UM students attend Undergraduate Research Day at Capitol
Legislators had a chance to see firsthand the unique opportunities undergraduate students from the University of Missouri System have to participate in research during the annual Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol on March 7.
A total of 40 UM students along with parents, faculty, and advisors went to Jefferson City to be introduced in the House and Senate before setting up their poster displays in the third floor rotunda. The students showcased their research from a variety of disciplines, including biochemistry, business and information science, anthropology, and the plant sciences. In addition to visits from their legislators, students also described their work to UM System President Tim Wolfe, who spent the morning learning about their research.
“I am continually impressed by the ingenuity, determination and skill shown by our students, and I’m proud that our students—even at the undergraduate level—have the opportunity to do research with world-class scholars,” Wolfe said. “Not only does this expose students to the wonders and possibilities of research, and the importance of discovering ‘new knowledge’, it also helps develop them as future scientists and budding entrepreneurs whose work one day could result in new businesses and more jobs, as well as improve the quality of life for our fellow citizens.”
To see more photos from Undergraduate Research Day, click here.
House committee reviews FY14 budget
The House Budget committee, chaired by Rep. Rick Stream (R-Kirkwood), met on March 7 to begin reviewing the committee substitutes for the thirteen FY 2014 budget bills. During its review of House Bill 3, which authorizes funding for higher education, the committee reviewed a few changes in the substitute. The bill includes an additional $20 million above current-year appropriations in potential funding for improved outcomes among the 2- and 4-year institutions. Under the plan, if all measures are met, the University of Missouri could receive $9.3 million in funding above the amount received for the current fiscal year. The bill includes $500,000 for the State Historical Society and an additional $250,000 for the Missouri Kidney Program. The bill also includes an additional $3.4 million for the Bright Flight scholarship program. The committee is scheduled to continue its review on March 11 and then consider amendments on all bills on March 13.
Committee discusses bonding
The Appropriations – Infrastructure and Job Creation committee, chaired by Rep. Chris Kelly (D-Columbia), met on March 5 to continue discussing House Joint Resolution 14, the proposal to allow bonding for higher education capital projects and other state projects. The committee discussed increasing the total amount of bonds voters could authorize from the currently proposed $950 million to $1.2 billion or more. Rep. Lincoln Hough (R-Springfield) distributed a draft resolution containing a list of proposed projects, including the top projects of each 2- and 4-year public higher education institution. Included in the list for the UM System are Benton and Stadler Hall at UMSL, the Chemistry and Biological Sciences building at Missouri S&T, Lafferre Hall at MU, and the School of Medicine and Health Sciences building at UMKC.
The committee also discussed the possibility of adding a cost-sharing provision for some projects and adding energy efficiency requirements. Chairman Kelly has scheduled the next meeting for March 12, at which time the committee is expected to finalize its version of the proposal and vote on it.
Dr. Fred Hawthorne recognized before Missouri House, Senate
Dr. Fred Hawthorne, Director of MU’s International Institute of Nano and Molecular Medicine, visited the Missouri House of Representatives and Senate on March 7, and he was given a formal introduction on the floors of both chambers. In honor of the National Medal of Science awarded to him by President Obama, Dr. Hawthorne received a Senate resolution from Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) and a House resolution from Reps. Chris Kelly (D-Columbia), Stephen Webber (D-Columbia), Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia), and John Wright (D-Rocheport).Sen. Kurt Schaefer presents Dr. Hawthorne with a Senate resolution in his honor. Dr. Hawthorne is joined by his wife, Diana.
Agriculture alumni meet with legislative leaders
Several alumni from MU’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) came to the Capitol on March 6 to meet with legislators in support of agriculture issues.
MU Vice Chancellor and Dean of CAFNR Tom Payne joined the group to review topics before a gathering of 30 senators and representatives including Senate Agriculture, Food Production and Natural Resources committee chair Brian Munzlinger (R-Williamstown) and House Agriculture Policy chair Bill Reiboldt (R-Neosho). The group discussed such topics as the federal Farm Bill, the impact of sequestration on agriculture in the state, and the need to support higher education institutions for education and research.
After the meeting, alumni met individually with their legislators to promote the University’s operating budget request, a higher education bonding plan, and the MU Extension districting legislation being considered this session.
Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal hosts gun forum on UMSL campus
On February 18, Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D-University City) hosted a forum titled “Gangs, Guns & Schools” on the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Participants discussed legislation relating to the possession of firearms and decreasing gun violence.
Missouri S&T student featured at Higher Education STEM Day
Matthew Limmer, a doctoral student in environmental engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology, participated in Higher Education STEM Day on March 5 at the Capitol. The event, sponsored by the Missouri Mathematics and Science Coalition, celebrates and acknowledges the contributions that higher education institutions around the state make to disciplines, research, and careers in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.
Matt Limmer (left) with Rep. Keith Frederick (R-Rolla) (right).
UM student leaders join ASUM to visit legislators
The Associated Students of the University of Missouri (ASUM) organized a visit to the Capitol by student leaders from all four UM campuses on March 5. The students had an opportunity to meet with legislators on budget and legislative priorities, including higher education bonding and financial aid issues. While there, the group was introduced in the House and Senate.
US House passes 6-month spending bill
The United States House of Representatives passed a 6-month federal government spending bill, HR 933, on March 6 by a vote of 267-151. The bill freezes appropriations at existing levels for most accounts, includes the spending cuts required by sequestration, and includes a full defense appropriations bill. The Senate is still developing its continuing resolution to fund the government. Lawmakers have until March 27 to agree on legislation, which will likely provide funding through the 2013 federal fiscal year, which ends on September 30, 2013.
MU graduate student leaders visit Capitol Hill
MU Graduate Professional Council (GPC) leaders met with the Missouri Congressional delegation and their staff on March 4 and 5 in Washington, DC. The visits were a part of the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students Advocacy Summit & Legislative Action Days. MU GPC President Kristofferson Culmer, MU GPC National Issues Coordinator Jesse Kremenak, and Shankar Parajuli, a medical student at Washington University in St. Louis, participated in the Summit and Advocacy Days.