants, the bottoms frayed and discolored from a decade of heavy use, and a short silk robe that he mistook for a blouse. That was the entirety of my look. No underwear, shoes or socks. Clearly, my ensemble was selected by a man whose idea of “fashion” is buying replacement pants only after the old ones meet a five-hole minimum. To top it off, I hadn’t showered in a week. My vibe could best be described as “woman who stands at busy intersection warning that The End is near.” Despite feeling less attractive than I did as a 14-year-old with a failed DIY bob and a successful mustache, I asked my dad to take a photo. He dutifully pulled out his iPhone and centered it on Sam and me. “Wait,” I said, “Do I look sexy?” My dad and Sam laughed, their tension melting. With photo evidence that I was indeed being discharged, Sam left to meet our friend Lucas, who had generously offered to help carry me (plus my new wheelchair) into the house. My dad and a nurse’s aide delicately lifted me into his rental car, using strategically placed pillows to pack me in like a crystal butterfly set to ship across the globe. Being outside for the first time in a week was almost as disorienting as not having any underwear on while sitting so close to my father. The 20-minute commute felt like an hour, and it didn’t help that Vladimir, a notoriously cautious driver, was now moving slower than my career. Back in Boyle Heights, Sam and Lucas delicately hoisted me up the front steps like the convalescent Cleopatra I never knew I wanted to be. Then Sam rolled me into the living room, where the men proceeded to talk about me like I didn’t exist. “Should we move her to the couch?” my dad asked. “She’ll probably fall asleep soon. Maybe the bed?” Sam followed. “Why don’t you give Dad and Lucas a tour,” I told Sam, gently reminding them that my hearing was still intact. I couldn’t fathom a worse housewarming party, and then my wheelchair suddenly started rolling backward. Before anyone realized what was happening, I lightly butted up against the living room wall. “Ah, well, the floors are crooked,” Sam said, heading over to retrieve me. To say my recovery was filled with quirky moments such as this one would not be factual. When my healing hit an obstacle, a near-daily occurrence, I was not an ebullient or pleasant person to be around. At times, the crackling intensity of my anger was so alarming that I feared I’d carry it for the rest of my life, burning everyone around me. Still, at the beginning of each day, I vowed to stay true to my goal of looking for the comedy amongst the tragedy. After a while, it became easy to find.
COURTESY MARINA SHIFRIN
here was the day my industrious father, tired of sitting around and watching me sleep, announced that he was going to fix the garage door. Thirty minutes into my much-desired solitude, I needed to use the bathroom, so I gave my dad a call. As the opening notes of “Sweet Home Alabama,” his ringtone, rang out through the house, I realized he’d left his phone in the kitchen. What if I fell off the couch and broke my other arm!? I grumpily thought as the insipid Lynyrd Skynyrd song played on loop. After a few rings, the phone went to voicemail. I dialed again, knowing it was a fruitless gesture. “Dad?” I yelled over the obnoxiously plucky guitar. Nothing. “Dad!?” I screamed louder. By the time Vladimir marched into the living room, nearly an hour later, his face was red, his hair pointed in every direction and a thick line of dust cut across his shirt like a sash. Instead of commenting on his frazzled appearance, I dug myself out from my pillow packaging, worried my bladder would burst. My dad, getting the hint, extended his arms to help transfer me. “You’ll never believe where I was,” he said, as he hooked his elbow through mine, like the in-patient physical therapist taught us. “With the mole people?” I dryly asked. “I got trapped in the garage!” he laughed. “One, two … ” my dad counted. On “three” we leaned against each other using our doubled strength to lift my body into a standing position. Standing there, braced against my petite, Jewish father, who smelled of dust and desperation, I began to laugh. My simmering frustration about needing to rely so heavily on my dad to do things I’d been able to do myself for 30 years evaporating with each giggle. With our shoulders shaking in unison, I laughed so hard I nearly didn’t make it to the bathroom. week after returning home and craving some normalcy, Sam and I decided to make the Herculean effort to go out to dinner for our anniversary. When I suggested a popular Chinese restaurant, Sam whipped out his phone and loaded Yelp. His face lit up, “They’re wheelchair accessible!” then his brow furrowed, “but they don’t take reservations.” “They wouldn’t make a woman in a wheelchair, sporting a lime-green cast and wallet-sized bandages, wait outside,” I told him. That evening, I shaved my legs using two salad bowls filled with water, did my makeup left-handed and dug up the only dress that would fit over
As we got to work in the living room, I heard something whiz past my ear. There, on the ground in front of me sat a bright green, squishy bullet.
my cast. “You look beautiful,” Sam told me while struggling with the delicate buttons on my sleeves. He was lying, but I accepted the compliment anyway. When we got to the restaurant, Sam pushed me past squirmy families and snuggling couples, all of whom politely shuffled out of the way as we neared. I cradled my broken arm in my lap, sensitive to wandering eyes attempting to get a glimpse of my injuries. “Hi, yes. Table for two, please,” Sam told a harried host. “Forty-five minutes,” he barked back, pointing to a long row of elderly Chinese women in wheelchairs — reminding us that there’s nothing quite as normal as being made to wait your turn. n late December, it was time for my dad to return home to Chicago. The day before his departure, one of my closest friends, Daniel, came over to help me type my script. My bosses had been very understanding, insisting that I not worry about the deadline. But it was crucial for me to accomplish this career milestone, proving conclusively that comedy really had healing powers. Daniel, whom I met doing stand-up my senior year at Mizzou, had always unapologetically prioritized comedy above all other aspects in life. I knew his presence would force me out of my lingering self-pity. He brought over a gift basket containing some “all-natural” pain pills from his Californian girlfriend and a Nerf gun that I jokingly gifted him years earlier. As we got to work in the living room, I heard something whiz past my ear. There, on the ground in front of me sat a bright green, squishy bullet. As I leaned closer to inspect it, another one hit me in the back. I looked over only to see my father’s head ducking behind the kitchen counter. “If you’re going to shoot at me,” I told him, “at least do it properly.” I grabbed an orange from the counter and delicately balanced it on my head. Without missing a beat, my dad accepted his role as William Tell. SPRING 2021 51
deeply believe that a life filled with laughter is a life well lived. However, humor becomes more elusive as responsibilities increase with age. That’s why I now treat comedy as I would exercise — something essential to a well-balanced life. Without humor, happiness is in danger of disappearing into the back of one’s consciousness like the screeching ditty of an ice-cream truck. In the year since my accident, the staples came out, and my bones grew back together. I graduated from the wheelchair to a walker to an independent yet zombie-like gait and finally to 52 MIZZOUMAGAZINE
one that nearly matches how I used to ambulate. I finished my script and was brought back to write a second one, my contract extended another 13 weeks. My dad managed to fix our garage door. Sam and I adopted a puppy, Roz. She’s at my feet, licking herself as I type. I can’t say that my commitment to comedy has been easy this past year. Right as I was leaving my cocoon, stretching my atrophied body toward the outside world, the pandemic hit. Everyone I know, myself included, was forced back into isolation. But it’s not so bad here in my cocoon, especially now that I can use the bathroom by myself. M
COURTESY MARINA SHIFRIN
A perk of getting hit by a car is that it becomes easier to make selfish decisions like converting your guestroom into an art studio.
I now treat comedy as I would exercise — something essential to a well-balanced life.
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Jonathan Bath, MD, specializes in vascular surgery. When people call him a lifesaver, they mean it. Through one tiny incision, he delicately stops weakened blood vessels from bursting while maintaining blood flow to otherwise blocked vital organs. Complex doesn’t even begin to describe it. In medical terms, they call it an advanced snorkel EVAR procedure for an aortic aneurysm — but if you ask him, he’ll tell you it comes down to three simple words.
I FIX ARTERIES.
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MIZZOU ALUMNI NEWS Faculty-Alumni Awards recognize these Tigers’ outstanding achievements.
Before Winnie Fritz was a clinical consultant, board member, hospital CEO and COO, military officer in the U.S. and Jordan armed forces, nurse manager of the presidential suite at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and the 2020 Mizzou Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award winner, she served on the front lines in the U.S. Army Nurse Corp in Vietnam, piloting Huey helicopters into battle zones and providing care in medevac missions. So, as the pandemic barreled down on hospitals around the country, Fritz knew where to turn. “We need to be sure that we’re listening to front lines,” says Fritz, BSN ’68, the chief operating officer and senior vice president of operations and clinical services for HCCA Management Co., which is based in Franklin, Tennessee, though Fritz lives in Surprise, Arizona. “The front lines know the issues and they know most of the fixes if we just ask them. If we don’t listen to them, we get in trouble every time.” Fritz is known for these leadership lessons. In 2019, she gave a leadership development presentation at MU Health Care and made patient care rounds with nurses at University Hospital and Women’s & Children’s Hospital. In 2018, to help prepare MU nursing students to work on the front lines, Fritz presented a thought paper to School of Nursing leadership on curriculum design and instruction systems in a changing health care environment. “Her life experiences are so inspiring, and the networking opportunities she offers are so valuable to student education,” says Jean Thompson, BSN ’63, who serves on the Mizzou Nursing Alumni Organization board with Fritz. “The Sinclair School of Nursing is stronger because she stepped foot on our campus back in fall of 1964.” — Kelsey Allen, BA, BJ ’10
FACULTY-ALUMNI AWARD WINNERS 65th Distinguished Service Award
61st Distinguished Faculty Award
Wanona (Winnie) Fritz, BSN ’68 COO & Senior VP Operations and Clinical Services, HCCA Management Co.
R. Wilson Freyermuth John D. Lawson Professor of Law, Curators Distinguished Teaching Professor, School of Law
52ND ALUMNI AWARD
David M. Braun, PhD ’97 Professor of Plant and Biological Sciences; Director, University of Missouri Maize Center; Director, University of Missouri Plant Growth Facilities
Patricia Breckenridge, BS Ag ’75, JD ’77 Judge, Supreme Court of Missouri
Bryan L. Garton, BS Ag ’85, M Ed ’89 Senior Associate Dean and Director of Academic Programs, College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources
Bruce J. Loewenberg, BSF ’61 Owner, Show-Me Salers
Verna Adwell Rhodes, BSN ’54, M Ed ’57, EdSp ’80 Associate Professor Emeritus, Sinclair School of Nursing
Bill Roundtree, BS Ed ’87 Vice President, Agency-Sales, State Farm Insurance Co.
Frank O. Bowman III Floyd R. Gibson Missouri Endowed Professor of Law, Curators Distinguished Professor, School of Law
Elizabeth C. Bryda Professor of Veterinary Pathobiology; Director, Rat Resource & Research Center; Director, MU Animal Modeling Core
Robert E. Sharp Curators Distinguished Professor of Plant Sciences; Director, Interdisciplinary Plant Group
Lesa Wessler McCartney, BSN ’77, MSN ’97 Retired Senior Vice President-Quality Management, Preferred Family Healthcare Inc.
COURTESY WINNIE FRITZ
52ND FACULTY AWARD
Class Notes 1940
HHOrville Brauss, BS BA ’48, of Austin, Texas, will celebrate his 100th birthday in September.
HWilliam D. Tammeus, BJ ’67, of Kansas City, Mo., wrote Love, Loss and Endurance: A 9/11 Story of Resilience and Hope in an Age of Anxiety (Front Edge Publishing LLC, 2021).
HDavid B. Bray, BA ’73, of Brattleboro, Vt., wrote Mexico’s Community Forest Enterprises: Success on the Commons and the Seeds of a Good Anthropocene (University of Arizona Press, 2020).
RETHINK, RETOOL, REBOOT
In what I hope will be my final column dealing with a worldwide pandemic, I want to celebrate the announcement that Mizzou will honor recent graduates with safe, in-person commencement ceremonies. This is great news not only for the class of 2021 but also for the class of 2020 and their families. The campus is planning three commencement weekends spanning late April through mid-May to accommodate graduates and their guests. We all recall how important commencement was to our Mizzou experience, so I appreciate the time, effort and coordination in making it a reality this spring. In many ways, the commencement news exemplifies the fruits of all the rethinking and retooling that have taken place during the past year. In March, I interviewed President Mun Choi for a MIZ Talk (mizzou.com/ MIZTalks) on the first anniversary of campus moving to remote work. Looking back, it’s remarkable what the Mizzou family has been able to accomplish together as campus colleagues went above and beyond to serve our students. The adjustments were considerable, and I’m confident that we have leveraged this experience to make Mizzou stronger moving forward. Commencement might look a little different this year — the safety of the Mizzou family will be our priority — but carrying out this rite of passage in person is a hopeful milestone. As next steps, President Choi has announced plans for campus to be at full capacity for in-person classes this fall, and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is planning for the same at Memorial Stadium to cheer on our Tigers. These are exciting moments to anticipate as we emerge from the pandemic. Onward and upward, Tigers! TODD MCCUBBIN, M ED ’95
HHMargaret Ewing Buckler, BA ’78, MPA ’91, of Columbia, Mo., retired after 22 years of service with the city of Columbia, most recently as human resources director.
HJudy L. Stiles, BJ ’80, of Joplin, Mo., retired after 35 years in the mass communication department of Missouri Southern State University. Shari Coulter Ford, BJ ’83, of Kansas City, Mo., founded the wellness brand Tohi Ventures. Susan Frances Donsky, BJ ’84, of Brookeville, Md., is managing editor for the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Martha Engber, BJ ’86, of Santa Clara, Calif., wrote Winter Light (Vine Leaves Press, 2020).
executive director, Mizzou Alumni Association Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @MizzouTodd
H M I Z ZO U A LUMNI A SSO CIATIO N ANNUAL M EM BER | HH
Steven C. Wiegenstein, BJ ’76, MA ’82, PhD ’87, of Columbia, Mo., was nominated for the 2021 PEN/ Faulkner Award for Fiction for his collection of short stories, Scattered Lights (Cornerpost Press, 2020).
L IF E M EM BER
HJennifer Joy Herner, BJ ’87, of St. Louis was one of 23 lawyers in Missouri to receive the Missouri Lawyers Media 2020 InHouse Counsel Award. HGregory Rottjakob, BS Acc ’87, of Chesterfield, Mo., is principal and national leader of the state income and franchise tax practice at Ryan. HKevin Worley, BJ ’88, of Kansas City, Mo., published the Penguin Park Coloring & Activity Book (Kevin Worley, 2020).
Lance Fuhrer, BJ ’91, of Naperville, Ill., is assistant principal at Neuqua Valley High School. HGabriela RamirezArellano, BS BA ’91, of O’Fallon, Mo., is director of entrepreneurship and executive director of the Center for Emerging Technologies for Cortex Innovation Community. Steve Scanlon, BA ’91, of Kansas City, Mo., is head of group retirement at Equitable. HHAngela K. Baysinger, DVM ’92, of Bruning, Neb., was awarded the 2021 American Association of Swine Veterinarians Meritorious Service Award. HLance Moll, BS BA ’92, of Eads, Tenn., is president and CEO of FedEx Freight. HHCatherine Senderling-McDonald, BJ ’93, of Sacramento, Calif., is executive director of the County Welfare Directors Association of California. Stacey Kamps, BS Acc ’95, of St. Louis is the CEO of Koch Development Co. Christopher S. Briggs, BS Acc ’96, of Kansas City, Mo., is managing partner for PricewaterhouseCoopers. SPRING 2021 57
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Decoding History Nancy Thompson Tipton had her nose in a book at Ellis Library when she heard about Pearl Harbor. She wanted to go overseas with the Red Cross, but, at the request of her mother, she stayed in the states and completed her journalism degree (her great-uncle Walter Williams would have been proud). So when “two cute lieutenants” from the Army came to Columbia later that fall to recruit female college graduates with math and language skills to work in the civilian branch in Washington, D.C., Tipton, BJ ’44, applied for the job. What job? She didn’t know, nor did it matter. “We didn’t ask,” Tipton says. “We just did.” For two years, Tipton took an unmarked bus to Arlington Hall in Virginia where she worked for the Signal Intelligence Service decoding messages that had been intercepted from Japan and South America. “I would try to match numbers and letters,” recalls the 98-year-old. “It was a puzzle. If you got a hit, then you gave it to the captain.” The codes Tipton and her fellow cryptanalysts deciphered helped lead the U.S. to victory — but they were sworn to secrecy.
HHAngela D. Jackson, BA, BJ ’97, of Brookline, Mass., is managing partner of New Profit’s Future of Work Initiative. HHKaren Maureen Jordan, BS BA ’97, JD ’00, of St. Louis is managing partner of the St. Louis office of Dentons. Kelly A. Aylward, BFA ’98, of Braintree, Mass., is president of the Boston Estate Planning Council. Nancy Tipton the code-cracker at 19 and at 97.
Only recently were the code breakers permitted to break their silence. In 2016, journalist and author Liza Mundy interviewed Tipton for her book Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II, and in 2019, Tipton spoke at the Library of Congress as part of the first national celebration for the female code breakers of World War II. “To be recognized that way was meaningful,” Tipton says. — Kelsey Allen, BA, BJ ’10
Melissa Busso, BS BA ’99, of Fenton, Mo., is compliance and operations manager with Jumet Financial. Allyson Witherspoon, BS BA ’99, of Addison, Texas, is chief compliance and privacy officer at MPOWERHealth.
Michael Lewis, PhD ’01, of St. Louis is provost of Saint Louis University.
MAKE YOUR MARK F R E DA M I K L I N , C O U RT E SY V I L L AG E R N E WS PA P E R S
Located across from Jesse Hall, Traditions Plaza was built in 2014 as part of Mizzou's 175th anniversary celebration. Traditions Plaza pavers can include a name and short inscription. Secure your place near one of Mizzou's favorite landmarks, while supporting the traditions that Make Mizzou Stronger! Order today at mizzou.com/traditionsplaza.
H M I Z ZO U A LUMNI A SSO CIATIO N ANNUAL M EM BER | HH
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THE MIZZOU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION WELCOMES 2020’S NEW LIFE MEMBERS Annalise Acuff Jeffrey Adams Shalyce Adamson Lee Ammer Susan Angell-Walker Rusty Antel, J.D. Josh Arnold Taylor Ashcraft Anita Autrey Jennifer Aven Natalie Ayers Zachary Ayers Emily Baker Kitty Baker-King Adam Barnes Kristen Barnes Danielle Barnette Stuart Barudin, Ed.D. Lt. Col. Eric Bass, USAF (Ret.) Amber Baughman, D.V.M. Christopher Baughman, D.V.M. Alex Beattie Paul Beck, Ph.D. Nancy Guyton Bedan Kirsten Orrill Berry Ronald Berry Namratha Bhagvandoss Katherine Bickhaus Robin Morgan Billups Dan Blackburn Allen Blair Elizabeth Dallmeyer Blair Carla Nielsen Blanton Madeline Bloss William Bloss Eric Boewe Pamela Marx Boewe Brock Bondurant Matthew Bormann Douglas Botner Emily Boyd Rodney Boyd Charlotte Bishop Bradley Douglas Bradley, M.D. Melissa Brewer James Brostrom M. Kathleen Brown Nathaniel Brown James Browning, Jr. William Bucker Mollie Buckler Zach Buckler Thomas Buescher Brandon Bunch Christie Bunch Matt Burkemper Caroline Burnett 60 MIZZOUMAGAZINE
Drew Burnett Sharon Burnett Caitlin Busch Kathleen Horrigan Butler Daniel Campbell Eve Cann Trey Casella Joyce Cavanagh, Ph.D. Renee Charrier-Willis Jacquelyn Christ Kendra Christians James Clark Katherine Clark Dorothy Clayton Guy Clayton Christine Cochran Larry Cohen Ryan Cohen Scott Collins Emily Lockyear Collop Richard Collop Kimberly Combs Elena Conaty Cale Connors Ben Conrad Stacey Conrad Jeffrey Cook Laura Cordell Shane Cox Todd Crawford Jessica Curl Mark Curtin Ashley Leon Cytron Caroline Dade Chris Dade Emily Dahlbeck Allison Davis Gabe Davis Ian De Smet Ellie DeBeer Jill Diener Esther Digh, Ph.D. Ned Digh Nicholas Dischbein Frankie Dissinger, Ph.D. Laticia Dittrich, CPA Adrienne Doebelin Adam Dohrman Margaret Donohue Elizabeth Dorssom Janice Rimmer Douglas Don Downing Tracy Toft Downing Constance Duncan Sean Earl Denise Padgitt Easley James Easley
Cole Eason Ashton Edwards Dr. Justin Ehrhardt Julie Engelbrecht Ethan Enrooth Stephen Erickson Kristina Essig Bryson Ferguson Keith Fischer Holly Flandermeyer Travis Flandermeyer Jana Flynn Julie Flynn Kelsey Flynn Patrick Flynn Emma Fordyce Robert Fortney, D.V.M. Wayne Fowler, Jr., M.D., Ph.D. Larry Franke Dylan Frazier Paige Fredrickson Julie Freebersyser, D.V.M. Nancy Freeman Rob Freeman Richard Frieden Caroline Frizzell Shannon Wall Frost Deborah Gash Euphemia Gerdts Kale Gerstner Eric Gibbs Hunter Gilbert Kelly Gillespie Anna Goldman Makena Gonzalez Caroline Gooden Arndt Gossel Barbara Gossett, Ph.D. MaryAnn Gowdy, Ph.D. Jack Graham Todd Graves Tracy Graves Sascha Greenberg Daniel Greenwell Andrea Greiner, M.D. Holly Grgurich Kacy Grommesh Jennifer Guenther Todd Gurnow Matthew Haffer Carol Hagen Mark Hagen Debbie Hanna Michael Hanna Susan Hanners-Stead Emma Harper Alisha Harris
Brad Harris Cara Harris Warren Harris Ken Haughney Craig Hayden JoAnn Hayden Clayton Hayes Joseph Hayes, Ph.D. Gregory Hebbeler Melanie Hedrick Michael Heithaus Dr. Hope Heller Kaeli Helmich Roy Hendin Lauren Hines Dr. Hubert Allen Hoffman Amy Holland Eric Holland Brently Holman Darla Holman David Hopkins Kelli Hopkins Deborah Garrison Howell Richard Howell Janel Huelskamp Patricia Hummel Nancy Hurst Darrell Hutchinson Fatima Hyder Taylor Hyndman Julia Igel Nicholas Ingala Arnold Jacobson, D.D.S. Jonathan Jain Jessica Janorschke Charles Javors Jason Jiang Christine Milne Johnson David Johnson Josie Johnson Patricia Jones Elizabeth Joslyn Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes, Ph.D. Devin Kane Bert Kembitzky Laurie Kembitzky Charles Kennedy James Kerr Mary Kiso-Afentakis Augustus Klemp Jillian Klemp Dr. Amy Knopps, DMA Joshua Koenig Erin Egan Koenigsfeld John Koenigsfeld Richard Kolb
Benjamin Krakow Lynn Kreul Koteswara Kunda, M.D. Julia LaHue Jeffrey Lampe Jennifer Lampe Mark LaRue Cathy Laster Gaylen Laster Lindsey Lehman Homer LeMar, Jr., M.D. Keith Leu Ethan Levy Jackie Lewis Madison Lewis Jeanne Locklear Jennifer Logiudice David Lohe Elizabeth Long Barbara Lord Gail Hanson Lueker Michael Luetkemeyer Luke Magnante Charles Mai, Jr. Joseph Malan CPA Cheri Marks Shannon Martin Casey Martinez, M.D. Diane Masciale Carol Bradish McAllister Paul McAllister, Ph.D. Michelle McClay Jennifer McClendon Nicholas McCoy Erin McCurry James McCurry Roger McKinney Tammy Steinle McLain Dr. Sarah Mediavilla Hannah Mefford Jaime Mendez Jenny Merlo Patty Aholt Messer Maxwell Metter CeCe Carter Meyers C. Bradley Miller, D.D.S. Jessica Miller Matthew Miller Mark Milosovich, Sr. Patricia Milosovich Niki Mitchem Julie Moberly Michael Moerer Brooke Montgomery Charles Montgomery Lisa Montgomery Miranda Moore Nathaniel Moore
Sara Scholes Morgan William Morgan Diane Eschmann Morie, M.D. Raymond Morley, Ed.D. Erin Morris Kimberly Morris, M.D. Nicole Morse Tara Morts Jason Mott Dr. Rebecca Mott Jeffrey Mueller Sophia Mullineaux Andrea Murphy Nathaniel Nagy Christopher Neal, M.D. Katee Barber Neal Kim Nentwig Kayna Nicholas Dr. Gary Niehaus Christopher Norris, M.D. Patrick Nowak Nnamdi Okoli Margaret O’Leary Melanie Pancoast, M.D. Byron A. P. Parham, Ph.D. Derek Parker Lee Parker Brian Pawlowicz David Peck Julie Kuklenski Peck Nicholas Pellegrini Dennis Peterman Julie Peterman Juanita Phelps Allie Pigg Lora Plattner, M.D. Steve Polk Gina Pontius Jared Pontius D. Shawn Poore Lori Popejoy, Ph.D. Sidney Popejoy Sheridan Powell Chase Powelson Erin Powelson Mary Catherine Quinlan Michael Quinlan, M.D. Donald Quinn Thomas Race Hannah Rademacher Regan Ragsdale Hector Ramos, M.D. Carrie Raney David Ransin Dennis Redel Kelley Chadwick Reetzke Randy Reichard Bridgette Reilly
Laura Remy, Ph.D. David Reynolds Abigail Ries Rodger O’Dell Riney Linda Roaseau Christina Beigel Roberts Dennis Roberts Lee Roberts Dane Robertson Denise Roesler-Cunningham Andrew Rogers Kenneth Rogers Sheryl Rogers Isabella Rolfes Garrett Romines Michael Roper Monica Roselli Rachel Rost Harrison Roth, Jr. Kathryn Rothermich Sara Russo Chase Scanlan James Schlegel Eva Scholfield Stephen Scholfield Jeffrey Schwaneke Shane Searcy Ruthmae Sears, Ph.D. Timothy Sellmeyer, D.V.M. Mark Shank Hannah Sherman Mark Sherman, Ph.D. Eric Siemens Christian Simmons Adam Sindecuse-Hayden Ulai Sirisee, Ph.D. Scott Sleyster Sherry Sleyster Erin Slusher Dean Small Vincent Smart Daryl Smith David Smith Fred Smith Holly Smith, D.V.M. The Honorable Joe Smith, Ph.D. Lorisa Smith Sidney Smith Earl Spurgeon Renna Stallings Mollie Stallman Dr. Crystal Steen Anne Ward Stevens, Ph.D. Jennie Funk Steyaert Gerald Stimson Al Strada Daniel Street Scott Strothmann
Karen Struemph Karl Suchman Zakiya Summers Dr. Nate Swift Mike Taylor Tandy Thompson James Tighe III Laurie Tighe Gary Tompkins, Ph.D. Molly Harris Tosh Pritish Tosh, M.D. Christopher Trunell Huong Truong Christine Tucker-Key Ernest Van Hooser Shauna Vandedrink David Vandever, D.V.M. Emma Veidt Jody Cox Verrengia Justin Volker Lewis Wagner Kristin Walker-Smith Christopher Wappel The Honorable David Warren Christopher Watkins Dawn Watkins Nicole Webber Jack Weil Robert Weil Andrew Weinstein Kristen Welborn John Wells Janet Wheatley Lauren Wheeler Eric White Garrett White Stephanie White Marilyn Forby Whiteside Wesley Whiteside Cynthia Niemann Wilkinson Deborah Williams Jeffrey Williams Llana Williams Robert Williams Joel Witt Nicole Morse Witt Joanna Witte Chris Woehle Julie Carroll Wood Thomas Wood, Sr. Anthony Wright Katherine Wright David Yarger Brenda York Brian York Victoria Yu Kelly Zabilka
Upgrade to a Life Membership today! Our life members support our University and preserve its great traditions for generations to come. Upgrade today to become a permanent member of the Mizzou Alumni Association! Those with over five years of annual membership qualify for a special loyalty rate.
mizzou.com/life or 573-882-6611 SPRING 2021 61
Since 1839, planned gifts have been integral to ensuring a bright future for MU and its students. Thank you to the members of our Mizzou Legacy Society for their generosity, dedication and consideration for generations of Tigers to come.
Please consider creating a planned gift for MU. Contact us to help you realize your vision for your philanthropic goals. Visit giftplanning.missouri.edu to learn more.
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MIZZOU ALUMNI NEWS REMEMBERING
Michael Budds made a mission of visiting great musicians’ gravesites. To the historian in him, they were hallowed ground. During his 73 years, Budds toured the final resting places of dozens of artists, from famous sites like that of Jim Morrison in Paris’ Père Lachaise cemetery and Elvis at Graceland to all three of the mythical unmarked graves of blues legend Robert Johnson in various corners of the Mississippi Delta. “It was important to him that he pay homage to people who made a difference,” says Gregory Fuller, MM ’86, PhD ’00, a former student and friend who traveled with Budds to such places across North America and Europe. Teaching others to appreciate music was Budds’ life’s work right up to his own passing in November 2020. For 37 years, he was a beloved professor of music history at Mizzou. He was a world-renowned musicologist who wrote several books and edited many more. He won honors including the William T. Kemper Fellowship for
Excellence in Teaching and the William H. Byler Distinguished Professor Award. In 2019, a year after retirement, he donated a large sum to the university to endow the Budds Center for American Music Studies. But his biggest influence might turn out to be the thousands of undergraduates who took his legendary course — Jazz, Pop and Rock. Many walked in looking for an easy A and walked out with a hard-earned grade and a much deeper understanding of 20th-century American music. “He wanted people from all walks of life, particularly nonmusic majors, to have an enhanced experience listening to music,” says David Rayl, former MU music faculty and longtime friend. “The more you know about something, the more you can love it.” Few knew and loved music more than Budds. In paying his respects at a musician’s tomb, he practiced a three-part ritual. He would have his photo taken, smoke a Marlboro 100 and then talk to anyone who’d listen about the artist, their life and their contribution to the world. — Tony Rehagen, BA, BJ ’01
Our family ties to Mizzou go back nearly 130 years. I love knowing that our contributions support Mizzou now and for future generations. –Julie Corley The Columns Society recognizes donors whose annual support plays a critical role in MU's success.
Learn more at giving.missouri.edu/columns-society.
Grace, BJ '20; David; Julie, BS BA '86; Catherine, Class of 2023
SPRING 2021 63
MIZZOU ALUMNI NEWS HHRodger Oakes, BA ’01, of Pickerington, Ohio, created the card game Lil’ Piggies. Meghan Litecky, BA, BJ ’02, of Kansas City, Mo., is a shareholder and director at Dysart Taylor. Charles Green, MA ’03, of Cortland, N.Y., wrote Feral Ornamentals (Finishing Line Press, 2021).
ciate counsel in the White House counsel office for the Biden administration.
was appointed associate circuit judge for the 12th Judicial Circuit.
David R. Russell, PhD ’08, of Columbia, Mo., is interim president of Columbia College.
Lt. Alexis Kingery, BS CiE ’11, of Stanberry, Mo., was selected as Military Engineer of the Year by Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Mid-Atlantic.
Andrew Bailey, BA ’04, JD ’14, of Herman, Mo., is general counsel for the Missouri governor’s office.
Derrick Christian, BJ ’10, of Florissant, Mo., compiled a list of 100 Black Mizzou alumni-owned businesses in partnership with the Mizzou Black Alumni Network, which can be found at NoirMizzou.com/BuyBlack.
Jeff Jobe, BS CiE ’04, MS ’05, of St. Louis is a railroad bridge project manager at Burns & McDonnell.
Shannon Koenig, MPA ’10, of Ballwin, Mo., is executive director of the Housing Authority of St. Louis County.
TJ Sweet, BHS ’05, MHA ’15, of Columbia, Mo., is the cancer service line director at Lake Regional Health System.
Chris Limbaugh, JD ’10, of Cape Girardeau, Mo., was appointed associate circuit judge for the 19th Judicial Circuit.
Daniel Buoniconti, BJ ’08, of Chicago is a partner at Reed Smith LLP.
HRachel Schallom, BS ’10, MA ’12, of New York is digital editor at Fortune.
Sean Crotty, BA ’08, of Washington, D.C., is asso-
Nathan Carroz, JD ’11, of Montgomery City, Mo.,
HJustin C. Myers, BJ, BS EE ’11, of Chicago is data editor for The Associated Press. Bria Burk, BA, BJ ’12, of Plano, Texas, is director of digital marketing at Androvett Legal Media & Marketing. Patricia Downey, PhD ’13, of Vermillion, S.D., received the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region 5 Gold Medallion Award. Joanna Eleftheriou, PhD ’15, of New. York wrote This Way Back (West Virginia University Press, 2020).
HNicole Schroeder, BJ ’20, of Columbia, Mo.,
had her essay “Guide and Guard” published in Kaleidoscope magazine, which explores the experience of disability through literature and the fine arts.
HHBen Terrill, BJ ’96, and Shannon Terrill of St. Louis announce the birth of Joseph Finn Jan. 4, 2021. HJacob Thomas, BS BA ’05, MBA ’06, and HNatalie Thomas, BA ’08, of Columbia, Mo., announce the birth of Margaret Rose Dec. 11, 2020.
HHWilbur R. Miller, BS Ed ’54, M Ed ’55, EdD ’60, of Auburn, Ala., Jan. 1, 2021, at 88. He was a faculty member in the Department of Industrial Arts and Technical Education and dean of the College of Education from 1986 to 1991. Sue Mitchell Crowley, of Dublin, Ohio, Feb. 20, 2021, at 87. She was an instructor in the English and religious
HSybil Harrison Davison, BJ ’50, of Christopher, Ill., Sept. 7, 2020, at 91. She was a member of Gamma Phi Beta. Robert M. Wachter, BS Ed ’50, of Liberty, Mo., Dec. 28, 2020, at 95. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps and lettered in baseball and basketball at MU. HGordon A. Leiter, BS EE ’51, of Rome, Ga., Jan. 11, 2021, at 90. HHWalter D. McQuie Jr., BA ’51, JD ’53, of Montgomery City, Mo., Jan. 17, 2021, at 91. He served in the U.S. Army and practiced law for more than 40 years. HHNancy Lewis, BS Ed ’52, of Columbia, Mo., Nov. 6, 2020, at 90. She was an elementary physical education teacher for 27 years. HRichard Schuchhardt, BS Ed ’52, M Ed ’56, of Ballwin, Mo., Jan. 2, 2021, at 90.
BECOME A FRIEND OF
Mizzou Botanic Garden Help keep our campus beautiful. Annual membership, $25 Lifetime membership, $1,000 Tribute Tree, $2,500 or more Tribute Bench, $5,000 or more Gifts are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
For more information: (573) 882-1830 or garden.missouri.edu
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MAKE AN IMPACT by supporting the Mizzou Traditions Fund
Traditions help to transform our student body and alumni base into one Mizzou family. Your support helps MAA provide a strong foundation for the University of Missouri, and ensures the continuation of the traditions that make Mizzou a unique and special experience. Help support traditions like Tiger Walk and Homecoming, as well as student scholarships, leadership programs and more. Make a gift to the Mizzou Traditions Fund today. mizzou.com/traditionsfund SPRING 2021 65
MIZZOU ALUMNI NEWS HHJean S. Stauffer, BS Ed ’52, of Altoona, La., Feb. 1, 2021, at 91. She was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. HAnthony Sweeney, BS BA ’52, of Overland Park, Kan., Feb. 19, 2021, at 91. He was a member of Sigma Chi and served in the U.S. Marine Corps. Russell A. Mann, BJ ’53, MA ’59, of Morgan City, La., Feb. 21, 2021, at 89. He was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha.
Dec. 16, 2020, at 92. He served in the U.S. Navy.
Mo., Nov. 24, 2020, at 85. He served in the U.S. Army.
HQuincy Edward Crider, BS Ag ’57, of Bland, Mo., Nov. 22, 2020, at 84.
Jerome Granrud, BA ’60, of Golden, Colo., March 18, 2020, at 82. He was a member of Phi Delta Theta and served in the U.S. Army.
HLorinda Mathew Dodge, BS Ed ’57, of Des Peres, Mo., Feb. 2, 2021, at 85. She was a member of Delta Gamma and taught elementary school. HCharles J. Dysart, BS BA ’57, of Columbia, Mo., Dec. 25, 2020, at 90.
HHThomas L. Stribling, BA ’53, BS Med ’55, of Palm Desert, Calif., Jan. 15, 2021, at 88. He practiced obstetrics and gynecology for almost 40 years. HRobert “Bob” Brown, BS BA ’55, of Fernandina Beach, Fla., Dec. 19, 2020, at 87. He was a member of Phi Kappa Psi and served in the U.S. Air Force.
HHJo F. Dickson, BA ’58, of Milan, Mo., Nov. 16, 2020, at 86. HMilton Denis Overholser, BS EE ’58, of Columbia, Mo., Feb. 6, 2021, at 85. Robert E. Hawkins, BA ’59, of Kane‘ohe, Hawaii, July 25, 2020, at 82. He was a member of Kappa Alpha Order.
HMargaret E. Curtis, BJ ’55, of Houston Nov. 17, 2020, at 87.
Walter G. Heid Jr., BS Ag ’59, MS ’60, of Butler, Mo., Jan. 20, 2021, at 89. He served in the U.S. Air Force.
HHWilliam Wilt, BS BA ’56, of Kansas City, Mo.,
HHSherman Miles Dickson, BS Ag, DVM ’60, of Milan,
HCharles H. Henke, BS Ag ’61, of Concordia, Mo., Feb. 3, 2021, at 81. He played basketball at MU, was drafted by the LA Lakers and toured with the Harlem Globetrotters. HEarl Gayle Kennett, BS IE ’61, of Duluth, Ga., Feb. 15, 2021, at 82. He was a member of Pi Kappa Phi and served in the U.S. Army. HMarvin L. Wafel, BS EE ’61, MS ’63, of Wright City, Mo., Jan. 10, 2021, at 83. HHNathaniel B. Wess, BJ ’61, of Eden Prairie, Minn., Jan. 14, 2021, at 81. He was a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi. HPatrick T. Dougherty, PhD ’63, of Columbia, Mo., Dec. 19, 2020, at 87. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
HHPaula Susan Mulvania, BS Ed ’64, M Ed ’65, of Columbia, Mo., Jan. 11, 2021, at 78. HHJohn R. Wright, BS ’64, of Alexandria, Va., Jan. 17, 2021, at 78. He was a member of Delta Upsilon and a pilot in the U.S. Navy.
rie, BA ’67, JD ’70, of Seattle Jan. 11, 2021, at 75. He served in the U.S. Navy and practiced law for 44 years. HTerry K. Meek, BS BA ’67, of Linton, Ind., Jan. 3, 2021, at 76.
HHEugene A. Adams, BA ’65, of Palm City, Fla., Dec. 20, 2020, at 80. He served in the U.S. Air Force.
HJ. Michael Mowrer, BS Ag ’67, JD ’76, of Kennett, Mo., Nov. 23, 2020, at 75. He was a member of Alpha Gamma Rho and served in the U.S. Army.
HTed H. Funk, BJ ’65, of Bloomington, Ill., Nov. 28, 2020, at 81. He was a travel photographer.
HHJerome Imming, MBA ’68, of St. Louis Jan. 8, 2021, at 78. He served in the U.S. Army Reserves.
HHJudith Wilkinson Klinginsmith, BS Ed ’65, of Kirksville, Mo., Dec. 29, 2020, at 80. She was a kindergarten teacher.
HLawrence D. Manser, BS Ag ’68, of Ridgedale, Mo., Jan. 13, 2021, at 74. He was a member of Farmhouse.
HHFrank P. Fotis, MS ’66, of Lexington, Mass., Oct. 20, 2020, at 79.
HCharla A. Kleopfer, BA ’69, MA ’79, of Columbia, Mo., Jan. 19, 2021, at 73. She was a member of Marching Mizzou and one of the first Golden Girls.
Mary Sandmeyer Knickmeyer, M Ed ’67, of St. Louis April 13, 2020, at 97. She taught first and second grade. HHWilliam “Bill” Law-
HGregory Carter, BS BA ’71, of Spring Hill, Tenn., Nov. 27, 2020, at 71. He
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Time is running out to share your Tiger Tale! The Mizzou Alumni Association has teamed up with Publishing Concepts to update alumni records and collect stories to create a unique oral history archive which will be published in a beautiful keepsake book. What is your Tiger Tale? Did you meet your sweetheart at Mizzou? Can you trace your career back to a defining moment? Have your campus connections turned into lifelong friendships? Were you at Mizzou during a historical moment? Did somebody at Mizzou have a significant impact on your life? We invite you to share your memories of Mizzou by calling 1-800982-1590 before July 16, 2021 to be a part of this important project.
*A hardbound and digital book featuring the Tiger Tales and a selection 2021 67 of Mizzou branded merchandise will be offered forSPRING sale as part of this historical project. However, no purchase is necessary to participate.
MIZZOU ALUMNI NEWS
THE PRIZE IS RIGHT Velma McBride Murry didn’t get into academic research for the honors it bestows, though she just received one of the most prestigious in her field. She’s spent her 30-plus years in human development and family science chasing a question, fueled by a belief born during her graduate studies at Mizzou. McBride Murry, MS ’85, PhD ’87, wanted to know how Black families successfully navigate difficult life situations and raise healthy children. Her research approach took shape while working under husband-andwife collaborators Larry Ganong and Marilyn Coleman, now professors emeriti of human development and family science. These mentors pioneered research documenting remarriage and stepfamilies. “Researchers were going into their studies assuming stepparents and children would be at a deficit to first-married, nuclear families,” says Ganong, who had created a stepfamily with Coleman. That framework didn’t sit right with them. “We thought scientists could learn as much by studying effective relationships as they could from ones that are troubled.” Focusing on the positive struck a chord for McBride Murry. So, she set out to find what processes successful Black families used to overcome challenges. But she didn’t stop there. She used those results to create a family-centered intervention program and, through two groundbreaking longitudinal studies, showed that any family could achieve those same successful results. For her contribution to improving the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities, the Vanderbilt University professor was elected last fall to the National Academy of Medicine, one of 100
new members to join the three National Academies. Although not her goal, the honor still feels nice. It was a thrill to win the award, she says, but “the prize is doing good work to achieve social change and justice.” After hearing the news, she immediately told her spouse, Acie C. Murry Jr., PhD ’87, and then emailed Ganong and Coleman. She’s never forgotten their part in her career, even as their relationship has evolved into one of collegiality and friendship. “Mizzou will always have a special place in my heart,” she says. — Erik Potter
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was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha.
government for over 30 years.
HHCharles Richard Troy, BA ’73, MA ’74, of Wallace, N.C., Dec. 29, 2020, at 72. He served in the U.S. Army and worked for the U.S.
HHGus H. Kolilis, BS Ed ’76, of Columbia, Mo., Feb. 4, 2021, at 79. He was a St. Louis city police officer and worked in law enforcement for 43 years.
HJudith Adams Kraybill, M Ed ’83, PhD ’91, of Overland Park, Kan., Jan. 8, 2021, at 79. HHSteven P. Goetz, MD ’88, of Coralville, Iowa, Feb. 16, 2021, at 58.
DEGREE DESIGNATIONS 101* Bachelor’s degrees BS Acc, accounting BS Ag, agriculture BA, arts BS BA, business administration BS Ed, education BFA, fine arts BS FW, fisheries and wildlife BGS, general studies BHS, health sciences BS HE, home economics BS HES, human environmental sciences BJ, journalism BS Med, medicine BSN, nursing BS, science BSW, social work
Bachelor’s degrees in engineering BS ChE, chemical BS CiE, civil BS CoE, computer BS EE, electrical BS IE, industrial BS ME, mechanical Master’s degrees M Acc, accounting MS Ag Ed, agricultural education MA, arts M Ed, education MS, science MSW, social work MPA, public affairs
Doctoral degrees PhD, doctorate EdD, education JD, law MD, medicine DVM, veterinary medicine Did not graduate Arts, arts and science Bus, business Educ, education Engr, engineering Journ, journalism *For a more detailed list of current degrees, visit catalog.missouri.edu/ degreesanddegreeprograms.
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On Parenthood and Place As much as you try to give your Columbia to your kids, they’ll make it their own.
college and his young daughter. We wanted to tell her stories, and she could not have cared less. We took her to Booches with our friend, the former head Coach Barry Odom, who was at the time perhaps the most well-known person in town. At one point, my friend and I went up to the bar and left his daughter with Barry. She told him about dinosaurs or whales or whatever she was currently obsessed with, and because Barry’s a good guy (and a parent), he sat there patiently and nodded. It’s hilarious and perfect that a child’s world belongs to them and the things you remember about a place won’t be the memories that are special to them. I was reminded of this anew watching Wallace in the garden with her grandmother or standing on a stepstool kneading dough or baking bread. My Columbia will always be a hodgepodge of bottomless cups at The Fieldhouse and Shake’s and Booches and the ’Berg and Widmans and the classrooms of Lee Hills Hall and the old rural soc building. My kids will remember sun flares through tall trees in summer and a thick blanket of snow in the winter. Wallace couldn’t believe how much snow she got to play in. She and her new sister, Louise, will remember a wide backyard and tall heirloom tomatoes and fists of herbs and a basket of fresh eggs. And Shakespeare’s. Don’t worry. I’ll make sure both girls love Shakespeare’s. M Wright Thompson’s latest bestselling book, Pappyland, is a generational boom-and-bust (and boom again) saga centering on Julian P. Van Winkle III, distiller of what may be the finest Kentucky bourbon ever made. History — on the rocks with a twist — never tasted so good.
For two long stretches during the pandemic, my family and I relocated to Columbia to be close to my wife’s family. Sonia went to Hickman High, and her parents still live in town. We settled into a magical rhythm for someone who went to Mizzou: Tiger Stripe ice cream by the gallon, lazy afternoons of free time and Shakespeare’s delivery. I got to walk around town and campus and do some damage at the bookstore. Our 3-year-old daughter, Wallace, started to really explore the world around her and make memories. She spent her days working with her grandmother Gigi in the garden. She ate tomatoes off the vine and fed chickens and got her hands dirty in the backyard. Watching Wallace water plants, it occurred to me that, for her, Columbia would always be the place where her grandparents lived, not the town where Mama and Daddy went to college a long time ago. And while I loved that her Columbia would always have little to do with a place that means so much to me, that idea also caught me a bit by surprise. A confession: I spent a good bit of the pandemic talking in public about my new book, which is named Pappyland. It’s ostensibly the story of the family that makes the world’s most sought-after bourbon, but really, it’s a meditation on fatherhood and on inheritance. And yet, even though I talked and talked about those things, to an annoying degree even to my own family, I somehow didn’t see this driving theme of my book manifest itself in my own life until I watched Wallace in the garden. I always knew this day was coming. A long time ago, I used to wonder what my children would think about Mizzou, if they’d have the same emotions for the place that I still feel for my father’s alma mater, Ole Miss. I liked to think about the stories I’d tell them. Then I went to visit campus with my best friend from
BY W R IG H T T HOM PS ON, B J ’01
MIZZOU C O L L E G E
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The Middleton Center leads critical conversations. 80 At Mizzou, art knows no boundaries. 82 Meet three doctoral students who are expanding human knowledge. 86
The Power of Arts and Science Discovering Solutions to Global Challenges
FROM DEAN PAT OKKER
GO DEEP, GO WIDE
Follow us: Twitter @MizzouAandS; Facebook.com/MizzouAandS 74 MIZZOUMAGAZINE ARTS & SCIENCE
ere in the College of Arts and Science and across the nation, a liberal arts education is generally designed with a dual focus: Expertise — learning the skills and knowledge of a particular discipline — is highly valued, but so, too, is breadth of knowledge and experience. For us, an educational experience that values depth and breadth ensures that students are ready for whatever the future holds, even a future that we can’t yet imagine. Although the benefits of expertise are widely understood, the concept of breadth is not often championed. David Epstein’s recent book Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World provides a compelling argument for this principle. As Epstein explains, humans’ “greatest strength is the exact opposite of narrow specialization. It is the ability to integrate broadly,” and his book is filled with examples of people like Steve Jobs, who credits a college course in calligraphy with the success of Macintosh computers. Epstein’s analysis of Nobel laureates offers a particularly fascinating example. As he notes, scientists are about as likely as anyone to have a background in the arts, but scientists who have won Nobel prizes are 22 times more likely to have artistic hobbies. Case in point: Our very own Professor George P. Smith, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2018, happens to be an accomplished musician. The features in these pages give us more examples of how an A&S education embodies the value of range. You’ll meet an accomplished student vocalist who is also a stellar chemist, a faculty member whose undergraduate students discover their sociology research can also help solve the real-world challenge of food insecurity, people devoted to making art accessible to all, and so much more. Each is a chapter of our overall story. It’s not just students, of course, who benefit from nurturing a wide range of interests and passions. It’s been years since I’ve studied science in a formal way, but what I learned about the scientific method as an undergraduate continues to inform my approach to ideas and evidence. Likewise, I’m convinced that my method of reading spreadsheets is influenced, in part, by my study of narrative theory in graduate school. Even my hobbies — running and weightlifting or even my love of Bruce Springsteen’s music — creep into my professional life in sometimes surprising but always rewarding ways. For me, this is a reminder that an A&S education is, at its core, preparation for a rich life, full of mysterious connections that teach us what it means to be human.
ohn Shaw is a Kansas City attorney who loves the law and poetry. But don’t ask him which matters more. As both a lawyer and lover of literature, Shaw sees himself as a well-educated person. In addition to Shaw’s Mizzou law degree (’77), he earned bachelor’s (’73) and master’s degrees (’77) in English. As an undergraduate, he reveled in sampling the works of great thinkers, and he loved learning about varied cultures “without having to travel around the world.” Shaw emerged from Mizzou with a love of liberal arts and the desire and ability to make a case for the value of an arts and science degree. Exhibit 1: Proving the practical purpose of having a college degree — entry to a career and betterpaying work — is a necessary but not sufficient outcome of earning a college diploma. “A liberal arts degree not only helps you make a living; it also
helps make your life worth living,” he says. He shares his appreciation of poetry with his colleagues and family, circulating a poem each year for all to share at their Thanksgiving gathering. And on occasion, he’s used poetry to connect with strangers and witnesses. Once during a trial break, Shaw approached a key witness, a British hunting guide from Kenya who had driven his injured client over the Limpopo River. Recalling one of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So stories, Shaw asked in a mock-serious tone, “Is it true the elephant got his trunk on the banks of the great grey-green greasy Limpopo River?” And with that, an instant bond was established. Shaw is more than an aficionado of the arts. He is also a supporter of the College of Arts and Science, serving on the English Department Leaders Board as well as on the dean’s Strategic Development Board.
“ A liberal arts degree not only helps you make a living; it also helps make your life worth living.” — John Shaw
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A MARRIAGE OF MUSIC AND MATH Fine-art singer and pharmaceutical researcher Michelle Peters didn’t choose between art and science.
ichelle Peters is a physical embodiment of the overlap of arts and science. Her mother is a music teacher; her father an aeronautical engineer. In high school, Peters distinguished herself as a gifted singer, and a favorite instructor also sparked a love of chemistry. When Peters applied to Mizzou four years ago, the pragmatist in her pushed away from a vocal performance degree and toward a more scientific major. Still, she had no intention of giving up on music. “I auditioned for the music program with no expectations,” she says. “The School of Music ended up offering me a great scholarship, but only if I majored in music. I decided, well, then I’ll just do both.” This summer, Peters is poised to graduate with bachelor’s degrees in both vocal performance and chemistry. Along the way, she’s learned that, despite the apparent difference between the two fields, there is more overlap than just the broad umbrella of arts and science. Electives for both majors in sociology and anthropology also offered valuable human perspective on her disparate fields. “One of the things I love is that both math and music transcend language and cultural barriers,” Peters says. She also believes that her musical education
has been bolstered by her core classes in math and science, which form the bones of musical composition, from scales and time signatures to frequency and pitch. “Music is really a lot of math,” she says. “Math also requires a lot of critical thinking, and that’s what music is all about — applying new perspectives to older pieces and creating new music altogether.” The overlap might also explain why Peters has found that so many of her fellow musicians understand math and so many scientists appreciate music, including faculty in both the School of Music and the Department of Chemistry. For instance, her radiochemistry teacher plays cello in a community orchestra, and her accompanist teaches music theory and other humanities courses. In general, Peters says, her instructors and advisers in both units not only understand the demands each major puts on her focus and time, but they also seem genuinely interested in making sure all the branches of arts and science are working in concert. After graduation, Peters’ primary ambition is to one day join a major opera company. Until then, she’ll enjoy a day job working in pharmaceutical research while waiting out the pandemic for more performance opportunities to open up.
There is no one better to talk to potential future Tigers than you — you’ve been there. Help A&S fill communities with graduates who are bright, creative and good citizens. Visit admissions.missouri.edu.
Blending Scholarship and Experience If Joan Hermsen’s students want to pursue work outside the classroom, she’ll make it happen. That’s how seniors Max Staab and Meaghan Lee wound up researching food insecurity for U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler. “Max and Meaghan are both such self-starters,” says Hermsen, an associate professor of sociology. Last summer, Hartzler’s office contacted Mizzou’s Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security (ICFS), requesting information on the congresswoman’s district. Staab and Lee got to work writing a summary document called a white paper based on information reported in the Missouri Hunger Atlas and other sources. “I have found a great deal of meaning in this work, knowing that it is actually being seen by people who have the power to change policy that can better people’s lives in Missouri,” Lee says. She received an Arts and Science Career Development Scholarship, which allowed her to work as a paid assistant with Hermsen and the ICFS team. “Dr. Hermsen is an innovative teacher who understands the importance of weaving research and instruction together,” says Dean Pat Okker. “She skillfully combines sociological study, research and real-world applications so students learn how to apply their knowledge to solve real-world challenges.” SPRING 2021 77
NextGen at A&S NEUROSCIENCE RESEARCH Biological Sciences Cognitive Neuroscience Systems Core Psychological Sciences Missouri Center for Addiction Research & Engagement CANCER RESEARCH Molecular Imaging Theranostics Center Chemistry Biological Sciences CARDIOVASCULAR AND METABOLIC DISORDERS RESEARCH Physics Biological Sciences
As the long-standing foundation of undergraduate education, the College of Arts and Science is a significant source of mind power behind the NextGen Precision Health initiative. “It’s not a question of which of the college’s departments are integral to NextGen; it’s more of a challenge to find a department that isn’t,” says J. Chris Pires, Curators Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences and associate dean for research in the college. This multidisciplinary and multicampus initiative is gearing up to develop new and better personalized medical treatments and devices. Pires expresses the ambitious scope of the initiative in a simple catchphrase: “First in mouse, first in pig and first in humans.” By leveraging the University of Missouri System’s unique set of resources, the initiative will reduce the time it takes to move an untested hypothesis through animal studies and on to clinical trials. “We can create radiopharmaceuticals at the nuclear reactor, then drive them down the street to the NextGen building, where they can begin testing their effectiveness,” Pires says. The clinical components of the initiative will be complemented with population studies and analyses of immense data sets from medical studies. Whether researching the most effective communications for encouraging vaccinations or determining if treatment efficacy varies by gender, the college is helping build the future of 21st-century medicine. 78 MIZZOUMAGAZINE ARTS & SCIENCE
BASIC AND EMERGING SCIENCE Statistics Anthropology Mathematics/ Data Science Physics Biological Sciences Chemistry HEALTH CARE DELIVERY RESEARCH Psychological Sciences Mathematics Missouri Center for Addiction Research & Engagement Statistics
Help us find cures for cancer, addiction, neurological diseases, heart disease and more. Call Kristen Maier, executive director for advancement at 573-882-5518.
COURTESY MU RESEARCH REACTOR
KEY CONTRIBUTOR TO NEXTGEN
POPULATION HEALTH RESEARCH Anthropology Statistics Communications Women’s & Gender Studies Economics Truman School of Public Affairs Institute of Public Policy
ALUMNI TOUT VALUE OF LIBERAL ARTS DEGREES Business owner Beth Snyder, BFA ’02, is all about the unboxing experience. When a customer opens a package from her 1canoe2, she wants them to feel like they are unwrapping a gift. Every purchase shipped from the company’s Fulton, Missouri, warehouse arrives with a hand-painted postcard in a branded box. Due to the pandemic’s effects on warehouse operations, many boutique brands on the coasts are struggling to do the same. So, Snyder founded Court St. Custom Fulfillment, hiring 15 people to help get other businesses’ products out the door quickly yet thoughtfully. “It’s a whole different set of problems to solve,” says Snyder, who attributes her success, in part, to her liberal arts courses at Mizzou. Check out what Snyder and other arts and science alumni have to say about their education at MU.
Beth Snyder, BFA ’02
Daniel Willis, BA ’08
President of 1canoe2 Letterpress, Hemlock Goods and Court St. Custom Fulfillment
Film and TV writer and director
“People with liberal arts degrees are creative thinkers and problem-solvers. To have somebody who doesn’t go by the book, who thinks every day on their feet, that’s the kind of person we need. As a small business, I need somebody who can look at all the disciplines within our company and contribute to lots of different departments. Everyone I hire is curious and focused on lifelong learning.”
“I enjoy working with folks with a liberal arts background. Usually, if you come from the liberal arts, you have a broad background in terms of interests and things you’ve been exposed to. They make for wellrounded collaborators. If you’re going to be an artist, someone who is a creator, you’re pulling from a lot of different references, different mediums. If you have that broad arts education, it gives you an advantage.”
Andy Bryant, BA ’72 Retired chairman of the board at Intel “My economics degree set me up for my whole life. It taught me fundamental financial relationships, logical thinking, how to analyze data effectively. In my career, those were the things that always mattered most. The liberal arts part offered a chance to learn about different concepts you don’t get in a more narrow field: I took philosophy, psychology, computer programming. I’m a firm believer that to build the career I built, I had to build breadth.”
Mentor MU students through the Mizzou Alumni Association: mizzou.com/mentoring.
Anna Aydt Doyle, BA ’83
Jim Simón, MA ’78, PhD ’80
Health care and entrepreneurial consultant
Radiochemist and co-founder of IsoTherapeutics
“When we hired people, we hired them based on the soft skills: Can you think? Can you think differently? Can you think beyond what you’ve been taught? They had to be able to write. If you can’t communicate, you can’t share the ideas you come up with. And you’ve got to be able to see it from lots of people’s perspectives. Learning how to think, learning how to be open to new ideas, learning how to communicate — that’s all arts and science.”
“It is a common misconception that a scientist’s only task is to stay in the lab and gather data. That could not be further from the truth. Communication and interactions with management, funding agencies and customers are imperative for success. If you can clearly communicate both orally and in writing, then you are more likely to succeed. Scientists that come out of school with a broad background have an advantage in both communications and the ability to connect with others.” SPRING 2021 79
A&S FEATURE RACE AND CITIZENSHIP
Launched in 2020 and led by the College of Arts and Science and the School of Law, the Middleton Center is dedicated to scholarly discourse and analysis of race, citizenship and justice. Illustration by Peter Strain
s Stephanie Shonekan watched rioters storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, she sat in shock, but only for a moment. The co-director of the Michael A. Middleton Center for Race, Citizenship, and Justice quickly rattled off an email to fellow co-director and law Professor S. David Mitchell. “Seeing images of the Confederate flag being waved in the Capitol, it raised a lot of questions — the kinds of questions that the center was created for,” says Shonekan, associate dean of the College of Arts and Science and professor of music. Led by a partnership between the college and the School of Law, the center launched in 2020 to help students, scholars and community members engage in conversations about its three pillars — race, citizenship and justice — which are grounded in research and empirical data. “We couldn’t let this moment pass.” They didn’t. A week after the attack on Capitol Hill, the center convened professors from political science, Black studies, religious studies, communication, journalism and law to offer varied scholarly perspectives in a panel discussion attended by over 200 people. “Academics value hearing from other perspectives,” Mitchell says. “Listening to panelists discuss a particular issue from a different theoretical academic interdisciplinary lens allows all of us to explore how siloed we might be in our own academic world but, more importantly, reach out beyond those bounds.” The center has since hosted the Democratic Boone County Clerk and Republican Greene County Clerk for a discussion on Missouri’s voting policies and practices as well as jazz pianist Mary Lou Williams’ biographer for a conversation about gender issues in jazz, among other topics. “These are not 140-character conversations,” Mitchell says. “The center recognizes the nuances and the complexity of the issues. It gets us past a reductionist model of what conversations around race, citizenship and justice have become.” Shonekan hopes the center, with its intellectual roots in the College of Arts and Science and the School of Law, can help Missourians understand the context for race, citizenship and justice and reinforce Mizzou’s role as a land-grant institution: “We can point to the history. We can point to the sociology. We can point to the political science research and legal precedents. These fields allow us to see different experiences and consider the historical trajectory that has led us here. They give us a lens for the discussion. I hope that people can learn, or at least get curious, about the scholarship that forms the foundation for these conversations.” The center also offers fellowships for faculty, graduate and undergraduate scholars who propose theoretical and applied research projects aimed at helping communities affected by disparities in education, health and economic opportunity. Fellows will meet to workshop their ideas and gather feedback before presenting their findings to the public. The center will also participate in collaborative programs with other units across campus. “We want to start connecting our dots,” Shonekan says.
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Living Legacy The center might not exist if not for the man it’s named for — two-time Mizzou graduate Michael Middleton, who dedicated his life’s work to fighting for a more just and equal world. Middleton, BA ’68, JD ’71, grew up in Mississippi during the Jim Crow era. In high school, he participated in Freedom Summer and protested for racial equality. As an undergraduate at Mizzou, he helped start the Legion of Black Collegians, fought for the rights of Black students and was instrumental in the creation of the Black studies program. After becoming the third Black graduate of MU’s law school, he worked as a civil rights attorney trying discrimination cases for the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. Before returning to the law school as a faculty member in 1985, he worked at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; the Department of Health, Education and Welfare; and the Department of Education. At the university, Middleton has served as professor of law and deputy chancellor as well as interim president of the University of Missouri System. “Michael Middleton has really been at the center of trying to move the campus forward,” says Stephanie Shonekan, co-director of the center. “We want to make sure we’re living up to the name.” Sign up to receive Middleton Center news and event invitations at mizzou. us/middletoncentersignup.
SPRING 2021 81
Whether it’s a musical production making its way to Broadway or a 4,000-year-old artifact attracting visitors to a vast collection of antiquities, art has no boundaries. Departments across the College of Arts and Science enrich not only campus life but also communities statewide and beyond. The goal is to reach increasingly broader audiences.
n 2019, the Department of Theatre teamed up with the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders to create a sensory-friendly production of the children’s book Corduroy. That’s the kind of partnership theatre Chair Heather Carver fosters on and off campus to make the magic of theater accessible to all. The play brings to life a story about teddy bear Corduroy and his owner, Lisa, one of the first Black characters in children’s literature. To make the show accessible to children with autism, the allstudent crew softened the sound and lighting, created a zero-level stage, and allowed the audience to come and go as they pleased. “Part of our mission is that we don’t want to leave anyone behind,” Carver says. Theater is just one of numerous ways MU builds bridges through the arts. Campus opens its doors through classes in art and instrumental music, a variety of performances, and exhibits at museums and galleries. The Artist in Residence program, a collaborative initiative through the School of Visual Studies, Museum of Art and Archaeology, School of Music, Department of English and Department of Theatre, hosts artists from across the globe who connect with all aspects of campus life. And, true to the mission of a land-grant university, engagement extends well beyond Columbia’s city limits. “Sometimes when people think about the arts, they imagine a select group that goes to galleries, museums and concert halls,” says Pat Okker, dean of the College of Arts and Sci-
Students delight in their performance based on the children’s book Corduroy. The theatre department partnered with the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders to offer a sensory-friendly performance for children with autism spectrum disorder.
Arts Programs Larry D. Clark Summer Repertory Theatre: A program with professionals and students alike that has been entertaining audiences for over 50 years Art on the Move: School of Visual Studies students and alumni returning to home regions, sharing their artwork and fostering opportunities for professional development Mizzou on Broadway: Established in 2001 with an initial gift from alumnus Gary Tatlow followed by the support of additional alumni and friends to bring exceptional Mizzou performances to the big stage Artist in Residence: Invites emerging and established artists to cultivate creativity across disciplines Mizzou New Music Initiative: Creating an incubator for new music composition and performance, with support from the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation
The Missouri Review: A nationally recognized literary magazine known for finding and publishing emerging authors SPRING 2021 83
Arts Programs Museum of Art and Archaeology: Open to students, scholars and the community to experience significant art and artifacts Museum of Anthropology: Broadening the understanding of human behavior through research, interpretation and preservation of ethnographic and archaeological materials Chancellor’s Art Showcase: A celebration of the arts at Mizzou featuring outstanding student performances
Visual Art and Design Showcase: A venue where undergraduates display and discuss their work in an exhibition setting with an $8,000 prize for the most outstanding entry
84 MIZZOUMAGAZINE ARTS & SCIENCE
The MU Artist in Residence program projects poetry onto the sides of buildings around campus as part of its In Focus: Poetry project. The outdoor event, held during September 2020 as a creative way to enjoy art during the pandemic, featured poems by Mizzou alumni.
every Missouri county, says Lee Ann Garrison, the school’s director. In another Art on the Move initiative, Art in Empty Storefronts, a collaboration with MU Extension, students display their work in the windows of vacant buildings, increasing art exposure while fostering economic development. “Someone might look at that storefront and think, ‘I can do something with that space,’” Garrison says. Okker is grateful to communities for sending their artists to Mizzou: “The high school teachers have nurtured these kids in the arts. They trust us to continue their development, and then we send them back to their communities.” Art creates culture and helps us understand the world around us, Garrison says. “When we look back historically, we always study what the artwork looks like. Artifacts left to us bear witness to a time and place and to who we are.” M
J E S S E : PAU L M O S S I N E ; M I C H A E L C A L I
George Caleb Bingham Gallery: The only contemporary gallery on campus, bringing high-quality exhibits, events and visiting artists to Columbia
ence. “All of those things are really important, but we have to expand on those traditional places to make sure people have real opportunities for significant engagement with the arts.” School of Music Director Julia Gaines has been working toward this goal by offering classes such as the popular Jazz, Pop and Rock; Introduction to Soul and Country; and Songwriting and Beat Making. The latter offers students a chance to explore the combination of lyrics and melody and provides an avenue into the widely popular freestyle world where lyrics typically accompany only rhythm, or beats. “We need to get out of our bubble,” Gaines says. “I’d like students to know the School of Music in a more robust way all across campus.” This priority complements the school’s strong community presence. Students perform at most local religious institutions and teach instrumental lessons through the Community Music Program. Community involvement is key to Art on the Move in the School of Visual Studies, where students, faculty and alumni exhibit artwork statewide, often in their hometowns. The goal is to reach
ART: COURTESY SCHOOL OF VISUAL STUDIES; PERFORMANCE: DALE LLOYD; FONDA : COURTESY GRANT FONDA
Top: How does one view artwork safely during a pandemic? Art in Empty Storefronts, a collaboration with MU Extension, displayed students’ art, including this textile by Erin McFarland, along with other work in the windows of vacant buildings. Above: Alarm Will Sound rehearses during the 2019 Mizzou International Composers Festival.
You don’t expect a composer to hang around dusty corrals in Reno, Nevada, while creating a film score, even one about horse trainers. But for Grant Fonda, who earned a master’s degree in music composition at Mizzou in 2012, immersion in a film’s location and personalities is his creative path. For a new documentary about the University of Montana’s famed women’s basketball coach, he incorporated sounds of net swishes and shoe squeaks. In Pray: The Story of Patrick Peyton, Fonda’s captivating music surrounds the story of an Irish priest whose message, “The family that prays together, stays together,” was beamed to millions worldwide in the 1940s–’70s via rosary rallies and celebrity-studded TV and radio shows. Hollywood generates most of Fonda’s commissions. He’s worked in the music departments of such films as Minions, Finding Dory and Bridge of Spies as well as fully creating the soundtracks for a dozen feature and documentary films. In addition to composing the score, he’s usually responsible for selecting an orchestrator, sound engineer and contractor for the musicians. He’s learned to tap into various directors’ styles. He often must work fast, as television producers can expect 30 minutes of music to be created in less than 10 days. Feature films can require 70 minutes of music or more in three months. Fonda was given a full ride to Mizzou under its New Music Initiative, which encourages composers. A perk of the program offers composers access to musicians. “Being able to have your pieces workshopped with phenomenal musicians at your disposal was such a gift,” Fonda says. “Mizzou put a lot of tools in my compositional tool belt.” After working with Mizzou composition Professors W. Thomas McKenney and Stefan Freund and percussionist Julia Gaines, Fonda, now 36, returned to his native California. He gained admittance to the highly selective screen scoring program at the University of Southern California and to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers’ film scoring workshop. His music is found on Apple, Amazon and Spotify, including a song that’s been streamed 3.5 million times: “A Million In-N-Out Burgers,” part of a romantic comedy that’s meant to be watched exclusively on phones. “Music today requires a lot of versatility,” he laughs. Listen on Amazon Prime to Fonda’s soundtrack of Pray: The Story of Patrick Peyton. SPRING 2021 85
WHEN GRADUATE STUDENTS PURSUE THEIR PASSIONS, EVERYONE BENEFITS Mizzou’s largest academic unit, the College of Arts and Science, strives for a breadth in teaching and research that reflects human diversity and complexity. Its programs draw students from around the world whose academic achievements not only cement careers as teachers and researchers but also advance the understanding of our world and ourselves. These three students are nearing the pinnacle of education: a PhD, or Doctor of Philosophy. Not necessarily in the study of philosophy itself, but from Greek for “love of wisdom.” To get there takes years of study and producing original work that expands human knowledge.
Psychologists want to understand why people do what they do. For Mizzou graduate student Tyler Jimenez, that includes why today’s authorities dispatch armored cars to confront peaceful American Indian protesters. Tribal members on horseback faced militarized police in a 2016 protest over a new pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in South Dakota. “It’s hard to look at those images and not think of colonialism,” says Jimenez, MA ’19, a doctoral candidate in social psychology. Jimenez studies how psychology research can help improve human health. He’s focused on public policy, partly because of a four-year association with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which researches health policy. His research into police militarization arose from wanting to reduce gun violence. “There’s a strong connection between police militarization and police use of force,” he says. A member of New Mexico’s Nambé Pueblo, Jimenez starts in the fall as an assistant professor at the University of Washington, where he’ll continue an emphasis on health issues for Indigenous peoples. He’s interested, for example, in programs that help tribal youth connect with their cultural history. Participants describe the cultural programs as pivotal to healthy living. “They seemed more motivated to take care of themselves,” Jimenez says, “and the people around them.” 86 MIZZOUMAGAZINE ARTS & SCIENCE
TYLER JIMENEZ >
PATRICKA WILLIAMS-SIMON > When growing up on the Caribbean island of Grenada, Patricka Williams-Simon dreamt of finishing high school, which would be a first for her family. Then she dreamt of attending college, never imagining graduate school. Now she’s finishing a doctoral degree in biology, having contributed award-winning research on the genetics of learning and memory and of pediatric neurodegenerative diseases. “That I’m getting a PhD is a big deal for my family,” she says, adding with a laugh: “Most of the time, they think I’m a medical doctor. When someone gets a headache or a backache, I’m the one they call.” Williams-Simon came to MU for its Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program, designed to increase diversity in the biomedical sciences. “PREP does what it promises — it prepares students for graduate school and to be competitive in the market,” she says. Competitive, indeed, as Williams-Simon’s research earned a prestigious fellowship with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and an award from the Genetics Society of America, among other recognitions. She, in turn, has helped start several organizations aimed at encouraging minorities in STEM. “It’s incumbent on me to give back to my community,” she says. Meanwhile, Williams-Simon weighs four offers to continue her research in a postdoctoral position. She hopes to have her own lab one day, with teaching also a priority.
< ANDREW OLDEN History often describes Pruitt-Igoe, a public housing complex in St. Louis, as having failed because of its high-rise architecture. Digging uncovers a more human story — management’s unwillingness and inability to understand the needs and desires of its residents. “Many tenants were actively organizing to better their living situation,” says Andrew Olden, MA ’17, a doctoral candidate in history. His research includes oral histories of residents who unsuccessfully sought to improve conditions. The project illustrates one theme in Olden’s research: a long history of African Americans in St. Louis unable to determine their own fate, including the destruction of successful Black neighborhoods in the name of “redevelopment.” He emerged from an Illinois high school wanting to study history, and now he wants to teach it as a career. His grandmother helped kindle that interest as together they visited St. Louis museums, including the Missouri History Museum. There, Olden found himself drawn to the story of African Americans in St. Louis, partly because of how little he learned about Black history in high school. “People tend to avoid the uncomfortable side of history,” he says. But national unrest has spurred a desire in his students for that perspective. “It’s great to see that they care,” he says, “and that they want to grapple with difficult topics.” Consider funding scholarships: giving.missouri.edu. SPRING 2021 87
ARTISTIC CHOICES Coming to Mizzou was a no-brainer for Ryan Fangmann, a bachelor’s in fine arts student from Oak Grove, Missouri. When the College of Arts and Science commissioned a piece of art that alumni could cut out and keep, deciding which nostalgic icons to include was a no-brainer, too. The other elements — the roses, the paint color strip, the white border — are specific to Fangmann’s style, which is a blend of pop art and romanticism. “Everything I make is in reference to digital commercialization and corporate marketing strategies. I like taking things we’re familiar with and reproducing and reappropriating those things into fine art.”
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