2015 SHP Commencement

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The School of Health Professions held commencement exercises at Mizzou Arena on May 15th. Over 600 baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees were conferred!

The commencement speaker was Dr. Munashe Chigerwe, who brought the wisdom of a health care educator, researcher and provider. He is currently an Associate Professor of Livestock Medicine and Surgery at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

To view photos from this momentous occasion, please click here.

Congratulations to all of the graduates!

2015 ATP Annual Banquet and Awards Ceremony

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On April 21, the Athletic Training Program held its annual Banquet and Awards Ceremony at the Elm Street Ballroom in Downtown Columbia, Missouri.

Several students were honored for their academic and clinical achievements, including the following students who received awards named in honor of distinguished alumni and friends of Mizzou Athletics:

  • Oliver J. DeVictor Award for Excellence in Scholastic Achievement in Athletic Training: Amanda Gubbels
  • Dr. James M. Baker Award for Most Industrious and Improved Clinician: Kelsey Jones
  • Rex L. Sharp Rookie of the Year Award for Outstanding First-Year Student Displaying Exceptional
    Potential in the Field of Athletic Training: Danielle Hargate
  • Fred Wappel Award for Most Outstanding Athletic Training Student: Taylor Nolan
  • Dr. Glenn L. McElroy Award for Exceptional Attitude and Leadership: Alex Flanagin

Congratulations to all the award recipients! For more photos, click here.

2015 SHP Awards Luncheon


The School of Health Professions is a great place to be thanks to remarkable faculty, staff, students and alumni!

On May 8th, the School of Health Professions held its 11th Annual Awards Luncheon to honor and celebrate those who have given the extra effort to help SHP achieve its mission of improving the health and well-being of others. Honorees were nominated by students, faculty, peers, supervisors, and friends outside the school.

Congratulations to each award recipient! To view photos from the Awards Luncheon, click here.

The following scholarship awards were specifically funded by individuals and organizations based on an aspect of health professions education that they value:

  • Lois Long Scholarship: Ciara Schlotzhauer
  • Missouri Hospital Association Scholarship: Madeline Ringness, Sarah Spencer
  • Western States Pathologists Association Scholarship: Darcie Dunn
  • Mary Sebacher Scholarship: Jade Jones
  • BRACCO Outstanding Student Award: Ryan Small
  • Bemes Respiratory and Critical Care Leadership Award: Richard Glenn
  • Mary Alice Woods Outstanding Mental Health Scholarship: Mia Boessen
  • Blake Rudeen Memorial Scholarship: Kelley Schaller
  • Shirley Patterson/Eva Trumbower Missouri Speech Hearing Association (MSHA) Travel Award: Kate Doveikis, Samantha Ghali, Madison March
  • Stacey Bragg Award: Katie Williamson
  • Christopher Griffith Scholarship: Megan Kennedy, Matthew July, Brandi Turner, Kailee Richey
  • Richard E. and Carol B. Oliver Scholarship: Alyssa Roost

The SHP Alumni Organization (SHPAO) Board of Directors honored the following outstanding individuals for their accomplishments, demonstrated commitment to the School and service to others:

  • Outstanding Undergraduate Award: Aimee Murray
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Award: Stephanie Ronquest
  • Outstanding Staff Award: Beth Walter
  • Outstanding Faculty Award: Stacy Wagovich
  • Outstanding Alumni Award: Jennifer Highbarger
  • SHP Alumni Organization Scholarship: Alyssa Roost, Alissa Jones

The following faculty and students have been recognized by their state and national associations for their accomplishments in teaching, research and service:

  • Frederic Helmholz, Jr., MD Education Research Award: Kathy Moss
  • Honors of the [Missouri Speech-Language-Hearing] Association: Dana Fritz

The following members of the SHP family have been honored by the Mizzou community:

  • Chancellor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in Advising: Dr. Giuli Krug
  • MU Excellence in Education Awards: Dr. Giuli Krug, Teresa Briedwell
  • Mizzou 39 Award (SHP students): Alexa Burtnett, Jordyn McKinney, Lydia Ely, Poonam Sheevram

The following individuals were recognized for having achieved excellence in teaching, study, research, clinical service, community service or other outstanding character:

  • Clinical & Diagnostic Sciences Ambassador Award: Tiffany Floyd (Graduate), Claire Rogers (Undergraduate)
  • Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences Oliver Award for Clinical Excellence Award: Julie Seelbach, Jin Yan, Rosalind Pliszka, Heather Halter
  • Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound Excellence in Ultrasound Award: Vanessa Pierson (Graduate), Claire Rogers (Undergraduate)
  • Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound Scholastic Award: Tiffany Floyd (Graduate), Jessica Vaughn (Undergraduate)
  • Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound Spirit of Achievement Award: Lambert Eller (Graduate), Brooke Polivka (Undergraduate)
  • Truman Award in the Department of Health Sciences: Ashley Fantroy
  • Department of Health Sciences Academic Achievement Award: Caroline Sengheiser
  • Department of Health Sciences Internship Supervisors of the Year Awards: Aren Koenig (Community Affiliate), Laura Barnes (Campus Affiliate)
  • Department of Health Sciences Spirit of Success Award: Anastasia Harris
  • Department of Communication Science and Disorders Outstanding Preschool Clinician Award: Rachel Paddock, Haley Bergman
  • Department of Communication Science and Disorders Outstanding Accent Modification and Pronunciation Program Clinician Award: Anna Fray
  • Department of Communication Science and Disorders Outstanding Graduate Student Clinical Achievement Award: Blair Wilde
  • Department of Communication Science and Disorders Outstanding Student Award: Kate Doveikis, Maddie March (Graduates); Caley Kramer (Undergraduate)
  • Occupational Therapy Tribute Award: Jessica Boessen, Elizabeth Kisling
  • Athletic Training Program’s Oliver J. DeVictor Award for Excellence in Scholastic Achievement: Amanda Gubbels
  • Fred Wappel Most Outstanding Student in Athletic Training Award: Taylor Nolan
  • School of Health Professions Diversity Scholars Award: Aliyah Johnson, Jessica Le, Alexis Mok, Anastasia Harris, Lucy Vogt
  • Truman Award for Clinical Excellence: Jacob Wascisin
  • Respiratory Therapy James Whitacre Compassionate Care Award: Bridale Robinson
  • Mizzou Honors College Outstanding Second Year Discovery Fellow: Kayla Symonds
  • Missouri Speech-Language Hearing Association Research Award: Kate Doveikis (Graduate), Brooke Prigge (Undergraduate)
  • School of Health Professions Service Scholarship: Jordan Fairfield
  • Kristofer and Lori Hagglund Early Career Award: Dr. Enid Schatz
  • SHP Excellence in Education Award: Carolyn Orbann
  • Lewis and Clark Discovery Award: Dr. Michelle Teti
  • Lewis & Clark Discovery Award for Excellence: Dr. Stephen Sayers
  • SHP Excellence in Service Award: Cheryl Shigaki
  • Dean’s Service Award: Tammy Greenup

Note: The awards recognized at the luncheon are not a complete picture of the accolades won by SHP students, faculty and staff or all of the supporters who make these awards possible.

Research Could Provide Clues to Causes of Osteoarthritis

Detecting Knee-Cushion Problems Early Could Lead to Better Treatments

Within the knee, two specialized, C-shaped pads of tissue called menisci perform many functions that are critical to knee-joint health. The menisci, best known as the shock absorbers in the knee, help disperse pressure, reduce friction and nourish the knee. Now, new research from the University of Missouri shows even small changes in the menisci can hinder their ability to perform critical knee functions. The research could provide new approaches to preventing and treating meniscal injuries as well as clues to understanding osteoarthritis; meniscal problems are one of the major causes of joint pain and degeneration.

“As the meniscal attachments to the tibia—the calf bone—become more lax, it doesn’t take much for the menisci to lose all their function. This function declines as individuals age and could be one contributing factor to osteoarthritis,” said Trent Guess, the HealthSouth associate professor of physical therapy in the MU School of Health Professions and orthopedic surgery in the MU School of Medicine.

Guess leads the Mizzou Motion Analysis Center, which houses a gait lab that uses a variety of sensors to evaluate how people walk and move. In the lab, participants walk on sensors called force plates that measure the force exerted between the individuals’ feet and the floor. Participants attach small, reflective sensors or “markers” to their bodies, and infrared cameras capture the movement, which is sent to a computer for analysis. The researchers use this data to see which muscles are being activated during each movement. Using computational models that combine gait measurements with medical images, the researchers can predict how much force is exerted on knee structures—such as cartilage, ligaments and the menisci—during a particular movement.

“It’s hard to believe that only 20 years ago people didn’t think the menisci were important, so if the menisci were injured, they’d be removed,” Guess said. “Now, we realize their importance for all aspects of knee function and preventing osteoarthritis.

The study, “Predicted Loading on the Menisci during Gait: The Effect of Horn Laxity,” recently was published in the Journal of Biomechanics. Co-authors include Swithin Razu and Hamidreza Jahandar from the University of Missouri and Antonis Stylianou from the University of Missouri – Kansas City.

To read more about Dr. Guess’ research, click here.

2015 Touchstone Society

Touchstone 2015 inductees- blog

Congratulations to the 2015 Touchstone Society Members!

The Touchstone Society is the School of Health Professions’ giving society for donors that make gifts of $1,000 or more per year. These supporters have consistently invested in SHP through a diverse range of gifts.

SHP is incredibly thankful for the following members of the Touchstone Society:

2015 Touchstone Society Annual Members

Dr. R. Philip and Mrs. Diane Acuff
Dr. Kyle and Ms. Rita Gibson
Ms. Megan Gill
Dr. Stephanie Reid-Arndt and Dr. Jamie Arndt
Dr. Judith Goodman and Mr. Samuel Goodfellow
Dr. Marybeth Brown and Dr. Eileen Hasser
Mrs. Esther Kleiboeker
Mr. Michael and Dr. Barbara Carr
Ms. Mary Sebacher
Mr. David and Mrs. Ellen Clithero
Stafford Family Charitable Trust
Dr. Dana and Mr. Scott Fritz
Mr. Glenwood Stancil, Jr.
Ms. Deborah Gerhart
Dr. Stacey Wagovich and Mr. Tim Hausman

Touchstone Society Sustaining Level

Mrs. Carla and Mr. Arthur Allen
Ms. Greta and Mr. Kim Hull
Mr. Bobby and Mrs. Angel Campbell
Dr. Laura Schopp and Dr. William Lamberson
Mrs. Nancy and Mr. Elton Fay
Mr. Don and Mrs. Betty Landers
Ms. Rose Hayden and Ms. Meichele Foster
Dr. Lara and Dr. Mark Wakefield
Mr. John Griffith
The Word Church
Dr. Rosemary and Dr. Timothy Hogan

Touchstone Society Ambassador Level

Mrs. Tara and Mr. Greg Boehne
Dr. William and Mrs. Barbara McHugh
Dr. Teresa and Mr. Richard Briedwell
Mid America Isotopes
Mr. Scott and Mrs. Sandra Brower
Mrs. Judith Miller
Mr. Leonard Bush
Dr. Marian Minor
Columbia Valley Scottish Rite
Ms. Gerti and Mr. Peter Motavalli
Dr. David Cravens
Dr. Rich and Mrs. Carol Oliver
Dr. Janet and Dr. John Farmer
Olivet Christian Church
Mrs. Becky and Dr. John Hagan, III
Dr. Joan Quilling
Dr. Kristofer and Ms. Lori Hagglund
Dr. P. Kevin and Mrs. Kathleen Rudeen
Dr. Marilyn and Mr. Charles Hargrove
Mr. John Short
Kermack-Parker Trust Fund
Mr. Rex and Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield
Mr. Jack and Mrs. Deborah Lay
St. Thomas More Newman Center
Mrs. Janie and Mr. Philip Magruder
Dr. William and Mrs. Jo Ann Trogdon
Ms. Sean Maloney

For more information about Touchstone Society or other opportunities to support SHP, please contact Leigh Anne Haun at hauna@health.missouri.edu or (573) 884-0101.

Dr. Trent Guess Puts Cutting Edge Research in Motion… Literally

dr guess and mizzou mac for blog

Dr. Trent Guess, HealthSouth Associate Professor of Physical Therapy and Orthopaedic Surgery, is the driving force behind an innovative research lab that combines research in biomechanical engineering, orthopaedics and physical therapy. The new lab, Mizzou Motion Analysis Center (Mizzou MAC) officially opened this summer in the basement of Clark Hall.

Dr. Guess has a background in mechanical engineering, coupled with prior work experience in the computer industry. It was during his doctoral studies at the University of Kansas that he discovered his passion for musculoskeletal biomechanics. He felt that the combination of physical therapy and biomechanics would naturally fit together to promote better health and wellness, and so Mizzou MAC was born.

Visitors to the lab might be surprised by its unassuming appearance but the four force plates located in the center of the floor, numerous infrared cameras strategically placed along the top, center, and bottom of two walls, and two stationed computers betray the high-tech nature of the room. In the lab, researchers are able to use all of these tools to measure the motion of human body segments. Measurements reveal the force between subjects’ feet and the ground while computers show how those forces act on the body.

The research begins when the researchers place motion markers (small, plastic balls covered in reflective tape) on certain parts of the body and cameras track the motion of these markers. By analyzing the movement of the markers, researchers can calculate body motion, such as knee flexion or extension angle. If subjects step on the force plates located in the room, researchers can also calculate the power generated by the joints. In addition to the traditional marker-based motion capture system, Mizzou MAC includes a markerless system that can track body motion without the use of reflective markers.

Instantaneously, the computers can show which muscles are being activated during each movement. This is made possible by electromyography (EMG), a procedure used to evaluate the health of muscles and the nerve cells that control them1. The lab also uses computational models that combine gait measurements with medical images to predict muscle forces and the resulting joint loading during movement. These models allow researchers to see things that cannot be directly measured such as the forces acting on knee ligaments.

Though the center has been fully operational for just a short time, the summer 2014 researchers, along with Dr. Guess, have begun a study with the Mizzou women’s soccer team. With the help of the computational models and athletic trainers, the summer research team is able to measure power generated during jumping and look at symmetry and rotation of the legs during the jump. These measurements highlight possible indicators of knee injury, specifically injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) which is one of the most common injuries in female athletes. These findings are important in physical therapy and orthopaedics where preventative, reconstructive, and rehabilitative care is administered.

“I thoroughly enjoy working with the student researchers. It has been great getting to know them and watching them learn, grow [in their disciplines], and collaborate on things outside their respective comfort zones. Engineers get to be hands-on with research subjects and health science students are operating the computer system,” says Dr. Guess. Students represent either the engineering or health science at both undergraduate and graduate levels. The research students are getting hands-on experience in lab operations by placing markers and EMG sensors on subjects, taking measurements, analyzing data and creating computer models.

So what’s in store for the future of the Mizzou MAC? According to Guess, fellow PT researcher Dr. Steven Sayers has a project underway that focuses on patients with osteoarthritis (OA). The goal of the project is to identify a broad spectrum of OA assessments, such as biomechanics, muscle performance, pain, biomarkers, function, pain and psychological factors to group patients for more targeted treatment. The Mizzou MAC team will measure the gait patterns of patients with knee OA. Early stages of OA are associated with changes in muscle activations that alter joint loading while the late stages of the condition are associated with alterations to joint motion. This new and innovative approach has the potential to help physical therapists identify and provide targeted treatment to patients in the early stages of the disease.

Are these exciting advances only possible for people and knees? No! Guess is working with Dr. Jimi Cook, Director of the Comparative Orthopaedics Lab (COL) in the School of Veterinary Medicine, collaborating in the areas of animal health, osteoarthritis, tissue engineering, and biological joint replacement. Work is also underway with Dr. Seth Sherman, Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, on a project that combines Mizzou MAC measurements with computational models to improve surgical treatment for patellofemoral instability.

These projects are just the beginning of how Dr. Trent Guess and the Mizzou Motion Analysis Center are working to advance the field of physical therapy – helping physical therapists prevent and treat injury through advanced models and measurement.

More Individuals Discussing End-Of-Life Wishes with Loved Ones


New research from the University of Missouri shows more individuals are engaging in advance care planning. Advance care planning includes discussing end-of-life care preferences, providing written end-of-life care instructions and appointing a durable power of attorney for health care.

“By engaging in advance care planning, individuals make their preferences known in the event that they are unable to make a decision for themselves. This can reduce the stress caregivers and family members face regarding treatment decisions for a loved one who is severely ill or injured,” said lead author Nidhi Khosla, an Assistant Professor of Health Sciences in the MU School of Health Professions.

Khosla and her MU colleagues, Angela Curl and Karla Washington, investigated the trends in advance care planning from 2002 to 2010 using data from the Health and Retirement Study. They found that engaging in advance care planning was not strongly linked to socioeconomic status or level of education.

“It’s likely that local and national efforts to inform citizens about the importance of advance care planning are working,” said Curl, an assistant professor in the MU School of Social Work.

The study, “Trends in Engagement in Advance Care Planning Behaviors and the Role of Socioeconomic Status,” will be published in the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. The MU School of Social Work is part of the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences. Karla Washington is an Assistant Professor of Family and Community Medicine in the MU School of Medicine.

To read more about the study and its findings, click here.

Violent Video Games Not Linked to Aggression in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

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A study from the University of Missouri has found evidence to contradict speculation from a 2012 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut that violent video games cause gamers with autism to act violently. It is the first study to test the effects of violent video games on aggression in adults with autism spectrum disorder.

“If violent video games caused adults with autism spectrum disorder to behave aggressively, we should have seen some evidence of this in our study, but we did not,” said lead author Christopher Engelhardt, a postdoctoral fellow in the MU School of Health Professions and the MU Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders.

The MU researchers also found strong evidence that violent video games do not affect adults with autism spectrum disorder differently than typically developing adults. Since participants were only exposed to violent or nonviolent games for 15 minutes, the study cannot speak to the potential long-term effects of violent-video-game exposure.

The study, “Effects of Violent Video Game Exposure on Aggressive Behavior, Aggressive Thought Accessibility, and Aggressive Affect among Adults with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder,” has been accepted for publication in the journal Psychological Science.

University of Missouri researchers Micah Mazurek, Joseph Hilgard, Jeffrey Rouder and Bruce Bartholow of the Department of Health Psychology, Department of Psychological Sciences and the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders also contributed to the study.

To read more about the study, visit: http://goo.gl/qDm0Y7.

Missouri Health Professions Consortium Model Published in AJOT

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Innovative educational collaboration improves rural health care service and employment, serves as model for other programs.

Columbia, MO – March 24, 2015 – Approximately 2.23 million Missourians live within rural counties that have limited access to health care services like occupational therapy. In fact, many occupational therapy positions in rural areas went unfilled from 2012–2013 and occupational therapy education programs in these areas were rare.

In an effort to fill the gap of educational programs and improve the health outcomes the rural communities, The School of Health Professions, along with corporate and community college partners, established the Missouri Health Professions Consortium (MHPC) and created an Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Program. The new OTA program was designed to be completed in one year on a community college campus, and accelerate the entry of new occupational therapy practitioners in to the workforce.

The creation of MHPC was a result of the vision and partnership between School of Health Professions Dean Emeritus, Dr. Richard Oliver; RehabCare Group, Incorporated, a provider of rehabilitation services based in St. Louis; and five Missouri-area community colleges: East Central College, Moberly Area Community College, North Central Missouri College, State Fair Community College and Three Rivers College. After receiving RehabCare Group’s $1.3 million pledge toward the project, Oliver recruited Dr. Lea C. Brandt, School of Health Professions Associate Clinical Professor and Co-Director of MU Center for Health Ethics, to serve as MHPC’s Program Director.

The organization, successful outcomes and positive impact of the OTA program, under Brandt’s direction, was published in American Journal of Occupational Therapy (AJOT) which is the prestigious, official publication of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).  The journal is the OT community’s primary source of information on effective and efficient research practices for its more than 140,000 subscribers.

“I think the OTA program really is a model program for the future of technical programming at colleges and universities. In a rural community, there may be a demand for OTAs and just one or two graduating classes may fill that demand,” said Dr. Brent Bates, Vice President of Educational and Student Support Services at State Fair Community College (SFCC). “Alone, SFCC may not be able to develop or sustain such a program. Through the MHPC partnership, we’re sharing our resources across sectors of the state and becoming a great asset that meets the needs of our community and serves students in an impactful way.”

Dr. Brandt hopes that this model will be duplicated by other states seeking a practical way to provide individuals with affordable health care delivered by skilled health professionals and reduce the rate of unemployment by creating a steady supply of skilled health professionals for businesses.

It not only impacted the lives of its rural community residents, but also the lives of its graduates. According to a postgraduation survey, over half of the graduates between 2010 and 2012 reported the program afforded them a rewarding career, financial security, a foundation for professional success and career-laddering opportunities. The class employment rate was 98% with over 90% of the graduates working in rural health care environments and 25% pursuing a higher degree.

“We’re located in a rural area, so it’s more challenging for students to pack-up and leave to get their training. The program offers an opportunity for students to stay in their hometowns, get trained for a job that meets the critical health care needs in our local area and be compensated well,” said Dr. Bates. “It’s a win-win-win program for our community, our students and our college.”

The hybrid delivery educational model consists of classroom lectures taught by Mizzou SHP faculty via interactive television (ITV) technology and other web-based tools that makes learning accessible for students living in rural communities.  Instructors meet face-to-face with students at three of the five participating colleges for the required lab sessions. For the colleges that do not host lab sessions, students are able to participate at the college closest to them to minimize the travel distance.

Though there is no time restraint on students completing the required prerequisite courses, the OTA program is comprised of three 16-week semesters from January-December. In addition to the coursework and labs, participants must fulfill the fieldwork components of the program. Health care and occupational therapy clinicians in the home area of the student serve as fieldwork educators and supervise the occupational therapy assistant students.

Upon completion of pre-coursework, OTA classes and fieldwork, students graduate from their home campuses.

“It’s been very exciting to be part of such an innovative educational model that not only changes the lives of students but also improves the quality of healthcare for many Missourians who wouldn’t otherwise have access,” says Dr. Brandt.


About MHPC
The Missouri Health Professions Consortium (MHPC) Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is an innovative educational model that was specifically designed to address needs unique to rural communities. The model takes into account not only the distinctiveness of rural practice environments but also the educational barriers unique to rural student populations. The MHPC Occupational Therapy Assistant Program addresses the needs of these communities by providing educational opportunities to rural, place-bound students. The program has produced viable employment options, resulting in improved access to occupational therapy services as well as positive economic outcomes for graduates who reside in rural communities.

About MU School of Health Professions
The MU School of Health Professions (SHP) is the University of Missouri system’s only school of health professions and the state’s only such public program located on a health sciences campus. Health professionals account for more than 60 percent of the total U.S. health care workforce and represent more than half of the fastest growing occupations in the country according to the Bureau for Labor Statistics. With programs in rehabilitation, health promotion, diagnostic and imaging sciences, graduates of the School of Health Professions fill critical roles in health care.

For more information or to schedule an interview please contact:
Casey Adams at 573-882-0266 or adamscas@health.missouri.edu

Four SHP Seniors Named Mizzou ’39 Honorees

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Congratulations to four of our outstanding SHP students, Alexa Burtnett, Lydia Ely, Jordyn McKinney and Poonam Sheevam, who each received the 2015 Mizzou ’39 Award!

In the spirit of service that was the cornerstone of the 1839 founding of the University of Missouri, the Mizzou Alumni Association Student Board presents the Mizzou ’39 Award to 39 outstanding seniors each year.

These students were chosen for their academic achievement, leadership and service to Mizzou and the community. The honorees represent a variety of majors, activities and organizations from across campus.

Each winner also chooses a faculty or staff member to recognize as their adviser throughout their college career.

For more information about the Mizzou ’39 Class of 2015, please click here.


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