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About the Office of Engagement and Outreach

Engagement is the extension of knowledge, offerings, and influence of the University of Missouri System in communities for the betterment of people. This includes learning opportunities that lead to behavior change, research that leads to improvement in the quality of life of citizens, donor investment in research, teaching and communities, and partners who serve as champions to advance the mission of the UM System. Engagement is wide-ranging.

At the heart of engagement is the relationship and connectivity between citizens and higher education. This is based on a university presence with people in communities that is relevant, timely, and grounded. As a result of this relationship, engagement can serve to identify local and state needs and therefore inform teaching, research and philanthropy goals.

The Office of Engagement and Outreach works to support the Missouri Compacts for Excellence, and, like its name suggests, has a particular focus of furthering the Compact for Excellence in Engagement and Outreach:

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Staff Directory

Marshall Stewart

Chief Engagement Officer, UM System
Vice Chancellor for Extension and Engagement, MU Extension

108 Whitten Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
(573) 882-2394

Alison Copeland

Alison Copeland

Deputy Chief Engagement Officer, UM System
309 University Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
(573) 884-4655

Ashley Rhode

Ashley Rhode

Outreach and Engagement Associate, UM System
309 University Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
(573) 884-3257

University Contacts


Chad Higgins

Associate Vice Chancellor, Extension and Engagement


Troy Lillebo

Assistant Vice Chancellor, External Relations


Andy Careaga

Executive Director, Marketing and Communications

Melanie Keeney

Director of Engagement and Outreach, Marketing and Communications


Patricia Zahn

Director, Des Lee Collaborative Vision/Community Outreach and Engagement

Reviewed 2020-08-24