Marching into a new semester

Aug 22, 2022

A photo of Marching Mizzou on the practice field.

Marching Mizzou on the practice field.

The best marching band in the country never rests.

As we begin a new academic year, Marching Mizzou is back at it under the outstanding direction of Dr. Amy Knopps. Here is a recent photo of them practicing in the twilight.

Marching Mizzou epitomizes excellence, and I can’t wait to see them on Faurot Field as we begin the new season of Mizzou Football. This November, they’ll also appear in the world-famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.


— Mun

Inspiring future ag leaders

Aug 16, 2022

A photo of President Choi and CAFNR Dean Christopher Daubert with a Budweiser Clydesdale at the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia.

President Choi and CAFNR Dean Christopher Daubert with a Budweiser Clydesdale at the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia.

The University of Missouri shares in the Missouri State Fair’s mission to champion tomorrow’s ag leaders.

This year, our College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) helped sponsor an event to raise funds for first time fair exhibitors with 4-H, the National FFA Organization and youth facing physical or cognitive challenges.

Last week, I joined CAFNR Dean Chris Daubert and other CAFNR leaders at the event, known as the Purple Ribbon Kickoff Gala.

For 15 years, Mizzou has proudly served as a solid partner with the state fair – Missouri’s premier agricultural event. We are excited to head back to Sedalia Thursday to attend the Governor’s Ham Breakfast.

— Mun

Engaging our staff members

Aug 11, 2022

A photo of President Choi with Curators Julia Brncic, Robin Wenneker, Michael Williams, Vice President for Human Resources Marsha Fischer and UM System Intercampus Staff Advisory Council representatives. MU staff are an integral part of our community and are key to elevating our collective mission.

The UM System Intercampus Staff Advisory Council (ISAC) represents our staff systemwide – including MU Health Care – and advises leadership on staff interests. This week, I attended their annual meeting along with Curators Julia Brncic, Robin Wenneker, Michael Williams and Vice President for Human Resources Marsha Fischer.

We discussed the important activities of staff throughout the UM System and listened to their input on the proposed leave design. It was a great opportunity to gather candid and constructive feedback.

We look forward to sharing more stories that amplify staff accomplishments and finding additional ways to show our appreciation for all they do.

— Mun

Welcoming new faculty to Mizzou

Aug 10, 2022

A photo of Pres. Choi introducing university leaders to new faculty

President Choi introducing university leaders to new faculty.

As we begin the new academic year, we’re eager to greet 170 talented faculty joining our University of Missouri community. On Tuesday, we held a welcome reception at the Chancellor’s Residence on Francis Quadrangle.

During the reception, they were introduced to many university leaders and encouraged to reach out with any questions about our campus or Columbia.

These new faculty are joining us at an exciting time. With MizzouForward, we are investing in researchers to ensure they have the tools and interdisciplinary partnerships necessary to create more discoveries. We’re committed to providing the additional support they need to have long, productive careers at Mizzou.

Welcome back activities continue on Thursday evening with an open house in Jesse Hall.

— Mun

A world of new music premieres at Mizzou

Aug 4, 2022

A photo of Alarm Will Sound performing at the Missouri Theatre as part of the Mizzou International Composers Festival.

Alarm Will Sound performs new works by eight composers at the Missouri Theatre as part of the Mizzou International Composers Festival.

On July 30, eight incredible composers from around the globe, including Rome, New York City and right here in Columbia, premiered their work at the Missouri Theatre. Their compositions were selected from roughly 500 applicants and performed by Alarm Will Sound as the finale of the 13th Mizzou International Composers Festival.

I enjoyed attending the festival with Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield, benefactors whose support made this week of events possible, as well as College of Arts & Science Dean Cooper Drury and School of Music Director Julia Gaines.

Through opportunities like this and others like the Sinquefield-supported Mizzou New Music Initiative and Sinquefield Music Center, our campus remains a hub for forward-thinking composers.

— Mun

Turning undergrads into accomplished researchers

Aug 1, 2022

A photo of Randi Noel presenting her research.

Randi Noel, a sophomore plant sciences major at Mizzou, presents her research.

Ninety-five talented students from across the nation and the globe convened on campus for MU’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program, a tradition since 2000.  For nine weeks, these students researched alongside world-class faculty mentors. We recently celebrated their many accomplishments and look forward to potential research articles citing several of these undergrads as co-authors.

Students came from 47 institutions and included Randi Noel, a Mizzou sophomore majoring in plant sciences, who worked with Dr. Richard Ferrieri, a chemistry research professor. She spent the summer using advanced equipment (brand new to MU) to study the effect of wildfires on plant regrowth and is listed as the first author on a paper submitted to a prestigious journal.

These select students were chosen from hundreds of applicants and are some of the brightest students in their fields, from journalism to materials science and engineering. We were happy to welcome them to campus and share the lab space, tools and support needed to make their discoveries possible.

— Mun

Recharging for fall

Jul 1, 2022

Jesse Hall Quad Drone AerialLike many in our Mizzou community, I’m taking some time in July to recharge and get ready for a new semester of Tiger excellence.

We’ll put the blog on hold for a few weeks and return in August with more stories of the people who make our education, research and outreach mission possible. 

May we all reflect on the amazing accomplishments of this last academic year.  We also look forward to all the new faces we will welcome to campus this fall. 


—  Mun 

Mizzou hosts gifted high school scholars

Jun 27, 2022

A photo of Keynote speaker Dr. Erika Michalski joined by her family and her Mizzou mentors from her undergraduate time at MU.

Keynote speaker Dr. Erika Michalski (middle of front row) joined her family and her Mizzou mentors from her undergraduate time at MU.

I enjoyed speaking with nearly 300 of our state’s most talented high school students – and the educators who inspire them – as part of Teacher Appreciation Day at the Missouri Scholars Academy. 

Every summer, our campus welcomes gifted, rising juniors from across Missouri for the Academy. Over three weeks, scholars select a “major” (courses such as Making Beautiful Mathematics and the Nature of Creativity), attend guest lectures, and participate in thought-provoking discussions. 

Founded in 1985 and supported by the Missouri Legislature, the Academy is an important way we serve some of our state’s brightest. It also introduces a new generation to Mizzou. 

It was great meeting some of tomorrow’s Tigers. 

—  Mun

Ag leaders with IMPACT

Jun 22, 2022

A photo of President Choi, Curator Wenneker, Missouri Farm Bureau President Garrett Hawkins and members of the IMPACT leadership initiative.Curator Robin Wenneker and I visited with Missouri Farm Bureau President Garrett Hawkins and members of the IMPACT leadership initiative.

IMPACT is an intensive year-long program for young farming leaders from across Missouri to network and learn about emerging agricultural issues. All participants have direct ties to the ag economy, including livestock and crop production, processing and sales.

CAFNR Dean Chris Daubert and Associate Vice Chancellor for Extension Chad Higgins also provided an update on the value-added agriculture programs they’re leading.

We’re proud to support leaders who make Missouri agriculture a $93.7 billion industry and the state’s top economic driver. This support is an important part of our mission as a land-grant university.

— Mun

Softball standout named a 2022 Academic All-American

Jun 13, 2022

A photo of Kimberly Wert.

Kimberly Wert (photo courtesy of Mizzou Athletics).

MU Softball player Kimberly Wert earned one of the highest distinctions in college sports last week when she was named a 2022 Academic All-American®, selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

This honor isn’t the first recognition of Kimberly’s excellence on and off the field. Twice, SEC leaders named her Player of the Week. Softball America recognized her as a Third Team All-American. And she holds the all-time Mizzou home run record. She graduated in May with dual degrees in psychology and health sciences and a 3.64 GPA.

Congratulations to Kimberly on this accomplishment.

— Mun