Award recognizes faculty for distinguished service and exceptional contributions to the University of Missouri
COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri System Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Hank Foley today awarded one of the UM System President’s Awards to Frank Schmidt, professor in the department of Biochemistry at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Foley — in front of faculty, students and staff gathered for a departmental seminar — surprised Schmidt with the President’s Award for Service, which includes a $5,000 award. The award recognizes faculty for distinguished service and exceptional contributions to achieving the goals of one of the four University of Missouri campuses or to the UM System. The award marks the fourth of 11 to be presented in 2014.
The President’s Awards are presented annually to faculty members across the four campuses of the University of Missouri System who have made exceptional contributions in advancing the mission of the university.
President’s Award for Service
Frank Schmidt, Ph.D.
Professor of Biochemistry
University of Missouri-Columbia
Dr. Frank Schmidt’s commitment to serving his students, the University of Missouri and his community stems from a unity of purpose to strive for excellence. This commitment has led Schmidt to serve above and beyond the expectations of a faculty member and become involved in many aspects of the university and the community.
“Stated simply, it becomes increasingly clear that his service is vital to the progress of the institution, to the morale and to the actual well-being of our faculty, staff and students,” wrote one nominator on the breadth of Schmidt’s service. “He is always focused on what is best for the institution and is relentless in his pursuit of approaches based on reason and goodwill.”
Schmidt approaches chemistry and science in a fresh, novel way with his students. He created the honors courses "The Warm Little Pond" and "The Warm Little Planet" to engage non-science majors with scientific issues through hands-on methods. He has also spearheaded two National Science Foundation grants for undergraduate programs. As a result of his academic service, Schmidt was awarded the Kemper Teaching Fellowship in 2007.
When Schmidt began teaching at Mizzou, the campus was much less diverse; something he set out to change. Schmidt proposed diversity training for all members of the university, including faculty, and chaired the “MU to the Future” task force charged with implementing these changes. Schmidt’s dedication to service expands into the daily operations of the university as well. He has served on the MU Faculty Council, the UM System Intercampus Faculty Council, the Strategic Planning and Resource Advisory Council and the Institutional Biosafety Committee, among others.
As an MU United Way tri-chair, Schmidt extended his commitment to serving to the broader community. During his time as tri-chair, employees increased their giving while he oversaw a committee of 30 leaders and 250 volunteers. He also helped establish the Student United Way and serves as the organization’s advisor.