Dear University community,
I’m pleased to be reaching out to you again in the New Year. This month, large parts of the state got a taste of cabin fever after record-breaking snowfall and low temperatures. While we’ll continue to keep an eye out for incoming snow, I’m hoping a renewed appreciation for being able to go outside will provide extra motivation for our campus communities to reach outwards and make our impact felt across the state.
"I’m incredibly proud of our students … who spent some of their winter break in service to local and global communities."
2019 has already gotten off to a phenomenal start. I’m incredibly proud of our students from MU and Missouri S&T who spent some of their winter break in service to local and global communities, as well as UMSL’s College of Optometry students who recently completed an eight-day medical mission in El Salvador. Our campuses have also been busy. As part of the UM System’s ongoing efforts to battle the opioid overdose crisis, UMSL held a conference to explore the epidemic’s impact on the workforce. UMKC celebrated the anniversary of the Berkeley Center, which has provided state-of-the-art childcare to the Kansas City area for 25 years. Our service to the citizens of our local and global communities is ongoing, with our next opportunity coming in February, when MU Extension will fight hunger across the state through the 4-H Feeding Missouri food drive.
Our universities also make an impact through the outstanding examples of our inspiring community members. These include recent graduate Everlene Falconer, whose story has made UMSL proud, and Missouri S&T graduate Dr. Janet Kavandi, a new inductee to the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame. We are also inspired by our faculty members like Sheila Grigsby, who was honored by the nonprofit group 100 Black Men for her work promoting health and wellness in St. Louis.
“MU, UMKC and Missouri S&T had online degree programs that ranked in the top 20 nationally, and UMSL’s online Bachelor’s ranked within the top 30.”
One of the biggest ways our universities make an impact is through innovation. With this month’s release of the U.S. News and World Report rankings, the UM System has demonstrated remarkable innovation in online learning. MU, UMKC and Missouri S&T all had online degree programs that ranked in the top 20 nationally, and UMSL’s online Bachelor’s ranked within the top 30. Additionally, Missouri S&T faculty member Kellie Grasman was nationally recognized as the winner of the the 2018 Best Online Course Award. I hope you will join me in applauding these major accomplishments. These successes, and others, provide fuel for our continued systemwide effort to offer the best online learning experience for all students, including the growing non-traditional population.
“Our recent work emphasizes the very real and tangible impact the UM System has, both locally and globally.”
I hope that each member of our University community remembers the positive impact of our work is felt across Missouri. Recently, we released our 2019 impact data sheets, which provide a detailed look at the UM System’s reach throughout Missouri’s counties and represented districts. I encourage you to view the updated data sheets on the UM System webpage. Additionally, on Thursday, Feb. 21, the UM System will host its annual Legislative Showcase at the Missouri State Capitol. This event allows us to share with our elected officials the difference we make by serving Missourians each and every day through our research, teaching and outreach activities.
I’m incredibly optimistic about the coming year. Our recent work emphasizes the very real and tangible impact the UM System has, both locally and globally. I hope you share in my feeling of momentum as we gear up for the spring semester. If you have a story to share about how our community members make an impact, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mun Y. Choi
President, UM System