A new era in Mizzou Athletics

Aug 11 2021

A photo of Director Desiree Reed-Francois on the LED screen at Faurot Field.

A photo of Director Desiree Reed-Francois on the LED screen at Faurot Field.

A new era in Mizzou Athletics begins today! We will win championships. Director Desiree Reed-Francois knows how important a culture of alignment is between excellence in athletics and the strong academic and research missions of an AAU institution. As she says, “We have to all be all-in.” I couldn’t agree more.

I am very excited to welcome the Francois family to Columbia!

— Mun

Happy 200th birthday, Missouri!

Aug 6 2021

 

A photo of President Mun Y. Choi speaking at the Together for '21 Fest kick-off event, August 5, 2021.

President Mun Y. Choi speaking at the Together for ’21 Fest kick-off event, Aug. 5, 2021.

Granted statehood in 1821, Missouri celebrates its bicentennial this year. Communities and organizations across the state have spent years planning this remarkable and comprehensive commemoration of our state’s history, its impact and its future.

Last night, I had the privilege to help kick-off Together for ’21 Fest at the new and beautiful State Historical Society of Missouri. I joined other statewide leaders — including Governor Mike Parson, Columbia Mayor Brian Treece, Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin and former Missouri Senator Kurt Schaefer — to reflect on our state’s legacy and shared purpose as Missourians.

Over the last 200 years, Missouri has overcome many challenges and risen to become a hub of exploration, transportation, invention, economic growth and artistic creation. I am deeply proud to be a Missourian, and proud that the University of Missouri (itself established in 1839) has become a common place where all Missourians from every background can come together to learn, discover and succeed.

If you have the chance, I encourage you to participate in the statewide festivities. As Tigers, we are all part of this incredible legacy. But most importantly, we are charting a future of excellence through our education, scholarship and engagement that will make Missouri’s next 200 years even more impactful.

— Mun

The Siemens Healthineers MAGNETOM Terra 7T MRI Scanner is here!

Aug 4 2021

Left to right: Eric Peterson, Project Manager, Siemens Healthineers Mun Choi, PhD, President, University of Missouri Talissa Altes, MD, Chair, MU School of Medicine Department of Radiology Richard Barohn, MD, Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs; Executive Director for NextGen Precision Health Jonathan Curtright, CEO, MU Health Care Thomas Spencer, PhD, Interim Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development; Scientific Director for NextGen Precision Health

Left to right: Eric Peterson, Project Manager, Siemens Healthineers. Mun Choi, PhD, President, University of Missouri. Talissa Altes, MD, Chair, MU School of Medicine Department of Radiology. Richard Barohn, MD, Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs; Executive Director for NextGen Precision Health. Jonathan Curtright, CEO, MU Health Care. Thomas Spencer, PhD, Interim Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development; Scientific Director for NextGen Precision Health.

Today we leap forward in our NextGen Precision Health project as the Siemens Healthineers MAGNETOM Terra 7T MRI scanner arrived for installation. Say hello to the future!

The only machine of its kind in Missouri, this state-of-the-art scanner is one of the most advanced imaging machines available. It provides resolution that is two times greater than the conventional scanner. Our researchers will be able to see complex brain and knee structures with remarkable detail, aiding the early detection and more refined treatment of neurological and knee injuries, as well as diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

As the centerpiece of our new NextGen Precision Health building, the 7T MRI scanner is part of a world-class imaging suite we are developing in partnership with Siemens Healthineers through the Alliance for Precision Health. Other technologies in this suite include a PET-CT and a conventional 3T MRI scanner. Together, these tools will enable our systemwide researchers to address some of the most challenging diseases for animals and humans — in both a research and clinical capacity.

Our mission to transform health care for communities across Missouri and around the world remains one of the University of Missouri’s top priorities. To do so, we have to think big and go bold. With revolutionary technologies such as the 7T and our cutting-edge imaging suite — housed in the university’s first research facility built in over a decade — we do just that.

What we’re building here may look like science fiction. But its impact is very, very real.

— Mun

Class of 2025 White Coat Ceremony

Aug 2 2021

The University of Missouri School of Medicine White Coat Ceremony for the Class of 2025 at Jesse Auditorium in Columbia, Mo. on Friday, July 30, 2021.

The School of Medicine’s Class of 2025 recites the Declaration of Geneva at its White Coat Ceremony, July 30.

Congratulations to our School of Medicine Class of 2025! What an honor it was to host their White Coat Ceremony last Friday in Jesse Auditorium.

As the Class of 2025 stood together — for the first time — and recited the Declaration of Geneva, their mission was clear. They each pledged to “dedicate my life to the service of humanity… foster the honor and noble traditions of the medical profession… [and] share my medical knowledge for the benefit of the patient and the advancement of healthcare.” I am deeply grateful to each one of them for choosing Mizzou as the launchpad for this journey.

The University of Missouri’s commitment to the health and well-being of our state and the world continues to shine through the medical professionals who devote their lives to our citizens and communities. Last year alone, MU Health Care saw more than 230,000 in-state patients. In addition, MU Health Care’s Missouri Telehealth Network saw nearly 36,000 patients.

Let us all thank our medical professionals for their tireless work, and celebrate the next generation of medical doctors who will serve Missouri and beyond.

— Mun

The importance of our land-grant mission

Jul 29 2021

A photo of Travis Harper demonstrating beekeeping basics for the Heroes to Hives program.

Travis Harper demonstrates beekeeping basics for the Heroes to Hives program.

On August 2, I’ll have the privilege to participate in the 2021 Mini Land Grant Conference North Central Region. University and organizational leaders from across the region will come together virtually for speeches, panels, discussions and a keynote address from Iowa State University President, Wendy Wintersteen, as we focus on “Leading Change, Creating the Future.

At the University of Missouri, I see us leading change and creating the future every day through our commitment to our land grant mission and the work of MU Extension. For example, this summer Travis Harper, a field specialist in agronomy in Warrensburg, showed veterans and their families the ins-and-outs of beekeeping through the Heroes to Hives program.

A photo of Monica Haaf and Estrella Carmona teach during Cooking Matters, the first time the course has been adapted for Spanish-speaking families.

(top left to right) Monica Haaf and Estrella Carmona teach during Cooking Matters, the first time the course has been adapted for Spanish-speaking families.

And in MU’s on-going mission to serve all Missouri residents from all backgrounds, Monica Haaf, a nutrition program associate in Kansas City, and Estrella Carmona, a county engagement specialist in nutrition and health education in Ste. Genevieve County, adapted the popular Cooking Matters healthy eating class into Spanish. The five virtual sessions were so successful that they’re going to continue the series this fall. Other Extension initiatives support women in agriculture, farmers with disabilities, farmers markets in urban areas and producers from Amish communities.

The work our university does in service of our land grant mission remains one of the most important ways we translate the incredible efforts of our students, faculty and staff into the impact that builds a stronger Missouri, a thriving Midwest and a better world.

— Mun

New Mississippi River Basin Ag & Water Desk

Jul 22 2021

I am deeply grateful to the Walton Family Foundation for its recent $1.4 million, three-year grant to MU’s School of Journalism to create the Mississippi River Basin Ag & Water Desk.

Led by professor Sara Shipley Hiles, and supported by professors Earnest Perry and Ryan Famuliner, this project will establish a network of journalists from across the region to enhance coverage of the environmental issues facing this critical water system. It represents a working partnership between our J-School, Report for America and the Society of Environmental Journalists. It also plays an important role in the School’s Center for Science Communication.

A photo of Earnest L. Perry, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research; Sara Shipley Hiles, Associate Professor; and Ryan Famuliner, Associate Professor.

Left to right: Earnest L. Perry, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research; Sara Shipley Hiles, Associate Professor; and Ryan Famuliner, Associate Professor.

As the needs of our environment and food systems shift, MU students and researchers are hard at work developing forward-thinking solutions. That’s the first step. The next critical step is communicating the impact of that vital work to communities across Missouri and the Midwest. The Center for Science Communication and its new Mississippi River Basin Ag & Water Desk represent the nexus for this imperative.

Thank you again to the Walton Family Foundation, our School of Journalism, our faculty leaders and our students. Recognizing a need and then building the academic and scholarly infrastructure to address that need remain the backbone of Mizzou’s public, land-grant, research mission.

— Mun

 

Engineering a future of excellence

Jul 16 2021

A photo of President Choi outside of Jesse Hall with with undergraduate student handlers, CJ Harris (middle) and Tre Haughton (right)

President Choi standing outside Jesse Hall with two of Steve’s undergraduate student handlers, CJ Harris (middle) and Trevontae’ Haughton (right).

“Steve” stopped by Jesse Hall this week. One of four doglike robots adopted by our College of Engineering (many of you have already met Spot), Steve was accompanied by his team of undergraduate handlers to give me a hands-on demonstration of the discovery and excellence happening on our campus.

Our College of Engineering is pioneering new ways that robotic technologies can enhance our quality of life and strengthen our communities. The student team and I discussed Steve’s future potential such as his role as a safety robot to detect problems like carbon monoxide leaks. Along the way, they demonstrated Steve’s agility — walking down the stairs of Jesse Hall — and technological intelligence.

A photo of Steve meeting his canine counterpart on Francis Quadrangle.

Steve meeting his canine counterpart on Francis Quadrangle.

I am incredibly proud of the work our students are doing to bring more solutions and opportunities to Missouri and the world. This commitment, which is driven by hard work and grounded in compassion, has enabled Mizzou to thrive across two centuries, through two World Wars and, most recently, through the global pandemic. As we look forward to the fall semester, I can’t wait to welcome all of our students back and see where they take us next.

— Mun

Welcoming our new students

Jul 2 2021

A photo of students and their family members passing by Jesse Hall while participating in Summer Welcome.

Students and their family members pass by Jesse Hall while participating in Summer Welcome. (Photo by Sam O’Keefe, University of Missouri.)

The fall semester begins in less than two months, and our Summer Welcome team is hard at work greeting all of our new students. Since June, they have shown thousands of Tigers (and their families) around the University of Missouri — and they’ll continue throughout the next few weeks.

Summer Welcome is an overview of all things Mizzou, and our Student Affairs staff and Summer Welcome student leaders are eager to share everything students need to be successful. Our new Tigers learn about supportive resources, such as the Writing Center and Counseling Center, as well as ways to get involved and meet new friends through student organizations and extracurricular activities. I’ve had the chance to speak with several groups of new students, and it’s been great to share their enthusiasm and help introduce them to our community.

A photo of Summer Welcome student leaders and new students gathering outside Conservation Hall.

Summer Welcome student leaders and new students gather outside Conservation Hall. (Photo by Sam O’Keefe, University of Missouri.)

No matter your interests, there’s a place for you on campus. If you’re a new Tiger, be sure to get involved, make connections and explore all Mizzou has to offer. There are so many resources (and caring people) who can help you be successful and achieve excellence.

Welcome to all of our new students! MIZ!

— Mun

Tigers take center stage

Jun 24 2021

A photo of the cast and crew of Madagascar

The cast and crew of “Madagascar” at a preview performance on Tuesday, June 22. (Photo by Rebecca Allen.)

Bravo to the Theatre Department on yesterday’s premiere of “Madagascar: A Musical Adventure.” Held outdoors on Traditions Plaza, it’s the department’s first performance with a large in-person audience in more than a year.

“Madagascar” is directed by Joy Powell, an associate professor at MU, and features 10 of our Tigers as animals who escape from Central Park Zoo and other characters. Be sure to catch one of the upcoming family-friendly performances throughout the next two weeks.

A photo of Rachel Misner, Reggie Coleman, Preston Wilson and Nathan Le as characters in Madagascar

(Left to right) Rachel Misner, Reggie Coleman, Preston Wilson and Nathan Le play their parts. (Photo by Rebecca Allen.)

The Theatre Department — like so many programs at Mizzou — demonstrated incredible versatility over the past year. From Zoom musicals to socially distanced shows, they found creative ways to tell the stories audiences love. I’m so proud that they continue to share their immense talent with our community in a safe way.

Congratulations again to the cast and crew. I look forward to even more opening nights after our full return in August.

— Mun

Excellence

Jun 17 2021

A photo of Jesse Hall and the Columns

This is the fourth and final post in a series on the four University of Missouri values — Respect, Responsibility, Discovery, Excellence — and how they guide our mission as the state’s flagship, land-grant university.

We recently began our Summer Welcome sessions for new Tigers and are eagerly preparing for a full in-person return this August. But before we launch into our “new normal,” let’s celebrate all our community achieved throughout an unprecedented year.

During the 2020-21 academic year we awarded more than 8,000 degrees, announced critical collaborations with industry partners such as Thermo Fisher Scientific and broke ground on a new facility for the Sinclair School of Nursing. We completed the “Mizzou: Our Time to Lead” campaign with a record $1.41 billion and received the largest gift in the history of the College of Veterinary Medicine, among so many other accomplishments.

If we can do this much in a pandemic, I can’t wait to see what we achieve next.

Excellence at Mizzou can be found in many places, whether on Faurot Field, onstage at the Rhynsburger Theatre or in a lab at the Bond Life Sciences Center. It’s also embedded in how we treat one another, and it flourishes when everyone feels like they belong and can contribute their own voice and perspective.

In a difficult year, we still found ways to come together and do remarkable things. I can’t think of a better demonstration of our commitment to excellence in all its forms.

— Mun